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Slide 1 of 34 Ofsted’s subject professional development materials: English A training resource for teachers of English in secondary schools 2012 Ofsted’s.

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Presentation on theme: "Slide 1 of 34 Ofsted’s subject professional development materials: English A training resource for teachers of English in secondary schools 2012 Ofsted’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slide 1 of 34 Ofsted’s subject professional development materials: English A training resource for teachers of English in secondary schools 2012 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

2 Slide 2 of 34  This training resource has been produced to help teachers in secondary schools evaluate their current provision for English, using the English report Moving English forward (2012) as a starting point for discussion. It is not mandatory.  We suggest that heads of department wishing to use the resource spend some time reading through the materials prior to using them. Additional guidance on how to manage the sessions is provided through the accompanying notes. The materials cover five themes from the report: teaching and learning; writing; reading for pleasure; the Key Stage 3 curriculum; and literacy across the curriculum.  The materials are flexible. Schools can either work through each unit in turn or focus on the topics that are of greatest relevance to them. Each unit is intended to generate discussion and activities that should take around an hour to complete. The materials use questions and extracts from the report to stimulate discussion and aid action-planning. About this training resource Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

3 Some questions on English: How well do you know the performance data? Quiz

4 Slide 4 of 34 1.What proportion of students achieved grade C or above in GCSE English in 2011? 2.What proportion of students achieved grade C or above in GCSE English Literature in 2011? 3.What proportion of students nationally are entered for GCSE English Literature? 4.What was the gender gap in GCSE English last year? 5.How many students considered to be eligible for free school meals achieved grade C or above at GCSE in 2011 and how does this compare with those who were not eligible ? 6.What proportion of students achieved grade B or above and C or above in A- level English courses in 2011? 7.What proportion of students make expected progress between Key Stages 2 and 4? 8.What proportion of students achieved Level 4 or above in reading and in writing at the end of Key Stage 2 in 2011? Questions Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

5 Slide 5 of 34 1.What proportion of students achieved grade C or above in GCSE English in 2011? 72% 2.What proportion of students achieved grade C or above in GCSE English Literature in 2011? 79% 3.What proportion of students nationally are entered for GCSE English Literature? 72% 4.What was the gender gap in GCSE English last year? 13% 5.How many students considered to be eligible for free school meals achieved grade C or above at GCSE in 2011 and how does this compare with those who were not eligible? There was an 18% gap; 67% of students eligible for free school meals achieved C or above compared with 85% who were not eligible 6.What proportion of students achieved grade B and above or C and above in A- level English courses in 2011? Around half achieved grade B or above with nearly 80% reaching grade C or above 7.What proportion of students make expected progress between Key Stages 2 and 4? 83% 8.What proportion of students achieved Level 4 or above in reading and in writing at the end of Key Stage 2 in 2011? 84% in reading and 75% in writing. Answers Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

6 What is the impact of teaching on students’ learning in English in your school? Issue 1

7 Slide 7 of 34 What is effective teaching in English? Although most teaching observed was good or outstanding, around 30% of English lessons in the survey were judged to be no better than satisfactory. Remember that the survey did not include schools in a category such as special measures. There were also issues of variability in the quality of teaching across departments. This suggests that there is room for improvement in teaching in many schools. Discussion points 1.In pairs, agree a one-sentence definition of outstanding teaching in English. 2.Share and discuss the ideas. 3.How consistent is teaching in English across the department and how do you know? Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

8 Slide 8 of 34 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools) Inspectors often speak about ‘missed opportunities’ when they observe lessons. In these lessons, teaching is expected to be good or better but students’ learning and progress are often no better than satisfactory. The report argues that this is because too many ‘myths’ have built up about what good teaching is or what teachers think that an Ofsted inspector is looking for. The ‘myths’ of good teaching in English Discussion points 1.Read paragraphs 15–19 in the report. This includes a description of a Year 9 lesson. Discuss the lesson as a department and look at the analysis of it in the report. 2.Do teachers feel that there is anything here that might be relevant to their own teaching? Is their teaching influenced by any of these ‘myths’?

