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Peterborough Better English Conference


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Title: Peterborough Better English Conference

Peterborough Better English Conference
  • Moving English forward in your school
  • Prue Rayner HMI
  • Lesley Daniel Associate inspector

20 March 2015
Introduction purpose and objectives
  • Identify the challenges facing leaders of English
    in Peterborough using examples from Ofsted survey
    and inspection work.
  • Provide time to reflect on your practice and
    determine immediate and longer term actions to
    support improvement.
  • To consider how the leadership of English can
    influence whole school practice.
  • To identify opportunities for school to school
    sharing of effective practice to overcome the
    barriers to improvement.

English in schools the good news?
  • around 70 schools were judged to be good or
    outstanding in their English subject inspections
  • nearly one in five secondary schools was
    outstanding in English
  • most pupils say they enjoy English lessons
  • teachers work harder than ever with intervention
    classes, Easter classes, clubs and the like
  • very few schools in the subject survey were
    judged to be inadequate in English.

English and literacy general principles
  • Literacy a set of skills (speaking and
    listening, reading, writing) essential to
    teaching and learning in all subjects a shared
  • English knowledge and experience across
    centuries and cultures, expressed and explored
    through fiction and non-fiction, poetry, story,
    drama, myth and legend, diaries, lit. crit.,
    reportagewritten and spoken in English.

Inspecting English and literacy- general
  • Inspectors must be clear about what is
    non-negotiable in the curriculum the
    development of pupils literacy.
  • Inspectors must not expect staff to teach in a
    specific way.
  • Inspectors should expect all pupils to have an
    excellent educational experience in English.

Improving EnglishChallenges to Leadership
The new National Curriculumkey changes
  • The primary programme is specific, highly
    structured and very detailed.
  • Most important changes in primary are the strong
    emphases on phonics, spelling and grammar.
  • The secondary programme is significantly shorter
    and less prescriptive.
  • The new secondary programme emphasises wide
    reading, author study, and a selected range of
  • Spoken English has a less significant role.
  • Modern technology is absent from the prescribed

Challenges to LeadershipSpeaking and Listening
Leading English the challenges
  • Moving English forward, 2012
  • Speaking and listening were less likely to be
    priorities than reading or writing.
  • Speaking and listening happened in support of
    other learning
  • but were rarely the central focus of teaching.

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Leading English the challenges
  • Early Learning Goal Communication and language
    - speaking
  • Children express themselves effectively, showing
    awareness of listeners needs. They use past,
    present and future forms accurately when talking
    about events that have happened or are to happen
    in the future. They develop their own narratives
    and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
  • For children whose home language is not English,
    providers must take reasonable steps to provide
    opportunities for children to develop and use
    their home language in play and learning . Must
    also ensure that children have sufficient
    opportunities to learn and reach a good standard
    in English language during the EYFS ..

Leading English activity
  • Look at the two examples of teaching groups of
    EAL pupils.
  • Highlight aspects of good practice that you are
    confident happen in your school.
  • Identify pitfalls that might tempt your staff.

Leading English the challenges
  • Oral work analysis and development
  • The most effective teachers use questioning well
    to challenge more-able students. For example, in
    a Year 10 class, pupils were analysing a
    transcript from a popular reality television
    series. The teachers questions about speech
    patterns and language choices led to speculation
    and discussion, and to further questions, between
    the students. This kept all students involved and
    stretched their thinking.
  • English subject survey inspection

Leading English the challenges
  • There was too little analysis of pupils speech
    and how they might extend their talk in different
    ways. (English at the Crossroads)
  • How do you analyse pupils language skills
  • What is your curriculum provision for developing
    speech and vocabulary?
  • Think about subject specific vocabulary.
  • Good to share, need to know

  • Leading English the challenges
  • Outstanding - Ofsteds expectation
  • Pupils read widely and often across all subjects
    to a high standard.
  • Pupils develop and apply a wide range of skills
    to great effect in reading, writing, ...
  • The teaching of reading, writing, . is highly
    effective and cohesively planned across the

  • Inspection Handbook, April 2014

Get ahead with wordsEveryone a reader
  • Activity 2
  • Year 1 phonics check
  • Discussion (Hand-out 2)
  • What questions would you ask and what guidance
    would you give to a teacher whose pupils results
    were like those in example C?

