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HMIe on CfE

Discussion in 'Scotland - curriculum' started by halfajack, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    I remember reading, on these forums I think, that HMIe recently said CfE should be seen as complementary (or supplementary?) to 5-14, not a replacement. I can't find this nugget of gold anywhere now. Can anyone direct me to the original source?
  2. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    I remember reading, on these forums I think, that HMIe recently said CfE should be seen as complementary (or supplementary?) to 5-14, not a replacement. I can't find this nugget of gold anywhere now. Can anyone direct me to the original source?
  3. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Halfajack, can't answer your question directly, but I think you are right. My dept was HMIe'd in 2009 and HMI said that literacy had no place in the music class - something I agreed with (apart from musical notation of course, HMI was meaning writing/litercy as in English). I quoted this to my PT/SMT [who was getting on to me about my slow response to which indicators to tick the "how have you included literacy in S1 work this term?" boxes] advised me against using that instruction, as it could be damaging to my career (??!) I quickly picked one. Numeracy and music is a laugh, unless I look into the cost of a CD and then ask 16 of them to buy it so how much will they each have to pay?? H+W is a bit better as it's always good to sing!
    Sorry I've not been much help, but it's snowing heavily here and I'm all excited!!
  4. What an absurd notion. So you don't use language to teach the children then? What do you use? Telepathy?
    The HMIe who said this should be fired.
  5. Are you joking? What is 3/4 time? Or 6/8? What's the relationship between quavers, crotchets and semiquavers? Aren't intervals mathematical distances between notes? All numeracy. ALL of it.
    I can't believe what I'm reading here.
  6. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Thank you Joni. That's very interesting! As an English teacher I've been asked, along with my department, to work out how we meet numeracy Os and Es and it turned into a very pointless box ticking exercise. I told colleagues at the time the I'd been told by an LTScotland rep at in service that this sort of activity went against the spirit of CfE but nobody took it on board. HMIe's opinions should have more clout, I'd think.
  7. Perhaps the box-ticking audit goes against the spirit of CfE, but numeracy in the English classroom certainly doesn't. How can pupils marshall evidence for discursive essays, for instance, if they can't interpret statistical information? If 46% of the population believe A, then what's the difference between saying "almost half the population believe" and "under half the population believe"? That is basic use of numeracy to persuade in English - and it's an English teacher's job to teach it.
    And then, of course, you have functional skills. If pupils are asked to write instructions for getting from A to B, how do English teachers tackle how to read a bus or train timetable? If we get them to write a recipe (just think of those Thomas Kemp units with witches' spells in them) how do we get them to quantify ingredients?
    ALL numeracy.
  8. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Oh yes, there are some outcomes we do teach. I singled out diagrammatic interpretation as the main one. Chance (can't remember the exact wording) was another. I should have made clearer that my issue was with having to go through every single outcome for a particular level and try to think of how we could say we teach it. My other issue was with levels. Someone came up with teaching metre in poetry to senior pupils. I argued that the numeracy skills involved in that amounted to counting up to a small number (five, for example - since iambic pentameter is, I think, the most commonly covered). We're talking about pupils at level 4 and above here so I refuse to believe we're developing their numeracy skills by teaching them that.
  9. half, I absolutely agree with you - CfE is NOT about going through every single outcome, and thinking of metre in poetry as "numeracy" is just plain daft and an attempt to make a square peg fit a round hole. But all of that is just the anal way schools go about meeting any new change - everything has to be "audited" and box ticked. But that's not CfE's fault - I've been through the same process with every single initiative since 1982, and every single time it's been absolutely unnecessary.
    Just carry on doing the good teaching - that's all that's ever necessary.
  10. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    OK, I stand corrected, but I'd rather spend time teaching it rather than filling in forms to say I've done it. The proof that I have taught it can be seen in my 100% pass rate over the last few years.
  11. Hi joni

