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A helpful comment - or micro-managing by Ofsted?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by chelsea2, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Just read this in a primary school Ofsted report:

    The curriculum plans for science and some foundation subjects do not contain enough detail for teachers to know what pupils need to learn and the order in which they must learn it.

    I didn't realise it was the remit of Ofsted to tell schools the order in which things must be taught.
    BetterNow likes this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Well, if they found something amiss (and it sounds as if they did) then they have a duty to report on it.
  3. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    School level 'Plans' don't seem to have enough detail for teachers to plan their delivery effectively. It sounds an ok comment.
    Stiltskin and nomad like this.
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Ofsted aren't saying what order is required. They're saying that the school's plans don't tell the staff what order is required in that school. So they're saying that subject leaders haven't done their work.
    nomad likes this.
  5. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    Definitely a dig at the subject leader rather than the plans done by the teacher - didn’t think they scrutinized teachers planning these days. However, with the complete non existence of coordinators training for decades and a rather useless curriculum document (care of Michael Gove) it’s hardly the subject leaders fault. Don’t get the order aspect at all. Yes, there are units for KS1 and LKS2 and UKS2 but they are different even if related. As long as the unit is appropriate for the KS then what does it matter what order it is done in? Utterly petty.
  6. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The new curriculum nonsense is going well then.

    If you let all schools decide what they will teach, and when they will teach it, you're heading for a lot of trouble.

    It's a shame that there are many children being taught the wrong content, or the right content in the wrong order, in schools today, that won't know this until they get an Ofsted, potentially in several years time.

    If only there was some broad guidance on what to teach and roughly when, this could all be avoided. Something like we used to have, for example.
  7. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Reads like a comment written in response to a discussion from the day.

    Like someone said "I'm just not sure what order I'm suppose to teach things".

    In my early days I found an Ofsted inspector in my room having a chitchat... I said something...

    In the subsequent report it said "staff seemed unaware of [insert topic here] and this does not reflect well on the SLT"... or something like that. Ooops
    Jamvic, nomad and (deleted member) like this.
  8. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    IF the Teacher does not know this then he/she should not be teaching -- Assuming the curriculum plan (do they mean syllabus?) is complete.
    Are they assuming Teachers cannot break down a syllabus and plan lessons accordingly?
  9. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Seems okay to me.

    After all, it is not possible to teach about floating, sinking and density in science until the pupils have covered mass and volume in mathematics.

    Quite! It sounds as if the subject leads need to get their planning together.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  10. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Well it could be that all staff know.
    It could be that teachers double check against programmes of study, which has all the detail, with the curriculum plan being an outline.
    It could be "inadequate planning
    Ofsted were there and could have commented further.
    Recipe for a huge cut and paste job.
  11. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    There is. There's a national curriculum that tells you what needs to be taught by the end of each Key Stage (and for core subjects it's broken down to each year). I would say the issues occur when the curriculum lead is lacking subject knowledge/PCK.
    grumpydogwoman and nomad like this.
  12. ajrowing

    ajrowing Established commenter

    Luckily schools are brim full of experienced teachers who have years of experience and so will be able to judge what is best for the students in their particular classes.
    cissy3, nomad, Scintillant and 2 others like this.
  13. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Individual teachers might prefer to choose for themselves what order/how to teach. As for there not being enough detail for teachers to know what pupils need to learn, surely teachers know that already? What's next, Ofsted complaining that the plans don't tell teachers what the alphabet is. None of my teachers used any plans at all-yet we all left school able to read and count-this suggests that things were better before anyone stuck their nose in!
    cissy3 likes this.
  14. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Maybe I am just being a bit nit-picky - but it was the bit about the plans needing to identify the order in which things MUST be taught which got me. We're not talking maths here, but science and the foundation subjects. Does it matter if you do a unit on electricity before a unit on the human body? Or rivers before a settlement study?

    The trouble is, academies & FS don't have to follow the NC, and academy chains are increasingly providing their own curriculum with every lesson planned and scripted, to be followed in a certain order and at a certain time. It sounded to me as if Ofsted was pushing that approach.

    I can't imagine being a teacher under such a regime - talk about teaching by numbers!
    cissy3 likes this.
  15. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Ofsted made a few comments around the cohesiveness of teaching at the school. It may be better to consider them together rather than just a single comment.
  16. aypi

    aypi Established commenter

    I like this quote
    The SQA oversees the exams at 16 in Scotland, and what I am to teach is covered by 450 words. One and a half words per lesson. So I do not know what I am to teach.
    ajrowing and borges33 like this.
  17. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I'm pretty good at sarcasm, but that almost got past me...:)
    cissy3, ajrowing and nomad like this.
  18. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Do exam boards still produce a syllabus?
  19. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Thanks, I was being sarcastic!
    Stiltskin likes this.
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I'd like to think that any teacher worth her salt would look at a scheme of work and decide whether to be impressed and satisfied with it or not.

    If NOT? Then I'd also expect her to do something about it! That's certainly the remit of the subject leader and, as a primary practitioner, I wouldn't be prepared just to take something from a scheme that looked undercooked!

    Yes, it'd be nice to have everything prepared for you but, on perceiving faults or omissions in a scheme of work, you can't just ignore them!

    What worries me more is primary practitioners just handed subject leader roles when they actively express no interest, knowledge or desire. I can easily see that you can have Maths and Science leaders who have little to no background in the subjects. That's scandalous. But? In a small school? Might be inevitable. So then your HT gives you a LOT of training!

    You'd hope.

    But I'd certainly want OFSTED to flag this up is the school isn't paying proper attention.

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