Ofsted Reading by six
  • The best primary schools in England teach
    virtually every child to read, regardless of
    social and economic circumstances, ethnicity,
    home language and most SEND.
  • Rigorous and sequential approach to speaking and
    listening and teaching reading, writing and
    spelling through systematic phonics.
  • High quality and expert teaching that follows a
    carefully planned and tightly structured approach
    to teaching phonic knowledge and skills.
  • Pupils are given opportunities to apply what they
    have learnt through reading, writing and
  • Nursery classes strong focus on developing
    childrens capacity to listen, concentrate and
    discriminate between sounds.

Pupils should be taught to
  • Primary
  • apply their growing knowledge of root words,
    prefixes and suffixes both to read aloud and to
    understand the meaning of new words they meet
  • maintain positive attitudes to reading and
    understanding what they read by
  • continuing to read and discuss an increasingly
    wide range of fiction, poetry, plays non-fiction
    and reference books or text books
  • reading books that are structured in different
    ways and reading for a range of purposes
  • increasing their familiarity with a wide range of

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Pupils should be taught to
  • Secondary
  • increase the breadth of their reading
  • read for understanding
  • read critically

  • Leading English the challenges
  • Are teachers
  • assessing pupils learning and progress in
    reading regularly and accurately
  • promoting a culture of reading widely and often
    for pleasure and information?
  • making sure that all pupils are reading, hearing,
    discussing a wide range of high-quality books
  • analysing reading competence of students entering
    Year 7?

  • Leading English the challenges
  • Does the school have the necessary expertise to
    support those struggling to read?
  • Are those needing help quickly identified?
  • Do you take the business of reading for pleasure
  • How do you analyse, record and extend what your
    pupils and students are reading?
  • Good to share, need to know

Writing curriculum
  • Pupils should be able to
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, using
    language and styles adapted to different
  • write accurately, fluently and at length
  • plan, draft, edit and proof read confidently and
  • consolidate and build on their knowledge of
    grammar and vocabulary.

Inspecting English and literacy
  • Urgent challenges include
  • the gap between girls and boys achievement,
    especially in writing
  • evidence of lower standards overall in writing
  • poorer performance in English by pupils eligible
    for free school meals.
  • Moving English
    Forward Ofsted 2012

Inspecting English and literacy
  • Barriers to success for boys include 
  • poor behaviour
  • low levels of motivation
  • low self-esteem and reluctance to risk failure
  • a reluctance to begin writing.
  • Beyond the Crossroads 2009
    a teachers forum

Inspecting English and literacy
  • Barriers to success for boys include 
  • reluctance to begin writing (arising from)
  • low self-esteem and reluctance to risk failure
    (leading to)
  • low levels of motivation (prompting)
  • poor behaviour.

Inspecting English and literacy
  • Barriers to effective writing include
  • too few opportunities for pupils to complete
    extended writing
  • too little emphasis on creative and imaginative
  • too little choice for pupils in the topics for

  • Moving English Forward 2012

Inspecting English and literacy
  • What works? 
  • Encouraging pupils to play with language, to
  • Drawing on pupils own experiences
  • Using marking to generate dialogue with pupils
    about their work
  • Teachers and pupils working together as writers

Leadership and management subject or department
  • How do you ensure that students are making
    progress in both what they are writing (content),
    and how they are writing (SPaG)?

Evaluating writing
  • Consider the questions on the writing
    evaluation sheet.
  • Identify strategies and approaches in place that
    teachers and teaching assistants use.
  • Is there a difference? What do you need to do
  • Good to share, need to know.

