chapter  1
30 Pages

Tackling underachievement: Maximising opportunities for all pupils in an inclusive setting

ByBELLE WALLACE

During the years 2006-2007, the writers who have contributed to this book carried out case-study researches in twelve schools: five secondary and seven primary schools in the UK. The overall purpose of the case studies was to highlight the practical strategies that successfully enabled the transformation of pupils’ high potential into high achievement. The initial research was jointly funded by London Gifted and Talented (London G + T) and the National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE). A summary of this research is published by NACE (Wallace et al. 2007) (in conjunction with London G + T) entitled Raising the Achievement of Able, Gifted and Talented Pupils within an Inclusive School Framework. (Copies of the summary can be obtained from [email protected])

The aim of this book is to explore teaching and learning strategies that will maximise opportunities for all learners’ gifts and talents to be discovered and nurtured; hence, we have some reservations in referring to some pupils as ‘gifted’, especially with regard to very young learners. Therefore, throughout the text, we use a variety of terms such as ‘able’, ‘more able’, potentially able’, as well as ‘gifted’ and ‘potentially gifted’. It is only life experiences and appropriate opportunities, together with the determination and stamina of each individual, that will bring potential gifts and talents to fruition. In addition, throughout this text, the schools that are referred to are the twelve case-study schools that took part in the original case-study research; however, the authors make generalisations about best practice that apply to all schools.