Ofsted have finally opened their eyes to what we all knew. The science curriculum in some schools is basically a preparation for GCSE. Ofsted are now looking into this, to check how widespread the problem is. It’s likely this will lead to inspectors making sure your curriculum is teaching students things that have real, long-term value to them. After all, superficially learned material fades rather quickly.
What’s spurred Ofsted into action is, no doubt, the reports of schools rising up exam league tables because they’ve ‘gamed’ the system. (or what they properly call cheating). As Amanda Spielman, head of Ofsted recognises: “It is the substance of education that ultimately creates and changes life chances, not grade stickers from exams.”
So, what does a curriculum look that prepares students for life beyond GCSE look like? That question is what drove us to create our 5-year, big ideas curriculum. We think it’s quite possible to get students to pass exams AND equip them to think scientifically in their careers and everyday life. Have a look at the ongoing developments, and see if you agree.