    Sorry if I went off like a firework. Of course, I agree with you that form filling is a waste of time. However, the number of teachers who say "literacy has nothing to do with maths" or "numeracy has nothing to do with PE" is worrying. You have a 100% pass rate in your selected certificate classes - fantastic. But everyone can do better than a 100% pass rate - more As, and, more importantly, a much deeper understanding that pupils can take away from school into their lives - by recognising that joined up thinking about the language skills and number skills required in EVERY subject can raise understanding across the board.
    So, you do do literacy and numeracy in your subject - and it's better if it's explicit, because then everyone can learn to do it better.
  12. Wrt the original poster, I made reference to that sometime ago on another thread. I had heard that from various sources.
    Hope that helps!
  13. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Thanks Velma. Do you remember if any of the sources were print? All my colleagues are doubting Thomases!
  14. Sorry, can't remember where I saw it written but I was told the same by a HT friend of mine who was in turn told by a lecturer at a local university. They had been visited by HMIe because of concerns amongst staff that ACfE was too woolly! The university was struggling to make sesnse of it and deliver it to students. Also, it is common knowledge in our LA and is readily discussed in various staffrooms but many HTs and managers won't admit to it because then everyone would have to say what is the point of a CfE.
    Actually, what is the point of ACfE?
  15. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Fiona Hyslop wanting to go down in Hystory? Didn't really work out for her though, did it?
  16. What's the point of CfE?
    There isn't a point to CfE!
    At one of the LTS 'launches' a couple of years ago we were told that we were preparing children for 21st century, that current P1 pupils would be doing jobs that don't even exist at the moment.
    Given the current financial crisis they'll be lucky if there are any jobs for them.
    There is no point. CfE is a big wooly pie in the sky - veer away from the prescriptive curriculum , text books and actual teaching towards Wii's, dance mats and i-pods. The poor wee souls need everything broken down into 2 minute sound bites because brought up pre-school on a diet of cartoons and telly tubbies they are incapable of concentrating and taking in information, they need to be actively engaged at all times and have a say in directing their learning - excellent preparation for their working life - I think not!
    The government could've saved itself a fortune by retaining 5-14 and reminding us that these were originally 'Guidelines' they were never intended to be prescriptive - we can blame HMIe for that!
    I'm so glad I'm on my way out of education and not on the way in.
    Exciting? Challenging? How about Experimentation?
    For those of you long enoughh in the tooth - remember ITA - that exciting innovative new approach to teaching reading in the late 70's that resulted in a whole generation of poor spellers?
    Don't get me started!
  17. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Yes, indeed. I sometimes wonder if HMIe inspectors have children or grandchildren of their own. Are they not concerned about the lack of content and structure within a CfE?
    A quick glance through recent HMIe inspection reports would suggest that the only effective teachers are those willing and eager 'to embrace change', regardless of whether that change is in the best interest of pupils. Anyone offering constructive, professional criticism seems to be branded an 'educational Luddite' standing in the way of 'progress'. That doesn't say much for the importance of 'critical thinking skills' in education.
    Indeed, the Initial Teaching Alphabet introduced in many schools in the late 1960s was intended to make learning to read easier for children. Unfortunately, little account was taken of the problems, and confusion, that would arise in the transition to standard spelling.
    Similarly, teaching phonics went out of vogue in the 1970s because the 'experts' believed such a formal approach to reading was out of date, only to be reintroduced 20 years later as 'synthetic phonics' because standards had fallen as a result.
    Or again, graded reading books were discouraged during the 1980s in favour of a 'real books' approach. I wonder just how many children were damaged by that experiment before commonsense suggested that most children benefit from a mixed approach using a structured reading scheme and a variety of storybooks?
    Unfortunately, HMIe don't seem to have learned very much from past educational experience. What is particularly dangerous about a CfE is the sheer scale of change, at least in primary schools, across the whole curriculum, with apparently little concern that the baby is being flung out with the bath water.
    Equally worrying is that we are losing experienced teachers from our schools at an alarming rate and they are being replaced with enthusiastic, but by definition, inexperienced NQTs. That is not in the best interest of any school where a good balance of youth and experience is important to ensure the curriculum can develop without past mistakes being repeated.
    HMIe is supposed to be an independent government agency charged with improving standards in education. On their current performance, I can see no evidence that they are independent of political agendas or improving standards in education.
  18. My God, the last two posts are among the most sensible I've ever seen on TES!

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