How Very Effective Primary Schools Work

How Very Effective Primary Schools Work

by Chris R James, Michael Connolly, Gerald Dunning, Tony Elliott
     
 

'Chris James, Michael Connolly, Gerald Dunning and Tony Elliott have produced a comprehensive analysis of the very effective primary school. Although the research for the book draws on the authors' experiences in Welsh Primary Schools, the range of literature cited and the analytical frameworks employed ensure that their findings have a much broader relevance. They

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Overview

'Chris James, Michael Connolly, Gerald Dunning and Tony Elliott have produced a comprehensive analysis of the very effective primary school. Although the research for the book draws on the authors' experiences in Welsh Primary Schools, the range of literature cited and the analytical frameworks employed ensure that their findings have a much broader relevance. They define 'a very effective' school as one that provides high levels of attainment and rich educational experiences despite being located in extremely challenging circumstances. A key insight of the book is that although these schools are consequently 'extraordinary' their practice was in many ways quite 'ordinary'. This is because these schools worked in much the same way as the very best of schools have always done. In many ways, this as the authors note, is an optimistic message – that all children deserve to be educated in such very effective schools. The virtue of How Very Effective Primary Schools Work is that it makes clear those characteristics and strategies that can help every school to become great' - David Hopkins, HSBC i Net Chair of International Leadership, and formerly Chief Adviser on School Standards to the Secretary of State 2002-2005

'All children, especially the poorest, deserve capable, mature and well adjusted teachers and leaders who work together to lay firm foundations of learning and behaviour, then enrich and elevate everyone's learning far beyond that in optimistic cultures of security, persistence and hope. Based on solid research from 18 outstanding schools in challenging circumstances, this is the vital message of this important and unique book. Chris James and his colleagues show that highly effective schools need high functioning adults and communities who expect and get the best from everyone, dedicate themselves to others without burning themselves out, are not frightened of challenges and contradictions, stay around to fulfil their obligations to others and see their efforts bear fruit, and are emotionally comfortable in their own skin. If you want to become more effective as a school you will need to become more effective and adjusted as a teacher, a leader and an all-round human being. This inspiring and indispensable book, will stir and steer all who read it in that educationally essential quest' - Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education, Boston College

All good teachers and headteachers are concerned with improving pupil attainment. In high attainment schools, they must recognize how to sustain success. In schools with low attainment levels, they must come to understand the challenges they face and find ways of overcoming the difficulties.

This practical, research-based book describes the key approaches used by very effective schools. The authors explain how success can be achieved and maintained and describe ways of working that bring about high levels of pupil attainment. They also explain why these ways of working are successful.

This book is essential reading for headteachers, teachers, students of educational leadership and management, school governors, and those who work in local authorities.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412920087
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication date:
03/28/2006
Series:
Published in association with the British Educational Leadership and Management Society Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

A Review of the Literature
Key Issues in School Effectiveness
The Characteristics of Effective Schools
Schools in Challenging Circumstances
Organisational Culture
Contextual Influences on Effectiveness
A Way of Understanding Schools as Institutions
Theories - Purposes and Problems
System Psychodynamics
Aspects of the System Psychodynamics
The Research
The Education System in Wales
The Central Issue
The Kind of Study We Undertook
The Schools We Studies
The Data Collection and Analysis
The Case Study Schools - The Nature of Disadvantage
The Central Characteristic
A Productive Culture
A Strong Culture
A Highly Inclusive Culture
Continuing Professional Development
Changes/Initiatives
Extra-Curricular Activities
Leadership
The Headteacher
The Development of Leadership Density and Depth
The Leadership Work of the Governing Bodies
The Mindset
The Mindset
The Teaching Team
The Teachers
Teamwork
Additional Classroom Support
The Pupils and Their Parents
Pupil Engagement and Commitment
Parental Engagement and Commitment
Very Efficient and Effective Organisation
Structure, Management and Systems
The Management of Pupil Performance Data
The Sizes of the Schools
The Mutual Support, Validation and Valuing Of The Community
The Schools and Their Local Communities
The Schools and the Wider Community
The Schools and the Education System
What Makes These Schools Very Effective?
An Interpretive Review of the Findings
The Characteristics of the Case Study Schools In Comparison With the Characteristics of Effective Schools
Why Were These Schools Very Effective?
Concluding Comments
The Primary Task - Interpreting the Outcomes
Group Mentalities
Espoused Theories and In Use Theories
Leadership
Boundaries
Defensive Behaviours
Containment and the Transformation of Anxiety and Emotion into Creativity
Working with Passion
Collaboration
Concluding Comments
Reflections on the Research and the Outcomes
New Research Issues
Messages for All Schools
Very Effective Schools Are What All Children Deserve

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