Leadership and management
Leadership and management subject or department
  • Vision/ethos the pursuit of excellence,
    modelling outstanding practice, high
  • Leadership and management of the quality of the
    implementation of policy and its impact on
    teaching, and behaviour as reflected in students
    achievement in English.
  • Thoughtful and thorough use of a wide range of
    evidence, including the responses of pupils, to
    review the impact of work across reading,
    writing, speaking and listening.
  • Subject plans identify very clearly how teaching
    is to be improved.
  • The importance of student voice.
  • Curriculum.

Leadership and management features of an
outstanding curriculum in English
  • Appropriate balance between reading/writing/speaki
    ng and listening.
  • Rich and varied programme which includes key
    areas, such as, poetry, drama, media, reading for
  • Clear sense of progression within and across key
    stages. For example, a clear rationale about the
    timing of different units.
  • Contribution to students SMSC development.
  • Links with the world outside the classroom.
  • Opportunities to use modern technology.
  • Distinctive and innovative in order to meet the
    needs of every student.

Leadership of English
  • Weaknesses in leadership
  • little direction or identity for English
  • poor subject knowledge
  • allowing curriculum development to lag behind
    pupils changing needs.

Leading teaching
Quality of Teaching
  • Inspectors should gather robust evidence to
    judge and report on how well pupils acquire
    knowledge, learn well and engage with lessons.
  • Triangulation leads to robust judgements.
  • For example, triangulate data with progress seen
    in lessons and what is in books.
  • Student voice is very important.

The quality of teaching
  • The fictions
  • The faster the lesson, the better the learning.
  • The more activities crammed into a lesson, the
    more effective it will be.
  • All plans must have the same structure and be
    stuck to regardless of impact.
  • Reviewing learning the more often the better.

Quality of Teaching what else hinders learning?
  • An inflexible approach to planning lessons.
  • Misunderstanding what working independently
    means. (not the same as working individually)
  • Over-emphasis, at too early a stage, on a limited
    range of skills needed for test and examinations.

Quality of teaching what leads to effective
  • Excellent subject knowledge.
  • Plans clear and realistic about what students
    will learn in the lesson.
  • Teaching flexible and responsive to students
  • Tasks meaningful with a real audience and
  • Timing allows the learning to take place.
  • Differentiation real and appropriate.
  • Highly effective questioning and feedback.

Quality of teaching
  • Problems
  • limited subject knowledge
  • understanding of pupils difficulties and their
    consequent needs
  • ability to extend
  • fear of the unplanned
  • teaching to the test.

Observing teaching
  • How often, what for, culture?
  • Focus teachers standards, key priorities,
    individual weaknesses, aspect of the curriculum,
    subject knowledge?
  • How is it measured?
  • Evaluation of learning, progress, different
  • Expectations for feedback and consequent action.

Quality of teaching - activity
  • Read the evidence form on the Year 5 or the Year
    10 lesson observation.
  • Fill in the evaluation section based on the
    information in the first half of the form.
  • What feedback would you give to the teacher on
    strengths and areas for development?
  • What other information would you require?
  • What lines of enquiry might these lesson
    observations generate?

