A general glossary of terms used in schools:


Accredited Programmes

formal qualifications usually awarded by a university, for networked learning and professional development activities e.g. MA, MEd, and diplomas.

Action research

systematic enquiry designed to yield practical results capable of improving a specific aspect of practice and made public to enable scrutiny and testing.


Beacon Schools

schools identified as amongst the best performing in the country and representing examples of successful practice which are brought to the attention of the rest of the education service with the aim of spreading the effective practices.


British Educational Communications and Technology Agency.


the combined observable responses of a person to internal and external stimuli.

Behaviour Management

structure and support to pupils to develop appropriate behaviour by building on the pupils” strengths and developing their confidence in their own abilities.


Classroom management

the management of student behaviour and learning activities by teachers by, for example, designing learning activities in ways that structure relationships to support learning, the use of rewards and sanctions and negotiating classroom “rules” or codes of conduct.


classroom observation and feedback of specific aspects of practice by colleagues or by external CPD providers.

Correctional institution

such as young offenders” institutions, but not pupil referral units.


intervention involving the provision of advice or support on a personal basis, by someone who has been trained to provide that support.


cross curriculum studies (e.g. key/core skills).


Design & Technology

planning and executing the manipulation of wood, plastic, metal, food or textile materials for functional purposes.


Department for Children, Schools and Families, previously the DfES: Department for Education and Skills.

Directed numbers

In using numbers to represent situations we sometimes need to know the direction as well as the size of the number. An example of this is with temperature where a direction is chosen as positive (+) and the opposite direction is taken as negative (-). So if above zero degrees is positive (+), then below zero degrees is negative.


pupils who are alienated from their educational experiences, resulting in demotivation or other negative attitudes to learning.

Distributed leadership

strategies to enable curriculum and pastoral leaders in schools to take an active role in school development.



any aspect of the teaching and learning of English as an additional language.

Early childhood education

pupils aged from birth to 5 and through grades K-3 in the USA.


Education Action Zones are bodies established to raise standards and innovate in groups of schools in disadvantaged areas.

Effect size

is a way of quantifying the difference between two groups. For example, in this study, one group of classes has had an ‘experimental’ treatment and the other has not (the ‘control’). The effect size is a measure of the effectiveness of the treatment. An effect size of 0.4 for example means that the average person in the experimental group is higher than 66% of the control group.

Elementary education

schools that cater for pupils in kindergarten or grade 1 through grade 6, 7 or 8 in the USA, covers ages 6 to 14.

Elementary secondary education

schools that cater for pupils kindergarten or grade 1 through grade 12 in the USA, covers ages 6 to 18.

Equal Opportunities

education that is concerned with the participation and learning of all types of students, including education for children with special needs (e.g. learning difficulties, gifted children), and inclusive education. generally.

Ethnic minority children

children who are in a minority because of differences in race, culture, country of origin or religion.


of or pertaining to combinations of race, culture, nationality and/or religion.


First schools

schools that cater for pupils age 4-8. Formative assessmentintervention involving the use of specific evidence about attainment to develop more effective teaching and learning.

Foundation Stage

children aged 4-5 who may be in either Reception or Year 1.



General Certificate of Education.


General National Vocational Qualificationvocational qualifications taken mainly by pupils age 16 and in full-time education.


members of an educational institution”s governing body, which may include teachers or parents. They play a role in the strategic management of the educational institution. GTCEThe General Teaching Council for England aims to raise the status of the teaching profession, provide a professional voice for teachers, listen to and work for teachers and guarantee high standards of teaching and learning.


the General Teaching Council for Wales, the independent, self-regulating body for the teaching profession in Wales.


Hidden curriculum

Beliefs, values and understandings that are passed on to the pupil or student, not explicitly, but unconsciously and implicitly through the organisation of the institution.

Home education

formal education which takes place at home.



Information and communication technology in this context specifically learning about computers or new technology. NOT including distance learning or learning other subjects using computers.

Infant schools

schools that cater for pupils age 5-7.


the successful education of all students (whether with or without disabilities, disadvantages, etc.) together in the same schools and classrooms, while celebrating the resulting diversity, including various abilities and cultures.