9 Slide 9 of 34 What is effective teaching in English? Ofsted’s view is that outstanding teaching enables students to make ‘rapid and sustained’ progress. In other words, it is the outcome for students that matters. There is no one route to excellence. It is a myth that inspectors expect you to teach in one particular way; it is the impact on learning that matters. Discussion points 1.Should all English lessons be taught in the same way? 2.Are there any common elements that you would expect to see in all lessons, or not? 3.Exchange ideas about effective ways of teaching, for example: a love of reading; story writing; differences between dialects; and a Shakespeare play. Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

10 Slide 10 of 34 The report suggests that lesson objectives in English tend to be too long-term or focused on tasks rather than learning. In secondary schools, teachers increasingly choose the very broad assessment focuses as the objectives. Bear in mind that you should be able to evaluate the impact of the objective within the lesson. How effective are your learning objectives? Discussion points 1.Exchange lesson plans. Evaluate the clarity and helpfulness or otherwise of your learning objectives. Are they specific? Are they achievable in the lesson? Above all, do they provide clear direction to learning in the lesson? 2.Review some learning objectives for future lessons and see if you are happy with them. Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

11 Slide 11 of 34  Discuss what you have learnt from this unit about effective teaching in English. Are there things that individual teachers would now do differently?  Review the range of strategies used to evaluate teaching in English by senior leaders and others.  Identify action to be taken. This might include guidance on teaching in the handbook, better departmental evaluation or changes to the subject action plan to highlight improvements to teaching. A school policy statement on effective teaching and learning in English Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

12 How effective is the teaching of writing, including spelling and handwriting, in your school? Issue 2

13 Slide 13 of 34 Inspection evidence suggests that too many students, especially boys, do not write well enough by the age of 16 (paragraph 53, page 25). Standards of writing in your school Discussion points 1.What do your school’s English results tell you about performance in writing compared with reading? 2.Is there any noticeable difference between the performance of boys and girls in writing? 3.What particularly works in motivating boys to write? Exchange good ideas. Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

14 Slide 14 of 34 Moving English forward ’lists six main weaknesses in the writing curriculum (paragraph 53). Discuss the list as a department. How many apply either to your own teaching or to departmental policy? How might the teaching of writing be improved? Discussion points 1.Identify three approaches to teaching writing that you consider to be successful. 2.Use these ideas to draft guidance on teaching writing in the department. Include how to improve boys’ writing. The ideas might also be used to contribute to any whole-school policy on writing. Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

15 Slide 15 of 34 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools) Writing for real, writing that matters One issue raised in the report is the importance of making writing ‘real’ for students. Boys especially need to see that writing ‘matters’, that it has an important place in the real world. This means that teachers should try, where possible, to provide tasks that are linked to ‘real-world’ situations, have a clear purpose and a real audience. Discussion points 1.Ask teachers to list the writing tasks they set that give students the opportunity to write for a real purpose and audience. 2.Read paragraphs 137–142 of Moving English forward. Think about your own writing curriculum. Are there any ways in which you could improve current schemes of work to encourage students to write for a real purpose or audience? 3.How often are students expected to redraft their writing. What approaches work best?

16 Slide 16 of 34 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools) Moving English forward contains a section about the teaching of spelling and handwriting (paragraphs 55–59). The report suggests that this is less systematic in secondary than in primary schools. Indeed, many students say that spelling is almost never taught explicitly. Read the extract, then discuss these questions Spelling and handwriting Discussion points 1.Look at a selection of students’ work across the ability range. What are their main weaknesses in spelling and handwriting, and do they affect groups of students differently, for example boys more than girls? 2.What strategies do you use to improve spelling and handwriting? What more could you do?

