Raising Achievement Pocketbook by Caroline Bentley-Davies – a review

The Pocketbook series is a well-established brand which provide excellent overviews of different aspects related to education . The new title in this series, Raising Achievement, is no different in that you can dip in and quickly pick out a gem of an idea which you can implement in your teaching straight away. Alternatively, you can read it from cover to cover relatively speedily and gain an overview of a suite of ideas which can impact upon the achievement of your students.

Like Caroline Bentley-Davies’ other titles in this series, Outstanding Lessons and Literacy Across the Curriculum, Raising Acheivement covers a huge area in education. The core areas in the book are identifying what achievement looks like, effective feedback, classroom climate, mindsets, CPD, involving stakeholders and assessment. As you can see from this brief list, this is a wide scope for such a small book to cover effectively. However, Bentley-Davies manages skilfully to introduce the key ideas in the latest thinking in the areas the book covers as well as offer initial ideas to begin to improve teaching practice. This gives the reader an excellent starting point to improve which then can be built upon using complimentary books which cover specific areas in greater depth.

The book also excels in providing a strong theoretical background. Bentley-Davies is able to communicate a number of complex and complicated theoretical ideas simply and her explanations get to the heart of the matter enabling a clarity of understanding which her teaching ideas build upon. 

Overall, this is a very useful book which is an extremely useful introduction to a suite of modern ideas and tools which  enable all teachers, regardless of experience, to sharpen their practice and improve the achievement of their students in their classrooms. Highly recommended. 


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