Ofsted English Report
The quality of pupils’ learning was hampered in weaker lessons by a number of ‘myths’ about what makes a good lesson. The factors that most commonly limited learning included: an excessive pace; an overloading of activities; inflexible planning; and limited time for pupils to work independently. Learning was also constrained in schools where teachers concentrated too much or too early on a narrow range of test or examination skills.
WHY DO YOU THINK THIS MIGHT BE, MESSRS OFSTED?! I CAN ANSWER THAT: TEACHERS BEING TOLD TO HURRY UP, PACK IN MORE INFORMATION, BECAUSE OF THE BLOOMIN' TESTS WHICH YOU POLICE. OF COURSE TEACHERS TEACH TO THE TEST BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HEADTEACHERS OFTEN TELL THEM TO DO. WHENEVER THERE'S THE SLIGHTEST OF DIPS IN TEST AND EXAM SCORES, WHAT HAPPENS IS THAT WORK IN CLASS SHIFTS EVEN MORE TO DRILL, SKILL AND SKILL. WHY NOT SAY THAT? WHY NOT ADMIT THAT THAT IS THE PROBLEM INSTEADOF BLAMING IT ON TEACHERS?
The most successful schools were those that had identified the particular needs of their pupils and then designed a distinctive curriculum to meet those needs.
YES, YES, YES - WE'VE BEEN SAYING THAT FOR YEARS. BUT REMEMBER THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE LAST THIRTY YEARS TRUMPETED FROM MINISTERS IS THAT THIS WAS SOFTY CHILD-CENTRED CRAP OF THE 'PROGRESSIVE' ERA?
This report includes some examples of good practice but the majority of schools visited did not have systematic procedures in place to develop good literacy practice across all departments.
HAH! MY DEAR DAD CO-WROTE A BOOK ABOUT THIS IN THE 1960s. 'BECOMING OUR OWN EXPERTS' NOW PUBLISHED ONLINE AND LINKED TO ON THIS BLOG, TALKED ABOUT THIS SORT OF THING IN THE 1970s. WHAT HAVE YOU AND YOUR ILK DONE TO IMPLEMENT ANY OF THOSE PROPOSALS OVER THE LAST THIRTY YEARS? WHY BLAME SCHOOLS FOR THIS?
The survey found that too few schools gave enough thought to ways of encouraging the love of reading,
HAH! WHAT A LAUGH! MESSRS OFSTED HAVE BEEN TOURING SCHOOLS FOR OVER A DECADE AND AT NO STAGE ON THEIR CHECKLIST WAS THERE ANYTHING TO DO WITH 'WAYS OF ENCOURAGING A LOVE OF READING'. SO OF COURSE SOME SCHOOLS DID LITTLE OR NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS BECAUSE IT WOULDN'T WIN THEM BROWNIE POINTS WITH OFSTED! 'SOBVIOUS, ISN'T IT?
Part B of this report identifies 10 actions to raise standards of English in schools. Some of the issues identified, such as encouraging pupils to read widely and improving provision for literacy across all departments in secondary schools, have been noted as areas for concern in earlier Ofsted subject reports. In general, schools have done too little in recent years to address these weaknesses. This report recommends a range of practical measures that schools and the government should take. Ofsted believes that these actions would have the effect of helping to raise standards and to ‘move English forward’ in schools.
The Department for Education should:
publish research on the teaching of writing, drawing on national and international publications, to include the effective teaching of spelling and handwriting, and how boys can be helped to become successful writers
provide support in order to increase the number of specialist English teachers in primary schools and to improve the subject knowledge of existing English coordinators in primary schools.
All schools should:
develop policies to promote reading for enjoyment throughout the school
AHA! THIS IS GOLD DUST FOLKS. THIS IS WHAT I PROPOSED IN MY ORGINAL 20-POINT PLAN WHICH I PRESENTED TO ED BALLS (REJECTED), JIM KNIGHT (REJECTED), VERNON COAKER (REJECTED), NICK GIBB (NOT COMMENTED ON). THIS IS WHAT IS IN THE NUT REPORT ON 'READING FOR PLEASURE', THIS IS WHAT'S ON THE WWW.READINGREVOLUTION.CO.UK WEBSITE.
THIS REPRESENTS A MAJOR SHIFT IN GOVERNMENT POLICY ON READING. WE SHOULD TREASURE IT AND REPEAT IT MANY TIMES OVER.
I'LL EVEN DECLARE A TRUCE ON PILLORYING OFSTED AND PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS FOR NOT DOING THIS IN THE PAST IF IT'LL HELP US 'MOVE FORWARD' (HAH!) ON THIS.
IT IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IMPORTANT.
ensure that preparation for national tests and examinations is appropriate, does not begin too early, and does not limit the range of the curriculum or pupils’ opportunities for creativity in English
THIS IS CONTEMPTIBLE CRAP. OFSTED IS TO A LARGE PART RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS.
improve transition and continuity in curriculum and assessment in English between Key Stages 2 and 3
simplify lesson plans in English to concentrate on the key learning objectives and encourage teachers to be more flexible in responding to pupils’ progress as lessons develop.
Nursery and primary schools should also:
develop a structured programme for improving children’s communication skills in the Early Years Foundation Stage
secure pupils’ early reading skills by the end of Key Stage 1.
Secondary schools should also:
ensure that the English curriculum at Key Stage 3 has a clear and distinct purpose that is explained to students and builds in, where possible, tasks, audiences and purposes that engage students with the world beyond the classroom
OH YES - THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT. THIS IS THE NUB OF A REALLY INTERESTING PROSPECT FOR KEY STAGE 3. 'THE WORLD BEYOND THE CLASSROOM' - IT'S WHAT MANY OF US IN EDUCATION AND ON THE FRINGES OF IT HAVE BEING GOING ON ABOUT FOR YEARS. IT'S MOSTLY THE FEAR OF TESTS, EXAMS AND MESSRS OFSTED THAT HAS PREVENTED IT HAPPENING!
strengthen whole-school literacy work across all departments to ensure that students extend and consolidate their literacy skills in all appropriate contexts.