Independent school

education which takes place in the private sector (e.g. “public schools” in the UK).


(in-service education and training for teachers) interventions that are provided through the process of updating teachers and professionals after their initial qualification e.g. short course, day conferences, secondments etc.

Inter-school visitation

shared learning (adult, leadership or pupil) through purposeful visits and exchanges between participating schools e.g. “touring workshops”, “learning walks”, teacher/leader exchanges, fellowships.


Information Technology see ICT.


Junior high schools

schools that cater for pupils grades 7, 8 and 9 – less commonly 7 and 8, or 8 and 9 in the USA, covers ages 12 to 15.

Junior schools

schools that cater for pupils age 7-11.


Key skills

any of the key skills curricula e.g. the application of number, communication and ICT at Key Stage 4.

Key Stages

The National Curriculum is divided into four key stages according to pupils” ages; what must be taught varies between the Key Stages.
Key Stage One: Infant School (6-7 years).
Key Stage Two: Junior School (7-11 years).
Key Stage Three: Lower Secondary School (12-13 years).
Key Stage Four: Upper Secondary School (14-16 years).


In the Netherlands kindergarten is a 2-year pre-school programme which starts at age 4. The children in this study were in their second year of kindergarten and averaged 5 years 10 months.



Local Education Authority, which provides a wide range of services to support schools, including information about advisory, finance, personnel and information and communications technology services as well as covering school management, special educational needs support services, the Education Client Unit and services for Governors.

Learning styles

different preferred approaches to learning e.g. Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic (VAK), Howard Gardner”s Multiple Intelligences etc.

Learning support assistants (LSA)

ancillary staff supporting pupils” learning on a group or individual basis.

Literacy-first language

literacy education including reading, writing, oracy (speaking and listening) in the first/primary language (i.e. English in the UK curriculum).

Literacy-further languages

further languages, including modern foreign languages and classical languages.

Living books

Books presented on computer, accompanied by such features as animations or karaoke texts.


Learning and Skills Council, previously the Further Education Funding Council.


Learning and Skills Development Agency, formally FEDA – Further Education Development Agency.



Integration of children with special educational needs into the normal school system.


curriculum studies in the area of mathematics education; includes numeracy, arithmetic, geometry, statistics and algebra.


an intervention by a trusted and experienced professional or fellow student who has direct interest in the development or education of a less experienced individual.

Middle schools

schools that cater for pupils age 8-12.

Mixed sex

covers both males and females.


any part of a word which carries distinct meaning. For example the word ‘worked’ can be broken into two morphemes: ‘work’ and ‘ed’, meaning the action took place in the past. In this case ‘ed’ is a suffix as it comes after the stem (main word). A morpheme like ‘re’, as in ‘rework’, is called a prefix as it comes before the stem.


modern foreign languages.

Multiple intelligences

theory by Howard Gardner (1983) that defines intelligence as not being a single or fixed capacity. The theory offers a range of preferred approaches to learning. They are linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Each one is a system in it”s own right and independent from others, although they do interact.


National Curriculum

this is a framework given to teachers by government that sets out the most important knowledge and skills that every child has a right to learn and at what stage; it also gives standards that measure how children are doing in each subject. It covers the ages 5-16 and is divided into Key Stages.


National Literacy Strategy. A DfES initiative for teaching literacy in primary schools.


National Numeracy Strategy. A DfES initiative for teaching numeracy in primary schools.

Non-teaching staff

staff members who do not teach, and whose role within the educational institution is administrative/ organisational, e.g. school secretaries.


newly qualified teachers still in their probationary period of teaching.


the teaching of the use of numbers and basic competencies in Mathematics from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 3.

Nursery school

early childhood education (USA); early years (UK); nursery school (UK) ages 2 to 5; preschool education (UK/USA), playgroups (UK), cr�che, kindergarten.


Organisation and management

the organisation, planning and development, ethos, governance, leadership and management, transition etc, at the level of the educational institutions (e.g. school, college, university etc).

Other education practitioners

Representatives from other educational bodies, including interest/advisory groups; school governing bodies and parent support groups.



the linked processes of teaching and learning.

