English secondary schools are currently exploring innovations which allow teachers to work closely with pupils in setting targets for attainment, but the formal structures of English schools frequently mean that teachers lack the range of detailed academic and personal knowledge to discharge this tasks as effectively as they might. This article describes an organisational model deployed in secondary comprehensive schools in the Saarland which offers a different approach to teaching and monitoring pupils' work and classroom performance. The team/small group (T/SG) model is described in operation at two urban comprehensive schools. Evidence on its impact on whole school, group and individual learning is presented. Whilst the model has some limitations, especially at whole school level, its potential for supporting effective monitoring of pupil work and offering a stable learning environment is of some interest.