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Videos, audio and podcasts (19)

In this conversation, Coonabarabran High School Principal, Mary Doolan and CESE’s Rydr Tracy, discuss how Coonabarabran has applied the evidence base from ‘What works best’ in their school.

It is available in video and audio. Download the transcript (PDF, 130kB)

CESE’s 'What works best' resources support schools and teachers to use evidence-based teaching practices that are known to improve student outcomes. Access them below.

What works best: 2020 update

What works best in practice

What works best toolkit


This audio paper explores how Blue Haven Public School has achieved rapid and substantial improvements in student academic performance through evidence-based practices.

Read by Sally Kohlmayer, CESE.

Download the transcript (PDF, 140kB).

Go to the full paper.



CESE talks to school leaders from two NSW schools about how they provide a supportive learning environment for their students.

Featuring: Samuel Cox, CESE.
Murray Kitteringham and Melanie Check, Sir Joseph Banks High School.
Helen Polios, Whalan Public School.

Read the transcript (PDF, 106kB)

Read the supporting students' learning publications. 

The What works best: 2020 update audio paper outlines eight quality teaching practices that are known to support school improvement and enhance the learning outcomes of our students. The themes are not an exhaustive list of effective practices, but are a useful framework for teachers and school leaders to consider when deciding how to tackle student improvement.

Read by Rachel Smith, Samuel Cox and Vicki Russell.

Read the What works best: 2020 update publication.

Friday, 16 November 2018

What works best - audio paper

What works best in schools to improve student outcomes? This paper will look at the following seven themes from the growing bank of evidence.

1. Setting high expectations (5:32)
2. Using explicit teaching practices (15:30)
3. Providing effective feedback (23:33)
4. Using data to inform future practice (30:01)
5. Establishing and maintaining effective classroom management (38:00)
6. Supporting student wellbeing (43:35)
7. Engaging in effective professional collaboration (53:28)

Read by Samuel Cox, CESE.

Download the transcript (PDF, 204kB)

Go to the full paper.

what works best

This audio paper summarises four evidence-based practices to improve student literacy and numeracy outcomes at school.
1. Intervene early and maintain the focus.
2. Know what students can do and target teaching accordingly.
3. Have clear and transparent learning goals
4. Focus on teacher professional learning that improves the teaching of literacy and numeracy.
The paper also examines the research on the importance of literacy and numeracy skills to individuals and to society more broadly, including employment outcomes, the economy, social inclusion, health, and other variables.

Download the transcript (PDF, 122kB).

Go to the publication. 

Wednesday, 09 May 2018

Student wellbeing - audio paper


This audio paper explores how student wellbeing is defined, the relationship between wellbeing, schools and outcomes, and school elements in improving student wellbeing.

Read by Kate Griffiths, CESE.
Download the transcript (PDF, 141kB) or go to the full publication


Emerging evidence suggests that the NSW government-school community is increasingly concerned about the workload of its principals. CESE commissioned Deloitte to conduct an independent research study into principal workload and time use.
This audio paper looks at some of the key findings:
• What tasks do principals spend their time on?
• Is the current principal workload achievable and sustainable?
• Has there been a change in either the quantity or nature of principals’ work in recent years?
• Could the leadership or decision-making culture of schools change in any way to help principals manage their workload?
Read by Natalie Johnston-Anderson, CESE.

Download the Principal workload report (PDF, 2.4 MB). 

Download the audio paper transcript (PDF, 62 kB)


This audio paper summarises the evidence on the effectiveness of school-based anti-bullying interventions, and describes the characteristics common to effective interventions. A significant body of research indicates that school-based anti-bullying interventions can be successful in reducing bullying behaviours. Effective anti-bullying interventions are characterised by a whole-school approach, evidence-based educational content, support and professional development for teachers, and rigorous program implementation and evaluation.

Read by Bridget O'Keefe, CESE.

Read the full publication

Have you ever wondered why some high performing schools are able to achieve great educational outcomes? This audio paper looks at a group of high performing schools in the NSW Fairfield network and the effective practices they use.

Read by Natalie Johnston-Anderson, CESE.

Read the full report.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Cognitive load theory - audio paper

Research that teachers really need to understand. Cognitive load theory is a theory of how the human brain learns and stores knowledge. It was recently described by British educationalist Dylan Wiliam as 'the single most important thing for teachers to know'. Grounded in a robust evidence base, cognitive load theory provides support for explicit models of instruction.

Read by Sally Kohlmayer, CESE.

Read the full publication.

Thinking evaluatively is important for identifying what works and encouraging continuous improvement. This audio paper sets out five conditions for effective evaluation in education, giving practical advice for both educators and policy makers. 

Read by Rydr Tracy, CESE.

Go to the Effective evaluation report. 

Teachers discuss how data can make a difference in schools. 
In this podcast, high school Head Teacher, Ben North, and Deputy Principals, Karyn O'Brien and Daniel French, give us an insight into how data can make a difference in schools. They discuss why knowing how to use data is important for teachers, the tools and resources that are available to schools and examples of where using data has improved student engagement and achievement in schools. Ben, Karyn and Daniel are all teachers who are currently on secondment in CESE. They work on a range of projects, including delivering Scout training and professional learning sessions about using data with confidence.

Read the transcript (PDF, 130kB)

Using data to inform practice is one of the seven key themes outlined in CESE's What works best report.

CESE research has found that High Value-Add (HVA) schools share a common focus on six key practices.
This audio paper describes six effective practices common to NSW government schools that achieved high growth in NAPLAN between 2010 and 2014. These HVA schools showed a strong positive institutional culture that emphasised academic, professional and personal development and strong engagement among students, teachers and the leadership group.

Read by Natalie Johnston-Anderson, CESE.

Read our paper on Six effective practices in high growth schools. This research has recently been extended in-depth in the new CESE publication, Sustaining Success: A case study of effective practices in Fairfield HVA schools.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Effective leadership - audio paper


Principals have a substantial impact on student outcomes.

This audio paper outlines the research evidence on what makes an effective principal and the best ways to identify, develop and support aspiring school principals.

Read by Rachel Smith, CESE.

Read our full paper on Effective leadership.


Reading is a foundational, yet complex cognitive skill upon which other skills are built.

Research on the teaching of reading in the early years of school has consistently identified five key components of effective reading programs: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. This audio paper summarises the research regarding why these five elements are important, as well as how they should be taught in the classroom.

Read by Sally Kohlmayer, CESE.

Read our report on Effective Reading Instruction in the Early Years of School.

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