Action Based Research

Action based research is the systematic enquiry that teachers undertake as researchers of their own practice. At Collingwood we are involved in a number of projects aimed at broadening the experiences of the pupils and students.  The following projects are being used to determine what impact they have on the academic, emotional, social or mental health of the pupils and students in our school. 


Between 1 June 2020 and 31 May 2022 Collingwood is partnering with schools in Ireland, Poland, Spain, Denmark and Italy as part of the EU funded Erasmus+ project.  Staff from Collingwood will job shadow other colleagues in the partner schools.  The objective is to establish best practice, work collaboratively together on curriculum, learning and teaching and the teaching environment. The project will impact significantly on the educational provision at Collingwood. Our pupils will benefit from new ideas and methodologies, new curriculum developments and an enhanced learning environment.


Collingwood are working collaboratively with a company called Scrapbook to create a soft skills tracking system. This will enable staff to document pupil progress in non academic skills such as communication, engagement, social interaction and emotional intelligence.


When a young person cannot attend school long-term for any reason, an AV1 robot can take their place. Collingwood has purchased two AV1 robots, Collin and Connie, to  be the eyes and ears of children that cannot physically attend school.

These robots can be used to reintegrate learners back into school and also to prevent students feeling isolated from their peers whilst they are at home. This project aims to investigate whether the robots can assist to  improve the mental health of those studying from home and whether they can be a tool to enable school phobic pupils to re-engage. 

BBC Young Reporter

Collingwood has always been extremely proud of our contribution to BBC Young Reporter. Plans for this year’s videos are well under way with a number of investigative video reports already in the first stages of production.

Northumberland Zoo

Collingwood’s Primary department are working collaborative with Northumberland Zoo to track the emotional intelligence of our pupils over the course of the school year to determine the impact animal therapy can have on the social and emotional wellbeing of pupils.  

Clark's Bog

Collingwood are working collaboratively with Clark’s Bog, a 12 acre nature reserve based in Morpeth. The aim is to track the improvement of mental health and social skills of identified pupils.  

Belsay Awakes

Collingwood are working collaboratively with Belsay Hall and Gardens. Belsay has been awarded £1.88m from the National Lottery and as part of their rejuvenation works they are creating a woodland play and learn area with an outdoor classroom. Pupils will be able to access the outdoor classroom and learn about Belsay. The project will monitor the social and emotional wellbeing of pupils involved. 

Nurture Curriculum

The concept of nurture highlights the importance of social environments and its significant influence on social emotional skills, wellbeing and behaviour. 

The nurturing approach offers a range of opportunities for children and young people to engage with missing early nurturing experiences, giving them the social and emotional skills to do well at school and with peers, develop their resilience and their capacity to deal more confidently with the trials and tribulations of life, for life.

Mantle of the Expert

Mantle of the Expert is an educational approach that uses imaginary context to generate purposeful and engaging activities for learning.

The teacher plans a fictional context and the pupils take on the responsibilities of an expert team. As a team they assign activities and tasks and they learn important skills such as researching and inquiry, problem solving and writing.

The creation of a fictional context where the pupils experiment with making decisions, taking on responsibilities, and meeting challenging situations, is a kind of ‘safe zone’ within the classroom. Unlike in the real world, where children would rarely, if ever, have the kinds of experiences generated by Mantle of the Expert, in an imaginary world they can explore, discuss, and evaluate them as if they were real.