The Centre for Learning and Research at Downe House has a single aim: to use the latest and most cutting-edge educational research to improve the outcomes of our pupils.
The last decade has witnessed an explosion of interest in the related fields of Mind, Brain and Education Science. The work of the Centre for Learning and Research is to ensure Downe House remains always at the forefront of these conversations, using the latest findings in cognitive psychology and neuroscience so that teachers teach better and pupils learn more.
Within Downe House and beyond, the Centre for Learning and Research promotes an ethos of reflective and evidence-informed practice, working with teachers and pupils to build understanding about how effective learning happens.
The education of today is not the education of tomorrow. The Centre for Learning and Research exists to create, share and celebrate innovation in educational research so that all pupils are ready for whatever their future holds.
Co-ordinated by the Centre for Learning and Research, the Enquiry is Downe House’s flagship teaching and learning journal. In each issue, readers will find a wealth of articles written by both colleagues and pupils, exploring practical ideas that make a real difference in classrooms.
Discover our Enquiry teaching and learning journals.Discover
In order to help achieve the ambitions of the Centre for Learning and Research, we have two Learning and Research Councils, one for staff and one for pupils.
In the pupil Council, students undertake a mini-scale research project to explore an area of their own learning, sharing their findings with the wider community, both teachers and other pupils.
In the staff Council, teachers complete a sustained Practitioner Research Project in which they set out to answer a question about their own practice.
Ms Marya Akhtar (Director of Higher Education and Global Initiatives) explores the increasing impact and significance of online blended learning within education.
Innovation doesn’t exist in a vacuum rather we innovate together.
Partnering for Excellent Education is the Centre for Learning and Research’s Teaching and Learning exchange programme. Through collaboration, we share best practice across schools, building a network in which we can learn from one another.
Dr Andrew Atherton, Director of Learning and Research and Teacher of English
Having completed an MA in English Literature as well as a PhD in twentieth-century literature, both funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Dr Atherton decided to make the jump from university to secondary school teaching. Since then, he’s taught English to a range of classes and age groups and held a number of academic positions within the schools he’s taught in, both whole school and subject specific. At Downe House, Dr Atherton’s current role involves overseeing all activities of our flagship Centre for Learning and Research, with a particular focus on ensuring we are at the cutting edge of evidence-informed Teaching and Learning. Outside of his school commitments, Dr Atherton has been published in a number of educational venues on matters relating to education and he is currently in the final stages of writing a book, jointly published by Routledge and NATE, titled Experiencing English Literature.