Working above standard in literacy and numeracy in primary school

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Despite an historical recognition that research is lacking on the occurrence of school students’ academic regression after a period of over-achievement, there continues to be little research conducted into the phenomenon. In particular, there is little research that examines the phenomenon from the perspective of students. The Working Above Standard Project (WASP) explored what was happening for students at a rural Victorian primary school who were, at the time of the study or at some stage in their primary schooling, identified as “working above standard” (WAS) in literacy and/or numeracy. This mixed method study was initiated by the school, and two staff members formed a research team with three university researchers for 12 months in 2017. Phase 1 involved the identification of students who had at some stage been identified as WAS in literacy or numeracy using analyses of data that the school had collected for student monitoring purposes. Analysis of student data led to the identification of twenty students in year 6 as meeting the WAS definition, and these students were invited to participate in a qualitative online survey. Three factors were found to be important to the students in the WASP: social interaction and friendships; teachers; and having a sense of belonging to the school through art, drama and sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-501
Number of pages17
JournalIssues in Educational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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