Research education

We are currently undertaking a wide range of research projects with partners from community groups, schools, early years settings, other universities, colleges and outdoor organisations. Behind each of the tiles in this strand you will find an example of collaborative partnership working. Each project aims to improve our understanding of teaching and learning in a different context.

For further information about UPPScale Research Partnerships please contact: 

Dr Jan Georgeson
Associate Professor of Education


International research projects

UPPScale Erasmus+ project

The UPPScale Erasmus+ project aims to create an innovative, non-hierarchical space for sustainable, collaborative transnational working that responds to the needs and interests of educators in early years settings, schools and universities. The project will be undertaken by five national partnerships of an HEI and a school/early years setting from Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, England and Spain, with a four-phase methodology.

Find out more about the Erasmus+ project

UPPScale Erasmus+

Child-Centred Competences for Early Childhood Education and Care

This two-year collaborative project among seven countries will develop a child-centred competences framework to facilitate students in their self-evaluation of competences. It will also improve understandings of what it means to be a skilled and competent child-centred ECEC professional. The development of a child-centred competences framework cross-referenced against existing ECEC competency profiles offers a unique, Europe-wide resource for enhancing the quality of ECEC pedagogical practice. 
Children wearing wellies, wellington boots

Past research projects

Rebuilding Bridges

Kathrin Paal's latest project has been the evaluation of 'Rebuilding Bridges', an intergenerational music intervention in care homes in Torbay.

Rebuilding Bridges was an innovative music and arts intervention that ran for eight sessions (September to December 2021) and worked collaboratively with pre-school children, older people living in care homes, childminders and care home staff. The project aimed to re-ignite and grow the intergenerational relationships that music-making can inspire, gently opening the doors of Torbay’s care homes as we emerged from the pandemic.

Learn more about the project and read the report

Rebuilding Bridges music session

Coastal Schools and Educational Isolation

Tanya Ovenden-Hope and Rowena Passy's project to explore issues of educational isolation in coastal, rural and small schools. 

Educational Isolation: A Challenge For Schools In England is based on nine years of research, and work with schools facing challenges caused by their location. It defines the concept of educational isolation and examines what it means in practice to isolated schools, arguing that it is complex, grounded in location and access to resources, and results in reduced agency for schools. The aim of the report is to provide an understanding of this complexity and recommend a series of measures to support isolated schools in their challenges in relation to school improvement.

Learn more about the project and read the report

Dr Rowena Passy (left) and Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope (right)
Dr Rowena Passy (left) and Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope (right)

Beyond Words – the unspoken and non-verbal in inclusive music practice 

Every day, Plymouth Music Zone uses the transforming power of music to reach out to a diverse range of people, many of whom struggle to communicate using words. Music becomes the main communication and reveals some beautiful things in the process. This film gives a gentle insight into a two-year research partnership project to discover the impact of the unspoken in music making and ways to include those who struggle to communicate with words. 
The Beyond Words project is a partnership between Plymouth Music Zone and Plymouth University Institute of Education with Professor Jocey Quinn and Claudia Blandon leading the academic team. Read the Beyond Words report.