Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Under Inspection

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Under Inspection

Article excerpt

showing their true colours

"Miss! He's coming!" My students had been briefed well. The school was used to special measures, so close monitoring and scrutiny was the norm.

"Fine," I said, "just be yourselves. Carry on as usual."

The classroom was a hive of activity. My 13- and 14-yearold students were working in groups, determining the significance of various events during the Second World War. They were trying to justify their position on when the tide had turned against Hitler.

Students were engaged and collaborating, and much high-level discussion was taking place. Socrates would have been proud.

I stood back and welcomed the visitors - Her Majesty's Inspector plus the headteacher - encouraging them to get in among the action to see and hear what was going on.

They headed towards Tyler. He was pretty animated, doing his best to keep up with the discussion and feeling confident because he was familiar with the events under consideration from previous lessons.

After such a buoyant start, my heart sank as the inspector started to go through Tyler's book. It was January, and he had already explored the Industrial Revolution, enjoyed a visit to New Lanark and made a judgement about Robert Owen's motives and legacy. …

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