Several Primary Schools Celebrate ‘Good’ Result From Recent Ofsted

Coleman Primary in Spinney Hills, Burton Primary in Bournemouth and Westcott Primary in Hull are all among a spate of primary schools now celebrating their new ‘Good’ report as a result of the recent Ofsted inspections. Ofsted inspections are often dreaded and feared by the teaching and learning population, although they are a necessary evil in making sure that children are getting the education they deserve.

rating-153125_960_720A Test is not Infallible

Of course, a single testing and grading system based on one performance review is not the be all and end all of education, but it is incredibly important for schools to do well by Ofsted.

Schools rely on reputation in order to keep bringing in new pupils and an ‘Inadequate’ grading by Ofsted is thought to lead to parents running for the hills.

The Ofsted Rating System

The Ofsted Rating System itself is graded on four levels. Outstanding (1), Good (2), Requires Improvement (3) and Inadequate (4).

The schools are assessed on the teachers’ ability to plan lessons, the communication of pupils, progress made by pupils and a huge range of other factors. The fact that so many primary schools in the UK have recently received ‘Good’ reviews from Ofsted shows progress and promise for the schools of the modern day.

Overcrowding in Primary Schools

According to a recent Labour party study, it has come to light that around 1 in 5 primary schools throughout the country do not have enough space for pupils. In a worrying study it has been found that 18% of all schools are over capacity, with around 9% just stretching to capacity.

classroom rbDesperate Measures

With a growing number of students needing education each year, there is an increasing problem of overcrowding in many schools, resulting in parents having to use private education or even home school their children if their local public schools are found to be overcrowded.

With so many abandoned warehouses and old office blocks located in bustling cities, we do sometimes wonder why these buildings aren’t repurposed as schools. A lot of it comes down to government funding and also finding qualified teachers to step up to the mantle, or otherwise risk increased class sizes, which can have its own problems.

Temporary Solutions

At the moment, several schools have come up with temporary solutions to this growing crisis, with one school converting an old double-decker bus into a extra few classrooms and another using a car park to erect around eight portable classrooms. While these solutions are innovative, it begs the question of how these schools will continue to cope in the years to come.

Schools No Longer Teaching Creationism

All public schools throughout the UK will now be prevented from teaching Creationism as if it were scientific fact in their classes. Although many public schools already took this into account when teaching Creationism, it has now been announced that all public funded schools as well as any existing and future academies will be following the new rule.
od-300x197The changes come as a result of ensuring that the education sector remains open minded to multiple religions and practises as a part of ‘multi-cultural Britain’. Although Creationism is still relatively important in teaching our young people how the Earth ‘came to be’ it has taken more of a back seat role in religion recently as many mainstream churches and religious traditions even go so far as to reject Creationism as a theory.
Because it lacks scientific evidence – a factor which is becoming more and more crucial every day with each new discovery we make as a species about our world – Creationism must not be taught as scientific fact. However this will not discredit the teaching of Creationism in public schools, it is just important to make sure that it is not taught as a reliable alternative to any scientific theory of our origin.

New Curriculum Starting in September 2014

A challenging new curriculum has been implemented for the start of this new teaching year that could see pupils completing tougher tasks that will hopefully help to develop their Maths, English and computing skills. This will not affect children going into Year 2 and 6 as they will be sitting their national tests at the end of the year. The rewritten curriculum is a nationwide change affecting both key stage 1 teachers and teaching assistants and pupils, that hopes to challenge pupils and prepare them for life in modern Britain.
fraction-300x270 (1)Changes include children from ages 5 – 14 will be taught computer programming, a foreign secondary language will be compulsory at primary school and the use of calculators on tests may be phased out for 11 year olds.

A spokesman said that the aim was for ‘all children to learn the core knowledge in key subjects, which are the ones that both universities and employers value the most’.

However, The Association of Teachers and Lecturers have expressed concerns that many of its members feel their schools are not fully prepared to teach the newly implemented curriculum.

Will this change be for the better? Or are we trying to force too much on our children from a younger age?