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What Works Well: Further guidance on adding a case study

Case Study
  • Authored by: Lorraine Dawes
  • Co-authored by: Rachel Britton
  • Status: Approved


What were your reasons for doing this type of development work?

Entering your case study online

There are 4 chapters or pages; some are subdivided into tabs. There are 11 tabs altogether with questions on. Tick the tags relevant to your case study, and enter text in the boxes. Some questions are 'required': you will not be able to publish until these are completed. When all the required questions on a page are completed and saved, the little yellow warning flag next to the page name disappears.  The Publish button appears when every required question in the case study is completed.

Move from tab to tab by using the tabs or page headings, or clicking the Next tab / Previous tab or Next page / Previous page.

Saving Your entries are automatically saved to the server when you move to Next page or click Save (but not automatically saved when you move to the Next tab). Keep saving regularly. If you stay on one page too long without saving or moving on to the next page (even though you are working on different tabs) the site may log you out and you will lose your work.

Do not use the Back button on your browser - you will lose what you have just entered. 

Be patient while the pages load If you click a command more than once before the page has loaded, the site will think another person is editing the case study and will not allow you to save. Close the case study by moving to the case studies page and access it again if this happens.

Preview   Above the title are two tabs, View and Edit. Click View to see how your case study will look when published. Click Edit to return to edit mode.

Who can see my case study?  Until you publish, no-one can see your case study except you, your co-authors (if you have any) and the WWW coordinators. Once you publish, it is available to the whole online world, so make sure it is as you would wish. Please proofread it before you publish.

Co-authors  Add co-author(s) on the Introduction - Contacts tab. Co-authors can edit your case study, but only you can publish. Co-authors need to be registered on the NS site. If you wish to add a contact without co-author rights, select 'Other'.

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Hyperlinks  In Edit mode, highlight the text you wish to link from and the link icons will appear. Click the Insert/edit link icon to enter the url and choose whether to open in the same or a new window/tab.

Adding files to support your description  When you are in Edit mode, you can click on Upload related information to upload a file from your computer. You can upload documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, audio files, video files, etc . The maximum size per upload is 5Mb. Upload files below the relevant question and refer to them in the text. Save the page after uploading files.  If they do not relate to a particular question but to the whole case study, upload them on the Summary page under Related information. If you have added a lot of useful files that readers might wish to download, it is handy if you put them in one zipfile on the Summary page as well.

If you need any help with files for your case study, please contact the WWW Coordinators.

Child Images  Please be aware that the NS site does not allow images of children, even if you have parental permission; if you upload any, the WWW Coordinators will obscure faces on still images, and remove videos. Audio files are fine. (WWW coordinators can get audio files made from your videos.) Please contact the coordinators before you publish if you need help or advice about permitted images or making pupils' work or progress data anonymous.

Copyright issues: Before uploading, please check your files for images from elsewhere, ClipArt, etc. By publishing online, you may be breaching copyright or licences. Do not upload files including content published by others unless you have the copyright owner's permission to do so. (See Terms and Conditions in footer) A useful source of creative commons clipart is www.openclipart.org

Deletion  Should you wish to delete your case study, contact the WWW coordinators who will do this for you.

Password: If you forget your password and request a new one, and the email doesn't arrive, look in your junk mail.

What Works Well Coordinators


WWW Coordinators are here to support authors in publishing case studies. Please contact us if you have any queries or wish to talk about your case study. We are always pleased to discuss your case study with you. If you'd like us to ring you back, please give a telephone number.


Who might find this case study useful?

  • Head of school improvement
  • Headteacher
  • LA adviser
  • Leading teacher
  • Senior leadership team (SLT)
  • Subject leader
  • Teacher
  • Teaching assistant

Key points

What Works Well logo

Point 1

Worth reading before you start entering a case study

Point 2

The What Works Well questions (in Word format) are available on the Introduction page


  • Author: Lorraine Dawes
  • Co-author: Rachel Britton


What specific curriculum area, subject or aspect did you intend to have impact on?

  • English - writing

How did you intend to impact on pupil learning?

(You'll notice some of the questions have been completed, as in 'English - Writing' above. This is because certain questions must be answered before the case study can be published, so I had to put something.)

This question is about intentions, rather than what you actually did or the impact it had. Record here what you initially thought you would have impact on, with specific reference to impact on pupil learning.  Describe how you intended to improve your pupils' learning and achievement (e.g., you may have intended to improve teaching, curriculum, pedagogy, teaching support, resources, pupils' attitudes to learning, pupils' attendance, pupils learning skills, etc). How did you intend to bring these improvements about?

