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NEWS • EDITORIAL
16.08.2016 - Creativity or Uniformity
Since education began there has always been much debate about what children need to learn and how they should be taught to learn.
It is quite clear that the current government is looking more at conformity/uniformity rather than creativity and diversity. The new national curriculum and assessment initiatives are an example of this as is the constant push towards trying to improve our position in the PISA rankings by promoting the use of things like Singapore maths.
Within all of this, however, Asian countries, including China, have been coming to the UK to find out how we manage to create a better balance between uniformity and creativity which leads to a wide range of talents distributed across our adult population. Our primary school education has, for a long-time, been held in high esteem and is something that should be replicated widely.
The article below provides an interesting take on this whole issue.
We would be interested to know your views on this whole debate. If you find the time to respond please send an email to
12.05.2016 - Ofsted update presentation
- What are some of the key focuses and approaches?
- 'Pebble in the pond'
- Key Approaches from Early Years to +16
Due to technical hitches we were unable to record this presentation but you can download it here. We have added to aspects of the PPT so that there is more information.
Click the following link to download
Ofsted update May 2016
29.02.2016 - Open Letter to Nicky Morgan by Emily Gazzard
Below is an open letter written by Emily Gazzard passed on to me from Gulshan Kayembe. In the light of the publication of the exemplification materials by the DfE, Emily utters her complaint about the standards now expected of Y6 pupils at the end of KS2. The letter opens up many of the concerns expressed to us directly by the schools that we are working with. Although we may not agree with everything that Emily is saying there is much food for thought...
23.02.2016 - The Early Years Foundation Stage Baseline Test
Incyte has consistently expressed a view about the new baseline assessment and promoted the Early Excellence baseline as the one that was most likely to fit with best assessment practice conducted by schools. Our main concerns, therefore, are not with the actual baseline test itself, as we do believe in having national baseline assessment consistency which can be externally moderated to improve accuracy of assessment, but with how this information is going to be used...
09.02.2016 - Enabling Children/Students to Develop the Skills needed to Learn Effectively
Dear Nick Gibb
There are times when non-professionals begin to believe that they are professionals with many years of experience of evaluating the quality of teaching and learning in depth. In the best schools, there has always been an appropriate balance between knowledge, skills and understanding. All of us who are trained as teachers will remember the wealth of academic research and evidence that pointed out the importance of this balance. To suggest that schools in their curriculum design and teachers in delivering the school’s curriculum have forgotten the importance of knowledge within this balance is just nonsense.
But, I would just like to thank you for bringing your view from the thousands of lessons you have evaluated (??) to the forefront because it has reminded me of the vast amount of educational research that supports effective learning – how pupils of any age learn best. The article below is just one that Jan Lomas, one of our directors, brought to my notice. It is certainly worth a read if only to enlighten us all in the belief that young people will always surprise us if we give them the credit and respect as intelligent human-beings that they deserve. After all, they do learn an incredible amount without any professional teacher support in the first few years of their life – the danger for us as teachers is that we forget this and box up their lives thereafter wondering why, by the time the leave school, academically, they have forgotten how to think for themselves, be creative and take risks.
11.01.2016 - Workload and Effective Learning and Teaching
Unions and Academies/Schools can work together to provide high quality education within working conditions that are acceptable to all parties
...Assessment is probably the most crucial skill that any teacher can possess. Without good assessment taking place informally and formally within and around every lesson or series of lessons how can teachers plan effectively and personalise the curriculum to meet the needs of the pupils?...
Assessment Changes for September 2015 and their Potential Impact on Social Mobility
There is continued confusion about assessment without levels and it is likely to get worse before it gets better. There is also increasing concern about the Reception baseline assessment to be piloted early in the autumn term. A recent article by John McIntosh in the TES expresses concern about schools re-vamping assessment systems under a flawed Levels system... The article found by Incyte Director Jan Lomas – is great in identifying the pupil perspective (backed by significant research) on what they need in terms of feedback which enables them to learn well and make good progress...