Improved Teaching Benefits Secondary Students

The Journal (Newcastle, England), March 23, 2004 | Go to article overview

Improved Teaching Benefits Secondary Students


Byline: By Dave Black

Students at secondary schools are benefiting from better quality teaching as a result of the Government's national strategy for 11 to 14 year olds, according to a new report by classroom watchdogs.

The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) said yesterday that the latest review of the Key Stage 3 strategy shows that it is driving forward improvements in secondary schools and adding greater purpose and challenge to many lessons.

Ofsted says the national strategy is also leading to better attitudes to work and is having an increasing, though uneven, effect on attainment in most schools.

But the report also highlights the need to turn around persistent weaknesses in assessment and to step up efforts to develop the use of literacy and numeracy across all subjects.

The strategy has helped the transition from primary to secondary school, but continuity remains inadequate in too many cases.

Last night the Government's Chief Inspector of Schools, David Bell, said: "Schools should be applauded for successfully implementing key aspects of the strategy effectively.

"It is particularly pleasing to note that improvements in subject teaching have been maintained, and that this is having a positive effect on pupils attitudes and aspects of their work.

"But the drive for improvement needs to be kept up. Assessment is still a key weakness in Key Stage 3. There is more attention to literacy across the curriculum, but the drive for consistency across subjects is faltering in some schools.

"The same is true of the use of numeracy. There is still much to do to enable more pupils to make good progress from the start of their secondary education."

Anne Welsh, President of the Secondary Heads Association and headteacher at George Stephenson High School in Killingworth, North Tyneside, said the Ofsted report was positive news at a time of continuing problems for many secondary schools. …

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