What were your success criteria?

How would you know you had succeeded? Your success criteria should include a measure of improved learning. You will have the opportunity to specify how you were going to measure whether these success criteria had been met in the next question.

PLEASE NOTE this page has three tabs - click 'Next tab' below or use tabs above to see Teaching approaches and CPD approaches

What information or data did you use to measure progress towards your success criteria?

  • Periodic teacher assessment

What did you do? What teaching approaches (pedagogy) did you use to achieve the intended impact?

  • Peer coaching

Describe the teaching approaches you used

These 'What did you do?' sections are the place to put your description of all you did. Include everything you wish to.

The reader will want to know what you did and how you went about it; who was involved and how; what the pitfalls were and how you overcame them; how long things took. Select the relevant points to include as appropriate to your case study:

  • Assessment and planning:
    • How you identified the focus pupils
    • How you analysed their needs (e.g., did you use APP?)
    • Learning objectives identified for focus pupils
  • Overview of typical lesson
    • What you did and what the pupils did (e.g., guided group work, whole class teaching)
    • Roles of all staff present (e.g., class teacher, consultant, support staff, observers, supporting individuals/groups)
    • Teaching approaches and activities and resources used
    • How the pupils worked (e.g., whole-class talk, talk partners, collaborative groups, individually, what they did to achieve learning, how they applied/recorded their learning)
  • Pupil response to lesson
    • What worked well
    • What wasn't so successful
    • Whether their learning evident in their later work
    • Self assessment and peer assessment
  • Post-lesson discussions/reflections on:
    • the learning of the target children
    • the efficacy of the teaching methods
    • how these considerations informed future planning.

If your case study is about a Local Authority initiative, describe the teaching approaches and pedagogy you advocate. Consider adding further detail as above, or encourage participating teachers to add their own case study.

What teaching resources did you use?

List relevant teaching resources used. Include links if they are available online.

What did you do? What approaches to CPD and learning for adults were used?

  • Learning conversation

Describe the CPD approaches you used

Use this field to elaborate on the options you chose in the previous question. Think about the ways in which adults were learning to change and improve their practice. Describe the aim and  content of CPD programmes. Give an idea of the timescale involved, and explain who led and participated in the CPD (roles, not names).

List If you worked with another teacher (e.g., in a leading teacher programme, or as partner teachers within a school), please describe this fully.

  • How far ahead was this planned?
  • How did you prepare for the lesson together?
  • What was the teacher's role during your lessons?

Describe post-lesson discussions reflecting on the learning of the target pupils and the efficacy of the teaching methods

  • Was it structured with discussion points?
  • What did a typical discussion involve?
  • Did you plan future lessons together?
  • How many meetings and teaching visits were there altogether?
  • How was the teacher release for meetings/partnership teaching enabled?

If you have any examples of what you did eg action plan, INSET programmes, training materials, policy development, guidelines, before and after surveys, etc. that you could share, this would help readers of the case study to gain a fuller picture. Materials can be uploaded by clicking the [^] icon next to a question.

What CPD materials, research or expertise have you drawn on?

Please provide specific details of any materials such as

  • commercially available literature or materials
  • research materials
  • web links
  • materials from National Strategies, QCA, etc.
  • any expert help (from a local consultant, lead teacher, university department, etc.)

It is helpful to add where they can be accessed (eg publisher, web address)

Who provided you with support?

  • Leading teacher
  • Local authority staff

How were you supported?

What helped you..... At school level? Beyond school level (for example cluster/network level)? At LA level?

This field is for recording what support was most useful to you. For example, if you were in a partnership of some kind, or if an external agency such as a consultant, adviser or training provider was very useful to you, or if you were supported by colleagues from other schools, this is where you should describe that support, and so alert other people to useful support structures.


What has been the overall impact on pupil learning?

How have learning outcomes changed and improved? Identify changes you have measured in identified pupils' learning as well as changes you anticipate. Be as explicit as possible about the number of pupils from the target group whose learning has measurably improved.

Describe how pupils' learning has changed. (eg rate of progress, attainment, awareness of own learning, attitudes to learning, collaborative and other learning skills, etc). Was it all pupils or just the target group? Was there any unanticipated impact? Be as explicit as you can.

Thoughts you think are relevant to overall impact on learning

You have probably reflected on pupils' learning - put your thoughts here.

