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Best Practice in Grouping Students

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A research project funded by the Education Endowment Foundation.

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Archive for December, 2016

BERA BCF Routledge Curriculum Journal Prize 2016

qtnvarl16 December 2016

– Becky Taylor

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the 2016 BERA BCF Routledge Curriculum Journal Prize for work carried out in developing our intervention Best Practice in Mixed Attainment, which aims to ensure good practice in mixed-attainment teaching contexts.

Journal Prize Graphic

If you have been following our project, you will know that research evidence suggests that students with lower prior attainment (often students from disadvantaged backgrounds) may do better if taught in mixed-attainment settings. Despite this, setting by ‘ability’ remains a very common practice in English secondary schools and schools are reluctant to take up mixed-attainment teaching. Our intervention aims to support schools with mixed attainment grouping, in order to raise attainment for these doubly-disadvantaged learners without detriment to higher attainers.

In 2014-15 we collaborated with colleagues at Plashet School, Hinchley Wood School and Kings Norton Girls’ School to explore their excellent mixed-attainment teaching practice and to develop curriculum materials that we are now using to support schools participating in our intervention. We drew on published research evidence and on pilot teachers’ prior practice and experience, working in genuine partnership together. In addition, the teachers provided curriculum exemplars to illustrate best practice.

At the end of the intervention period, we will be updating our materials and making them available to all schools. Look out for further information from summer 2017.

Thanks to the following teachers from our pilot schools, who contributed to the development of materials:

Margaret Antony, Vicky Barker, Dave Coglan, Carol Croom, Tom Francome, Katherine Hewat-Jaboor, Amandeep Kalote, Sue Morgan and Tim Smytheman.

Additional materials were provided by Clare Dawson (University of Nottingham) and Laurie Smith (King’s College London).