In September 2019 our current version of the Primary Education (QTS) degree began. A new feature was the earlier introduction of a focus on students’ own research, with research focussed modules in the second and third years of the programme. In May 2022, these changes came to full fruition as the first cohort of Primary Education student teachers completed the new degree programme and their research dissertations, that had benefitted from a fuller focus on research. 

To mark this, we have selected eight research projects as a showcase of our undergraduate Primary Education research.  We decided not to go through a full process of editing as would be normal for an academic journal, but to preserve the reports in near original submission form. The student teachers were asked to proof-read their work again, but only address technical matters of spelling, grammar, referencing etc. Each piece was then proof-read by one of a team of three Primary Education tutors. Small changes were made to formatting, to achieve a similar look and feel. Therefore, they are not perfect, but our intention is to preserve most of the authenticity of the original submission 

So, we have a selection of quality undergraduate research that is almost the same as the original submissions. There is a wide range of topics, all applicable to current primary school practice. We hope that current and prospective student teachers and tutors will find them inspiring and raise expectations of what can be done, whilst balancing the pressures of a dissertation and a final school placement. We hope that alumni, other school teachers and tutors, will also find them interesting and thought provoking for their own practice. 

Laura Bowler: Does it Really Take a Village? – A Case Study of the Benefits and Drawbacks of Mixed Key Stage Two classes in a rural village primary school.   

Ellie Cawkwell: What Are Children’s Perceptions of Effective Feedback Strategies in Primary Mathematics? 

Emily Clements: How do preschool experiences prepare children for starting school? 

Helene Feakes: A qualitative case study exploration of primary school teachers’ perceptions of their workload and how it is managed in a large, urban school. 

Lucia Lastiri: How does implementing different strategies to incorporate Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) into a KS1 classroom affect the children’s retention of the specific language taught? 

Stan Midgley: Drama: to Teach or Not to Teach? A case study into teacher attitudes towards drama in primary education.  

Hannah Stenning: Feeling jars: an invention for the future or the bin? An ethnographic study on the effectiveness of tools to encourage emotional reflection and improve mental wellbeing in the primary classroom. 

Summer Webster: Children’s attitudes to reading within the primary classroom: A case study across both gender and key stage.