Peer Coaching

intervention involving the provision, advice or support on a personal or group basis, by a colleague or fellow student of relatively similar status, age or experience.


a distinct unit of sound in a language. Although phonemes are represented by letters, they are not the same thing as letters. The phoneme /f/ for example can be represented by the letter ‘f’ or by the combined letters ‘ph’.

Practitioner Enquiry

Purposeful and systematic investigation e.g. action enquiry in the course of practice, desk study, shared reading, DfES Best Practice Research Scholarships.

Preschool education

schools that cater for pupils age 0-4.

Primary school

elementary education (USA); infant school (UK); intermediate grade (USA); junior school (UK); primary education (UK/USA); year 1 to 6 (UK); Key Stages 1 and 2 (England Wales).

Professional training

intervention involving the provision of training through courses and workshops that emphasise the practical, information and skills which may lead to professional accreditation or academic awards.


curriculum studies in the area of personal health and social education (including sex education but not including citizenship).

Pupil learning

the acquisition by pupils of knowledge, attitudes or skills from study, instruction or experience.

Pupil Referral Units (PRUs)

are legally a type of school established and maintained by a local education authority to provide education for children of compulsory school age who may otherwise not receive suitable education.


Residential school

education that takes place in a residential setting, e.g. boarding school.


School improvement

Sustained approaches to improving pupil attainment.

Secondary school

comprehensive school (UK); grade 7 to grade 12 (USA); grammar school (UK); high school (USA); junior high school (USA); secondary education (UK/USA); secondary modern education (UK); senior school (USA); sixteen to nineteen (UK); sixth form (UK); year 7 to year 13 (UK); Key Stages 3 and 4 (England & Wales).

SEN teachers

teachers of pupils with special educational needs in mainstream or special schools.


co-ordinators of special education in one or more phases or Key Stages.

Senior management

those with responsibility in any educational institution for the strategic leadership and management of a whole organisation. This will include the person with ultimate responsibility for the educational institution under study. In the school setting, the term “headteacher” is typically used (“principal” in the USA., Canada and Australia); the term “principal” is often used in a college setting, the term “vice-chancellor” in a university setting.

Special educational needs

the needs of pupils who have learning difficulties or disabilities which significantly affects access to the curriculum and who appear on the school”s special needs register at all stages.

Special needs school

schools which are exclusively for those with learning difficulties or physical disabilities.

Specialist schools

schools that have developed a particular specialist character and ethos employing it to raise standards in their particular specialism or generally across the school.


the main part of a word to which a morpheme / morphemes can be added. For example in the word ‘uncomfortable’, ‘comfort’ is the stem, ‘un-‘ is the prefix, and ‘-able’ is the suffix.

Student/ pupil voice

meaningful involvement of pupils in teaching, learning or school organisation e.g. through pupil research and pupil/teacher collaborative research, school councils, other democratic structures, curriculum advisory groups, peer mentoring or teaching.

Study Group

a collaborative professional learning team with a shared focus working to develop resources and/or solutions on behalf of colleagues beyond the group.

Subject co-ordinators

co-ordinators of a subject in one or more phases or Key Stages.

Summative assessment

an evaluation undertaken at the conclusion of an activity or learning event to determine the effectiveness on pupil learning.


Teacher careers

includes initial teacher training, continuing professional development, life-histories, career structures, workload, stress, supply and retention

Teacher outcomes

the impact of intervention or experience on teachers” knowledge, attitudes, behaviours or skills.

Team teaching

a system whereby two or more teachers pool their skills, knowledge etc to jointly develop, plan and teach combined classes.

Thinking skills

“higher-order” cognitive skills that enable human beings to comprehend experiences and information, apply knowledge, express complex concepts, make decisions, criticize and revise unsuitable constructs, and solve problems.


intervention involving the provision of information, materials or opportunities for practice and experiment, on specific aspects of teaching or learning.


the transfer of pupils from primary to secondary school (years 6 and 7) or the pupils” ability to use learning acquired in one context in another context.


pupils” transition between Key Stages.


Workplace education

includes apprenticeships and modern apprenticeships; continuing professional development.


provision of information or materials provided through workshops with the aim of imparting knowledge which can be cascaded to various groups e.g. students, teachers, governors, parents.