Analysing teaching

Teacher Class   Teaching and learning Observations   Pastoral care and guidance Conditions for Learning     Book Monitoring . Planning Monitoring Raising Attainment Data (Termly Assessments) Autumn to summer need 4 APS avg Summary Overall grade
  ICT, MFL and EMA Leader       Yr. 6 8/10/14 Good lesson pace is good very effective use of her voice clear teacher instruction and modelling. VG classroom organisation good questioning can motivate pupils well high quality stimulating teaching all pupils made good progress in this lesson 11/09/14 good lesson, with some outstanding features behaviour management, engagement of pupils, purposeful learning environment, use of range of strategies to assist learners to manage own behaviour. Effective use of maths subject knowledge to challenge MA pupils and plan for SA chdn very strong independent use of skills well resourced   (2 ) develops good behaviour management strategies Good evidence of work with SEN pupils motivating them to learn. Has focused on improving attendance particularly PD and RA and good improvement here (2 ) 7/9/14 neat and well organised displays link to learning, useful examples of work in progress reflect teaching and children refer to these frequently. Good use of exemplars of writing and calculation extensive displays of vocabulary (2) 1/02/15 Good overall with regards to teacher feedback and pupils response. Good progress in writing evident over term 23.11.14 Books are neat and well presented. Using the policy well good evidence of pupils responding to marking. Comments relate to LI. Can see pupils using feedback in next lesson   (2)20/9/14 planning clear and easy to follow and good skills being developed Differentiation is clear and provision for those finding aspects of learning difficult is well resourced to ensure they can work independently APS gains end of autumn term All Girls Boys   SA SA St   FSM   BC   EAL   ??? has huge potential to move her practice towards outstanding links with local school are supporting this Next steps Outstanding teacher programme 6/1/15 Developing teachers response in foundation subjects use of core skills teaching Pastoral care can tend to be a little blunt Ensure classroom is consistently tidy and continually reflects intended learning   Overall grade good, with some outstanding features  
Why sample pupils work?
  • Paragraph 192 achievement
  • inspectors will spend more time looking at the
    range of pupils work in order to consider what
    progress they are making in different areas of
    the curriculum.
  • Paragraph 183 - scrutiny of pupils work, with
    particular attention to
  • whether marking, assessment and testing are
    carried out in line with the schools policy and
    whether they are used effectively to help
    teachers improve pupils learning
  • the level of challenge provided, and whether
    pupils have to grapple appropriately with
    content, not necessarily getting it right first
    time, which could be evidence that the work is
    too easy
  • pupils effort and success in completing their
    work and the progress they make over a period of

Work sampling
  • In your school
  • How often do you do it, who does it?
  • What do you do and what evidence does it produce?
  • Who do you share the outcomes with?

Work sampling activity
  • For each pupil, choose three dates at least half
    a term apart.
  • Note improvements between the three dates in
    subject skills, knowledge, understanding. In
    other words, what can the student do that s/he
    could not do before?
  • How well does the standard of work match
  • Discussion with pupils whose work it is
  • What have you learned in this topic / unit of
    work / half term? (Can the pupil sum up, using
    subject vocabulary with confidence?)
  • What can you do / do you know about what is new?
  • Pick an example of your best work. Why is it
  • What do you find the most difficult, do you get
    help to manage this?

HMCIs Annual Report 2013-14
Successful primary headteachers and their staff
know their pupils abilities well and they ensure
that teaching is focused on getting the basics
right, particularly in literacy. In contrast,
less successful secondary schools are struggling
to identify the needs of their pupils accurately
East of England Annual Report 2013-14
  • A common feature of these (declining) schools is
    a failure of senior leaders to take action to
    prevent a fall in standards. The quality of
    teaching is inconsistent, with low expectations
    and not enough challenge, especially for higher
    ability pupils. This is compounded by ineffective
    use of information about prior learning which
    fails to provide these pupils with the flying
    start they need in Year 7.

  • Recognise the strengths in your own school and
    identify the three actions that will make a
    difference to the areas that are weaker.
  • Record the actions on the form for you to take
    back to school.
  • Good to share, need to know.

Inspecting English and literacy
  • Moving English Forward, 2012
  • Excellence in English, 2011
  • Reading by Six, 2008-9
  • Removing Barriers to Literacy, 2011
  • Unseen Children, see online at

English and Literacy
  • The Ofsted Handbook, January 2014
  • Generic grade descriptors and supplementary
    subject-specific guidance for English
  • http//
  • National Curriculum, 2014

Effective Practice Session
Key strengths in leadershipEnglish at the
  • headteachers who understood the subjects
    importance, placed it at the centre of their
    drive for improvement and maintained a close
    interest in the development of the curriculum
  • clear sense of direction and purpose

What is effective teaching in English?
Ofsteds 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.
Moving English Forward Develop policies to
promote reading for enjoyment throughout the
school. Improve transition and continuity in
curriculum and assessment in English between Key
Stages 2 and 3. Simplify lesson plans in English
to concentrate on the key learning objectives and
encourage teachers to be more flexible in
responding to pupils progress as lessons develop.
Using learning objectives
  • realistic and achievable in one lesson
  • capable of being evaluated
  • appropriate for all pupils
  • Applied to skills, knowledge and understanding in
    English. For example, write a story or prepare
    a talk define the activity rather than the
    learning while show an understanding of some
    different ways to begin a story or use Standard
    English and formal language in giving a talk are
    more specific and capable of being reviewed by
    the teacher and the pupils.

