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To what extent

students in 7A

Given the nature of 7A (a group we both teach) who are a boy-heavy middle ability group, we were interested in the relative achievement of boys and girls in this class as well as students with EAL, SEN and pupil premium. We were particularly interested in investigating the impact that students can have upon each other in group work in terms of their achievement, interpersonal skills and engagement with their learning. We were also interested to discover how these areas might compare in the very different subjects of Maths and Drama.

have upon their

Actions taken with rationale

does varying strategies for grouping 

 resilience and perceptions of themselves as learners?

Student surveys were taken at the start and the end of the research period, asking students to state preferences between student, teacher and randomised groupings and to reflect upon how these groupings affected their achievement and engagement in both subjects. Students were grouped based on friendship/student choice, random selection and teacher selection – using a range of indicators such as behaviour, leadership, compatibility and prior attainment. Students completed a variety of group tasks such as compiling a test for another group and creating a group performance in response to an image. Students were marked for their achievement (maths and drama) as well as for their collaboration (drama). Some of the group tasks were also followed up by a questionnaire about the effectiveness of the group and the students’ perception of how successfully they had completed the task. During the research lessons, a small number of students were observed and their achievement and engagement recorded. A selection of students was interviewed about the grouping strategies at the end of the research period. Findings

J Bullock
 J Schmidt

We were surprised and pleased by the high levels of collaboration between students in self-selected groups. In observed lessons, there was a strong sense of trust and confidence between the students as well as a clear sense of enjoyment and collaboration. Students en-


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Illumination: An Enlightened Enquiry  

Illumination: An Enlightened Enquiry