Benton Park NE7

Benton Park Primary School

A school for your child; a community for your family

Outreach & Engagement

At Benton Park, we welcome the opportunity to engage in the reciprocal sharing of excellence in curriculum development and task design. 

Curriculum events & conferences

We are fortunate to receive regular invitations to speak at local education events and conferences. 

EdNorth TeachMeet 2024

Schools North East Curriculum Conference - 'making disciplinary knowledge accesible' 2024

Ouseburn Learning Trust - Curriculum key note 'developing disciplinary knowledge' 2024

Schools North East Curriculum conference - 'developing curriculum; developing tasks' 2023

We're always happy to talk about and share our continuing curriculum development and school improvement journey - please email if we might be a useful addition to your Teachmeet or conference programme. 

Task Design Network & events

On the subject of designing high quality tasks within curricula, our Task Design Lead, Mr Karl McGarth runs a very popular facebook group focused around sharing excellence in task design practice: MrMICT's Primary Task Design Network - you can find the group here: 

Karl also runs a termly series of online and in person events themed around various aspects of task design. 

Here is the summer term programme:

Event outline and making a booking
Monday 20th May 
Task Design in EYFS & KS1 - Online - This session delves into what makes effective task design in early years classrooms, as well as how to think purposefully about your task design for engaging younger learners. Additionally, this is great for teachers in all phases to gain a better understanding of the foundations of disciplinary knowledge.
Thursday 13th June 
Curriculum Stay & Play - In-Person - This is your chance to visit Benton Park Primary to learn how to develop an in-house curriculum and see the relationship between curriculum, pedagogy, and task design in action.
Monday 17th June 
Curriculum to Classroom - Online - Here, MRMICT will discuss the importance of a clear sequence of lessons, how this supports all students including the most vulnerable learners, as well as the importance of developing a thoughtful task design approach.

Recordings from previous events can be purchased here on our Patreon page, to view in your own time, for those unable to attend on the date provided. Licences can also be purchased for a school licence to view recordings. Please get in touch for further information: 

 Pupil Book Study training in partnership with Alex Bedford

Following participation in a year long Newcastle Research School funded project, in collaboration Alex Bedford and Unity Research school, a team of senior staff are now able to provide training in the implementation of Pupil Book Study within your setting. Pupil Book Study is a 'systematic toolkit that enables leaders and teachers to focus on evaluating their curriculum, teaching and learning in a precise, evidence-rich environment' (Alex Bedford).' 

Training is delivered in partnership with Alex Bedford: Alex delivering online sessions outlining the principles and practice of Pupil Book Study; Benton Park staff delivering in person sessions to model Pupil Book Study and equip those attending the training to practice in their own schools.

Enquires can be made via 

You can find out more about Pupil Book Study here: Pupil Book Study | CUSP ( - this includes an evaluation discussion with our Headteacher Dominic Martin. 

Digital Schoolhouse @ Benton Park

Empowering Young Minds, Unleashing Digital Potential

The Digital Schoolhouse at Benton Park Primary School, has been created to empower young minds to unleash their digital potential!

As an extension of our dedication to excellence, we are proud to offer our Digital Schoolhouse outreach programme. With industry-standard programming workshops, we aim to provide visiting children with unparalleled learning experiences. Our motto, "Empowering Young Minds, Unleashing Digital Potential," perfectly encapsulates our vision for these workshops.

The Digital Schoolhouse at Benton Park Primary School is a place of creativity, exploration, and innovation. We strive to inspire a lifelong love for learning, laying the groundwork for bright futures in the digital world. We welcome all children to experience our exceptional workshops and join us in unlocking their true potential while also having some fun through play.

Come and be part of our journey to try hard, be kind, attain high and have fun in the digital realm.

Book Your Workshop Here

Regional Training Centre in partnership with Apple

Apple Regional Training Centres deliver courses to build the skills and confidence of educators to use Apple technology inside and outside the classroom. They are a community who share best practices and inspire excellence through teaching with Apple technology.                                                                                                           

Being selected as an Apple Regional Training Centre highlights our commitment to facilitating training for teachers to develop skills and build confidence to use Apple technology in the classroom.

Apple Regional Training Centres create a community to share best practice and support teaching staff to attain Apple Teacher status, a professional learning programme designed to support and celebrate educators. Teachers from across the region can attend courses to build their knowledge and skills using technology in the classroom and earn badges to achieve their Apple Teacher recognition.

Across the UK and Ireland, the goals of all Apple Regional Training Centres are to:
• facilitate training opportunities for teachers to develop skills using Apple technology in the classroom
• promote Apple in Education and share new products and innovations with educators
• build Apple Teacher across the region
• share best practices, build community and inspire excellence.
To find out more, please visit the Apple Teacher website:

Participation in research practice and publication

Our own practice has benefitted hugely from involvement in research informed practice. 

