When Ofsted last visited Woodhill Primary School, one of the reasons we were not judged outstanding was the lack of evidence for greater depth learning in French, RE and science books. My abiding memory of the inspection was staff carting barrow loads of books around the building so inspectors could wrestle to justify what constituted greater depth, none of them able to provide clarity or an evidence base for their thinking. It made me question who the experts really were and the role inspection plays in defining what matters. Despite staff and pupils taking great pride in crafting rich, coherent and deep learning journeys across curriculum domains, leading to outcomes above national expectations for greater depth, Ofsted wouldn’t budge. To add insult, the only reference to our curriculum philosophy, connecting subject knowledge to application, critical thinking and deep learning was the line “art is used well to provide a colourful and stimulating environment.” Three years later and still the sentence rips through me like finger nails scraping across a chalk board.
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