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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Supporting outstanding pupil progress in an area of social and economic deprivation: a case study in a cluster of five schools. BERA Annual conference

Cooper, Bridget (2013) Supporting outstanding pupil progress in an area of social and economic deprivation: a case study in a cluster of five schools. BERA Annual conference. In: BERA Annual Conference 2013, 2-5 Sep 2013, Sussex University.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


The pressure on schools to perform is enormous, especially in areas of deprivation where the new chief inspector has announced even more inspections for schools. It is vital that schools feel empowered to understand and address the issues which enable their students to make high levels of progress. The social justice literature, the literature on best practice in teaching and learning, relevant neuroscience and the relationship of these to the management and funding of education form the framework for this study.
This project, instigated by the schools themselves, sought to understand the behaviours of outstanding teachers in a cross-phase cluster of schools (one academy and four primary schools) who share a catchment of high deprivation in order to understand which teacher behaviours contribute to outstanding student progress and why. It also sought to elicit the underpinning beliefs of teachers and equally the perspectives of students on this issue.
A group of ten teachers in the cluster considered outstanding by OFSTED were interviewed for up tp one hour and had a lesson video- recorded for analysis. Focus groups of 5-8 students in each of the four cluster schools were interviewed for up to an hour to discover what things they believe teachers do to help them make real progress in their learning and why.
The transcribed data from the interviews and focus groups were analysed using grounded theory to discover the behaviours and attitudes which these teachers and students believe are central to facilitating outstanding progress and are discussed here. The observations (discussed elsewhere) were analysed to look for these features in practice and were also coded according to a quantitative scheme to look at the quality of engagement, interaction and emotion and also the power relationships.
Most features identified by teachers concur with the best practice literature, significantly, high quality positive relationships, personalised and adaptive teaching, well-organised, exciting teaching and good interaction with parents. Students agreed strongly with all of these. However teachers also explained that in such schools features of outstanding practice were required in greater quantity i.e. more praise, more scaffolding of learning, more literacy support, more confidence building, more motivation and inspiration, greater personalisation of learning, more relationship-building with parents, more surrogate parenting. These increased needs contrast with the current orthodoxy, which some teachers also voiced, that all schools and children can achieve equally.

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Depositing User: Bridget Cooper


Item ID: 4143
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Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 14:36
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 09:08


Author: Bridget Cooper

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education


Education > Educational Research

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