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Effective teaching and learning for pupils in low attaining groups

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posted on 2023-06-07, 19:21 authored by Mairead DunneMairead Dunne, Sara HumphreysSara Humphreys, Judy Sebba, Alan Dyson, Frances Gallannaugh, Daniel Muijs
The research investigated the characteristics of pupils in low attainment sets, the factors that determine the composition of these sets and the approaches to effective teaching of pupils in low attainment groups used by schools. Central to the aims of the study was the identification of how schools and teachers maximise the benefits of attainment grouping and mitigate its disadvantages. It was conducted by the Universities of Sussex and Manchester, on behalf of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). While the main focus was on low attainment sets, consideration was also given to effective teaching approaches with pupils regarded as low attaining in other grouping arrangements and more generically within the broader school context. The study sought to answer four key research questions: 1. What are the population characteristics of pupils in low attainment sets? 2. What practices and processes do schools use to identify and organise low attainment groups? 3. How do schools and teachers motivate and inspire pupils in low attaining groups to learn? 4. Are different approaches used for pupils from specific social groups (minority ethnic/social class/ gender) who are over-represented in low attainment groups and/or ‘at risk’ of low educational outcomes?


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Department for Children, Schools and Families





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Reasearch Paper Number: DSCF-RR011

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