Five schools in Wales and what makes them tick

A new report called ‘Making a Difference at Key Stage 3’ has been released by the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA). The institute spent a year closely observing five schools in Wales to determine what constitutes ‘best practice’.

At Cwmtawe Community School in the Swansea Valley, Newtown High in Powys, St Joseph’s RC High School in Newport, Ysgol David Hughes in Anglesey and Ysgol y Preseli in Pembrokeshire, widespread computer usage seemed to be a key feature that set them apart.

Lead researcher Dr Stevie Upton says that each school kept extensive online records on every single pupil, including information about their attendance, homework completion, support received and behaviour. Pupils with problems were quickly ‘red flagged’ for extra assistance.

Each school also had high expectations for each pupil, and every youngster was mentored by a single teacher. Upton’s report recommends that the Welsh Assembly Government provides funding for under-performing schools to learn from betterperforming ones. But she believes that the way for everyone to achieve success, is for schools to visit one another regularly to learn about daily operating procedures.

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Category: e-Education, Winter 2011

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