17 Slide 17 of 34 Paragraph 59 of the report argues that: ‘marking prioritised the identification of broad targets but rarely noted individual errors in spelling and grammar. The result was that many students received no further help with poor handwriting or spelling.’ The role of marking in improving spelling and handwriting Discussion points 1.What does your marking policy say about how teachers should correct misspellings in students’ work? How, if at all, are students expected to respond? 2.Look again at the students’ books. Focus this time on marking. What do you notice? Do teachers ever intervene to support spelling or handwriting? What appears to work best? Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

18 How do schools promote reading widely and for pleasure? Issue 3

19 Slide 19 of 34 Reading widely and for pleasure A wide range of evidence, including international comparisons, suggests that students today read less than in the past and with less enjoyment. You may know that the Evening Standard has been involved in promoting a reading campaign in London. The Secretary of State for Education has said that pupils as young as 11 should be expected to read 50 books a year. Discussion points 1.Do all groups of students in your school enjoy reading? 2.What do you do as a department to encourage students to read widely, beyond the texts studied in class? 3.When do students have an opportunity to share what they read with each other ? 4.How are students helped to discover books and writers that they might enjoy? 5.In what ways is the library involved in promoting a love of reading? Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

20 Slide 20 of 34 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools) The whole-school climate for reading The report includes a case study which demonstrates how a comprehensive school promoted reading for pleasure, winning an award in the process (paragraphs 74–75). You can read a full version of this case study at on Ofsted’s Good Practice database, before discussing these points. Discussion points 1.What resources are available to support reading across Key Stage 3 in English? Is there a good balance and variety of different text types, genres, non-fiction, and books that appeal to boys or girls? 2.Having read the case study, what strategies might you use to encourage reading outside lessons in your school? 3.Discuss any whole-school strategies for promoting reading. What more could be done at this level? 4.Many schools have ‘silent reading’ times in English lessons or tutor periods. Is it effective and how can you tell? Are there other ways of using reading time, such as ‘book talk’?

21 Slide 21 of 34 Boys and reading It is widely held that girls read more than boys and that they read more fiction. Boys will often say that they ‘don’t read’ when asked yet then go on to admit that they read newspapers, special interest magazines, non-fiction texts and different internet texts. What can the department do to improve boys’ reading? Discussion points 1.In what ways can you promote boys’ interest in reading? 2.How far does your current English curriculum encourage boys to try out different types of reading material? 3.Does the curriculum appear to ‘legitimise’ some types of reading at the expense of others, for example, to what extent do you value internet texts or magazines? 4.How effectively do you use modern technology to stimulate boys’ reading? Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

22 Slide 22 of 34 Teaching the class novel Inspection evidence confirms that classes study very few complete texts together. The usual approach at Key Stage 3 is to identify one fiction text each year. This may mean that some students only ever read one novel a year. Is this acceptable? The study of class novels is both essential and tricky, for example finding a book that challenges all students in a class. Do we need to consider introducing students to a wider range of texts…without necessarily studying each one in the same detail? Discussion points 1.Discuss as a department the practice of teaching a class novel. 2.How could you introduce students to a wider range of texts? 3.How do you overcome the problems of teaching a long classic novel? 4.What constitutes good practice in teaching the class novel? 5.Does the study of class novels encourage students to read more widely? If so, how? Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

23 How effective is the Key Stage 3 curriculum? Issue 4

24 Slide 24 of 34 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools) Discussions with students suggest that they tend to prefer work in English at Key Stage 4 rather than at Key Stage 3. Read paragraphs 40–47 of the report. Use this discussion to consider your Key Stage 3 programme and how it might be improved. Is your Key Stage 3 curriculum effective? Discussion points  The impact of your Key Stage 3 curriculum on students’ learning  The guiding principles and rationale of your Key Stage 3 programme  Students’ understanding of the programme.

