Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College
An Outstanding Catholic School


Research School



The Convent of Jesus and Mary

A Centre for Research 


Welcome to the CJM Research School

The Convent of Jesus and Mary (CJM) is officially recognised as a research school making it the only state school in the country to have research status. We have formed a partnership with St Mary’s University, Twickenham; specifically linked to research and development in education. Our Research School leads the way in the use of evidence-based practice to improve standards across the school and we aim to be a centre of excellence in research and development. Our academic partners intend to use the school and our pupils as a base for their research, with our pupils and teachers carrying out their own research, supported and guided by these same academics.

Why we value research

We are firmly of the opinion that teaching methods and practices that improve pupil outcomes are those rooted in research. And we strongly believe that any improvements we make or adopt as a school should have the evidence to support it. It makes sense therefore for us to help bridge the gap and put educational research into practice in our classrooms. We also want to nurture inquiring minds and support our student research associates by sharing with them the key principles to good research practice; a framework they will benefit from as they continue to advance in further education.

What this means for our pupils

As well as students having the opportunity to take part in research being carried out by St Mary’s University, research is also carried out by staff and students (see research areas below). Those staff and students that conduct research at the school become Research Associates. There is also the opportunity for staff to complete a Master’s degree and further research degrees hosted by St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

How will research be used?

Through the use of a growing and evolving network of researchers and advisors we will share research findings, and support other schools in the local area and wider afield, to make better use of evidence to inform pedagogy (the study of how knowledge and skills are exchanged in an educational context). We will also use evidence-based practice to improve standards across our school.

Catholic School Leadership: Principles and Practice MA

We are working with St Mary’s University, Twickenham to offer a Catholic School Leadership Masters.

This programme is unique in that it is the only Catholic School Leadership Masters’ programme offered currently in the UK, supporting specifically the distinctive leadership development for people at all levels of Catholic education, integrating a Catholic philosophy of education with the principles and practice of effective school leadership.

The course, which is led by Dr John Lydon and Dr Caroline Healey is hosted at the Convent and the university and runs between two and five years.

To find out more:


Active academic research:

1. Bystander responses to the social exclusion of immigrant peers

Q & A with Dr Sally Palmer

Tell us a bit about your team

We are a team of researchers from Goldsmiths, University of London. Professor Adam Rutland is an expert in social and moral development across childhood and adolescent. I am Dr Sally Palmer an expert on bystander responses to group-based bullying in primary and secondary schools and Dr Luke McGuire is our expert on social equity and justice across childhood and adolescence.

What research are you conducting here at CJM?

We are examining the social exclusion of migrant peers. This project responds to an increase in negative attitudes and behaviours towards immigrants. We are interested in knowing what encourages and what prevents children and adolescents from responding to the social exclusion of others.

As far as we know, we are the only research team examining this issue from this perspective in the UK right now.

Are any other schools involved?

We have invited schools from across Kent and London to take part so we can examine how the diversity of schools and communities relates to students’ responses.

Will your team offer any support to the research students here?

Absolutely. We have offered students the chance to get research experience through assisting with data collection on the project. They will receive training so they can see how we conform to ethical standards when conducting our research. This experience can make a great contribution to students’ CVs, and broaden the positive potential impact of the work we are doing. Long-term benefits include informing policy and practice in schools and communities, as well as having implications for national policy and future research.

What’s the earliest you will be able to share your findings? 

Our project is funded until July 2021. We have proposed three questionnaire based studies across the three years. We will share findings with participating schools once data collection for each study is complete.


Research associates (student):

We have fourteen research associates in the student body, ranging from Year 9 to Year 13.

The Research Associates are led by the Head Girl at the school who is supported by two students from Year 12.

Research topics for the academic year are:

1.    Space origins

2.    Medicine

3.    Natural alternatives to medicine

4.    Volcanoes and earthquakes

5.    Distribution of populations

6.    Animal psychology

7.    The heart and lungs

8.    Climate change and its effects

9.    Obesity and the effects on society and its people

10.  Family and environment and the effects on the future

11.  The origins of ballet.

12.  Why are cancer rates rising?


Research associates (staff) topics of study:

1.    Supporting students with Dyscalculia

2.    Attainment at Level 3

3.    E-Safety

4.    Effects of Social Media on teenage mental health / attainment

5.    Vocational education versus A Level

6.    Trends, studies, causes of trends, of results, statistical analysis

7.    How to engage students in learning / emotional intelligence – link to engagement.

8.    ECRS – teaching of RE in schools.

9.    Powerful Knowledge

10. The inception of the research school

11. Leadership

12. Role models for students in school; ethnic groups i.e. role of black women as leaders in state schools and pupil perception

13. Attainment of black Caribbean students

14. Development of student support services

15. Developing pedagogy to raise achievement

16. Behaviour for learning

17. Students new to English and their inclusion into mainstream education

18. Student attitudes towards learning.



Convent of Jesus and Mary article authored by Mrs McGowan and Mr Doel is published

Click here to download


We invite requests from academics interested in conducting research at our school. Please contact The Director of Research Mr C Doel at



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