In 2021 we successfully submitted a bid to Newcastle Research school based around the implementation of Pupil Book Study with partner school Throckley Primary School.

Project Focus:

  1. Improve the quality of teaching and learning through research-informed dialogic practice, alongside robust evaluation utilising pupils and their books.
  2. Improve evidence-informed curriculum design.
  3. Strengthen and sharpen evaluation methods for school and subject leaders.

Pupil Book Study, our chosen project methodology, is a systematic, research-informed toolkit that supports schools to evaluate the quality of the curriculum, teaching and learning by focusing on metacognitive talk and evidence-led professional growth.

  1. What is the problem you are trying to solve?

Schools decide upon curriculum structures; teachers assess pupil outcomes, but how can we really be sure that curriculum structures, interventions (including COVID-19 catch up activities) and pupil participation / engagement are all indicative of or lead to ‘learning’? Coe (2013) counsels us that schools ‘readily accept poor proxies for learning, rather than seeking direct and valid evidence of true learning’[1]. These poor proxies for learning can also be hugely disadvantageous to certain statistically vulnerable pupil groups, particularly those boys, SEND and disadvantaged pupils who do not always conform to the norm of an ‘engaged’ or ‘successful’ learner.

Ofsted, in their 2018 Phase 3 Research Study[2], confirm Coe’s assertions, noting that weaker schools and inexperienced teachers often direct their attention to the wrong places; failing to check that curriculum ‘implementation’ is effective and pupil learning secure. Particularly lacking is the ability to precisely identify ‘gaps in knowledge or misconceptions in pupils’ learning.’

Our project recognises a potential two-fold ‘gap’ in teacher professional knowledge:

  • teachers and leaders may make assumptions, when evaluating teaching, often swayed by poor proxies for learning:
  • teachers and leaders may not be subject specialists; may not possess the subject specific knowledge required to judge the effectiveness of curriculum content and design.

In summary, as Nuthall (2007) explains, ‘unless you know what has changed in the minds…. of your students, you cannot really know how effective’[3] teaching has been. Our project looks to address the aforementioned issues, by providing leaders and teachers with greater insight into the lived learning experience of pupils. Alongside professional learning, delivered with fidelity to the EEF implementation model, teachers and leaders will be provided with structured opportunities for metacognitive talk – part of a research-based methodology - that allows them to make more informed professional judgements as to whether curriculum structures and classroom engagement are representative of pupil learning or not.

[1] Poor proxies for learning: students are busy: lots of work is done (especially written work); students are engaged, interested, motivated; students are getting attention: feedback, explanations; classroom is ordered, calm, under control; curriculum has been ‘covered’; students have supplied correct answers (whether or not they really understood them or could reproduce them independently) Coe, R (2013) Improving Education: A triumph of hope over experience. Inaugural Lecture of Professor Robert Coe, Durham University, 18 June 2013. Essay version available at

[2] Ofsted (2018) An investigation into how to assess the quality of education through curriculum intent, implementation and impact Phase 3 findings of curriculum research available at

[3] Nuthall, G (2007) The hidden lives of learners NZCER Press pp.35

In 2019 Our Headteacher, Dominic Martin, was a co-author and strategic deliver partner in a successful SSIF bid with Quayside Teaching School Alliance and Sacred Heart High Teaching School focused on improving outcomes in Maths by the end of Key Stage 4 

Project Focus: 'conceptual understanding of key maths concepts, or ‘assumed knowledge’ has failed to be addressed in the supported schools by the time pupils reach the end of key stage 4. In the interests of securing long-term sustained improvement in key stage 4, the project will directly address the onset of these misconceptions and lack of ‘assumed knowledge’ in key stages 2 and 3, through delivering a maths programme with a proven track record of addressing the aforementioned issues, as well as improving teacher subject knowledge and supporting developing maths leaders to secure rapid change in their schools. By the end of the project, outcomes at the end of key stage 2 and key stage 3 will have improved providing a platform for improved outcomes in key stage 4 by the end of 2022/3. The curriculum modification is ICCAMS (Increasing Confidence and Competence in Algebra and Multiplicative Structures), an Education Endowment Foundation 'promising project' (at the time of application) and formerly an Economic and Social Research Council project which secured two years’ progress for students in one year. ICCAMS consists of a set of lessons and support materials, alongside intensive continuing professional development for teachers provided by curriculum experts.' (2019)

We have also been long term participants in the WALKTHRUS and ResearchED communities of practice. Here's an example of how we've used WALTHRUS materials to support and staff in the process of making adaptations to support all learners engage with our curriculum.  

send example.pdf