Quotes you think are relevant to overall impact on learning

As you do the work, make a note of any feedback or comments from pupils, teachers, teaching assistants, parents, school leaders, Local Authority, Ofsted. Include any relevant quotes about the impact on pupil learning here.

Quantitative evidence of impact on pupil learning

  • Periodic teacher assessment

Qualitative evidence of impact on pupil learning

  • Observation outcomes

Describe the evidence of impact on pupil learning

This is the information that makes your case study convincing. You must describe evidence of improvement in learning - use teacher assessment to show pupil progress, for example. Try to express this where possible in common currency – i.e. national curriculum levels.

Use the tags to identify the evidence you have collected.

If you upload data and/or qualitative evidence as files, explain here what the evidence shows.

Data need not only be test results - it can be teacher assessment judgements showing progress over time. Qualitative evidence can be very convincing - examples of a pupil's work over time, with commentary; pupils' learning logs where they describe their own progress.

If you are uploading pupils' work or progress data, make sure it is anonymous. Use Pupil A, Pupil B, etc. if necessary. If you have lots of picture files of pupils' work, it is helpful to the reader if you paste them all into one document or ppt. See below for guidance.

If you need help with making pupils' work anonymous, please contact the WWW coordinator, who will be pleased to help.


What has been the impact on teaching?

How has teaching changed and improved? Be as explicit as possible about the number of teachers involved and the extent of the impact. Describe how teaching has changed (eg curriculum, planning, teaching methods, teaching styles, assessment for learning, resources, communication with learners etc). How widespread has the impact been? Do you expect it to be sustained?

Quotes you think are relevant to the impact on teaching

As you do the work, make a note of any feedback or comments from pupils, teachers, teaching assistants, parents, school leaders, Local Authority, Ofsted. Include any relevant quotes about the impact on teaching here.

Evidence of impact on teaching

  • Teacher perceptions

Describe the evidence of impact on teaching

Describe your evidence, for example by entering observation outcomes. If you upload examples of curriculum planning and/or other evidence as files, explain here what the evidence shows.

What has been the impact on school organisation and leadership?

Have there been improvements in school organisation and/or school leadership? Has what you discovered become part of school policy or practice, for example? If your development work has resulted in any changes in school organisation, describe them here.

  • What is in place now that wasn't before?
  • Have any procedures been streamlined?
  • Have things that developed now become embedded?

School leadership includes subject or phase leadership as well as senior leadership

If there has been no such impact, explain this, eg 'Not applicable to this case study - impact only at classroom level.' (It is a required field so you have to put something in.)

Quotes you think are relevant to overall impact on school organisation and leadership

As you do the work, make a note of any feedback or comments from pupils, teachers, teaching assistants, parents, school leaders, Local Authority, Ofsted. Include any relevant quotes about the impact on school organisation and leadership here

Evidence of impact on school organisation and leadership

Examples might include:

  • improved leadership practices e.g. Middle leaders now have a greater role in school improvement planning and increased awareness of the need to collaborate within and across departments; and Tracking pupil progress against longer term prior attainment is helping trigger early intervention.
  • improved documentation e.g. curriculum map, and Whole school adoption of AfL, leading to Teaching & Learning policy embedding this practice.


What is the crucial thing that made the difference?

Try to sum up the essential element that has made the difference to pupils' learning.

What key resources would people who want to learn from your experience need access to?

Consider the specific materials, workshops, seminars, web links, books, people or resources you found were essential to this development.

What CPD session and resources were particularly useful?

Think about the specific materials, workshops, seminars, web links, books or people you found helped you most. For any that you list here, be sure to provide a description on the CPD approaches tab of the What page.

If another individual or school was attempting to replicate this work, where would they start and what would the essential elements be?

Essential elements could include, for example, a particular pedagogy, leadership or team approach, resources, CPD, priority status, dedicated time, whole-school approach, etc. Include especially things that you found essential later and wished you'd considered at the start.

What further developments are you planning to do (or would you like to see others do)?

What work might you do next (or would you like to see others do) in this area? What work should others consider doing?

Miscellaneous additional information

If you have any additional information which you you would like to include but are unsure where to place it, please include in this section. The WWW coordinator will review what you have entered and add the text or uploads into the most appropriate section on your behalf.

Related information

Date edited by author

Mon, 24/01/2011 - 15:44

3 ratings


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  • What Works Well: Further guidance on adding a case study