25 Slide 25 of 34 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools) Moving English forward comments on schools’ over- reliance on test and examination preparation as components of the curriculum at Key Stage 3 (paragraphs 20–24). It focuses in particular on the over-use of the PEE approach as the main strategy in some schools for responding to texts at Key Stage 3. Balancing personal and analytical responses to texts Discussion points 1.Look at a selection of students’ books from Year 7. What do the earliest pieces of work tell you about your priorities in English? 2.Consider the balance of tasks set on texts. How do teachers encourage students to develop a personal response to what they read?

26 Slide 26 of 34 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools) A coherent curriculum at Key Stage 3 will include effective planning for progression and continuity. Inspectors comment sometimes on the repetition of activities (features of persuasive writing), learning objectives and texts from year to year. Students who do not enjoy English tend to see it as lacking variety and challenge. Progression and continuity at Key Stage 3 Discussion points 1.Look at your English units from Year 7 to Year 9. What does this tell you about progression and continuity at Key Stage 3? 2.How should students develop skills, knowledge and understanding as they move from year to year? 3.Are teachers clear about how their work builds on what students have previously studied?

27 Slide 27 of 34 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools) Read the full section on the Key Stage 3 curriculum (paragraphs 40–47). The report argues that an effective curriculum at Key Stage 3 will include study of some key aspects of English. These include: wider reading, moving image work, poetry, practical drama, the study of the English language, and the explicit teaching of speaking and listening. The overall balance of provision at Key Stage 3 Discussion points 1.Review the elements of English listed above. Are they all prominent in your KS3 scheme of work?. Are there any elements that might need to be given greater emphasis? 2.Is there an explicit and progressive approach to developing students’ speaking and listening skills or does it tend to happen incidentally?

28 How can you best promote literacy across the curriculum? Issue 5

29 Slide 29 of 34 The report states that, ‘even with effective teaching in English lessons, progress will be limited if this good practice is not consolidated in the 26 out of 30 other lessons in a secondary school’. What is the situation with cross-curricular literacy in your school? Literacy across the curriculum Discussion points 1.Is literacy an issue in your school? What do performance data or other evidence tell you? 2.Does your school have a policy on teaching literacy across the curriculum? 3.What strategies are in place to enhance whole- school literacy? 4.Have staff received any training on literacy? Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

30 Slide 30 of 34 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools) Promoting literacy across the curriculum has been a priority for schools over many years but few initiatives have become permanent features. There are now two case studies on Ofsted’s Good Practice database: Don Valley (a reading focus) Aston Manor (a writing focus) Evaluate what your school can learn from them. Whole-school action to promote literacy across the curriculum Discussion points  Read the two case studies  List the different strategies or activities used across the two schools  Compare what your school does and identify any further action that should be taken

31 Slide 31 of 34 Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools) As stated earlier, most lessons in a secondary school are not taught by an English or literacy specialist. However, all teachers contribute to literacy (or oracy) and can have a positive or negative impact on students’ learning. Teaching literacy within lessons across the curriculum Discussion points 1.What should all teachers know about the most effective ways of promoting literacy and oracy in their lessons? 2.How can learning in subjects be enhanced by good literacy practice? 3.What can different departments contribute to literacy? What reading/writing/oral communication skills do the different subjects need?

32 Slide 32 of 34 This unit has raised a number of issues about current literacy practice in the school. Re-read the case study on page 55 which demonstrates how senior leaders can help establish the climate for improving literacy in a school. Consider with your senior leaders how best to bring this about in your school. Moving literacy forward Discussion points 1.What are the priorities now for your school? 2.What role should the English department play in this work? Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)

33 Summary and conclusion

34 Slide 34 of 34 No matter how much of this training pack you have used, you should by now have identified some action points in English. You might also wish to look at the specific criteria we use to judge English on subject inspections. You can find this material on Ofsted’s website: You will also find examples of good practice on Ofsted’s website: We welcome comments on this training resource. Please write to and ensure that you put ‘English professional development materials’ in the subject box of your Conclusion Ofsted’s Subject Professional Development Materials: English (secondary schools)


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