Writing for real, writing that matters
One issue raised in Moving English Forward 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.
Ofsted Reading by six
  • good subject knowledge of both teachers and
    classroom assistants
  • creative use of well designed resources and
    activities that helped generate pupils
    enthusiasm and enjoyment
  • effective modelling, correct pronunciation of
  • good links made with spelling and handwriting
  • good use of ongoing assessment to ensure
    well-targeted teaching
  • good maintenance of pace of learning in lessons
  • activities and teaching matched to pupils
    specific learning needs.

Advanced level classes
  • excellent or good subject knowledge enabling
    teachers to provide thoughtful insight into a
    range of texts
  • use of a good variety of activities to interest
    and engage students especially in encouraging
    discussion and using small group work
  • good support for students to become independent
    learners, and to develop research and study
  • opportunities for students to shape learning,
    using their own ideas, questions and research
  • effective planning that met the needs of
    students with varying abilities
  • good use of assessment criteria and constructive
    feedback to help students identify areas of

Pre-lunch session
Clarifying inspection
  • Ofsted does not require schools to provide
    individual lesson plans to inspectors. Equally,
    Ofsted does not require schools to provide
    previous lesson plans.
  • Ofsted does not specify how planning should be
    set out, the length of time it should take or the
    amount of detail it should contain. Inspectors
    are interested in the effectiveness of lesson
    planning rather than the form it takes.
  • Ofsted does not expect schools to use the Ofsted
    evaluation schedule to grade teaching or
    individual lessons.

Clarifying inspection
  • Ofsted recognises that marking and feedback to
    pupils, both written and oral, are important
    aspects of assessment. However, Ofsted does not
    expect to see any specific frequency, type or
    volume of marking and feedback these are for the
    school to decide through its assessment policy.
    Marking and feedback should be consistent with
    that policy, which may cater for different
    subjects and different age groups of pupils in
    different ways, in order to be effective and
    efficient in promoting learning. These activities
    need to be useful for pupils and sustainable for
  • While inspectors will consider how written and
    oral feedback are used to promote learning.
    Ofsted does not expect to see any written record
    of oral feedback provided to pupils by teachers.

Clarifying inspection
  • Ofsted will take a range of evidence into account
    when making judgements, including published
    performance data, the schools in-year
    performance data and work in pupils books and
    folders. However unnecessary or extensive
    collections of marked pupils work are not
    required for inspection.
  • Most recent guidance
  • the strongest reporting focuses on ..making
    clear why the contribution of the curriculum and
    assessment to pupils achievement is effective or
  • take account of the contribution of the schools
    ethos to good behaviour

Excellence in English
  • The quality of the curriculum is the strongest
    indicator of outstanding provision in English.
  • Teaching that is held in check by an
    inappropriate or dull curriculum will not inspire
    pupils or generate high standards.

Excellence in English
  • Outstanding
  • Pupils expressing their ideas fluently and
    imaginatively, orally and in writing.
  • Teachers inspiring pupils through a passionate
    commitment to the subject and with very good
    subject knowledge.

Moving English forward in Peterborough
  • Share what you have found to be useful in the
  • Revisit your actions to take back to school.
  • Identify areas where you need support, challenge
    or inspiration.

Happy to share, need to know - summary
Purpose and objectives
  • Identify the challenges facing leaders of English
    in Peterborough using examples from Ofsted survey
    and inspection work.
  • Provide time to reflect on your practice and
    determine immediate and longer term actions to
    support improvement.
  • To consider how the leadership of English can
    influence whole school practice.
  • To identify opportunities for school to school
    sharing of effective practice to overcome the
    barriers to improvement.