Ofsted is currently consulting on its proposed new inspection framework – the draft was published on 16th January with the consultation running until 5th April. The draft framework includes some strong indications that music and creativity will be firmly back on the radar of Ofsted inspectors from September this year. If schools want to achieve Good or Outstanding ratings, they are going to have to teach the full curriculum, right through years 3 – 6 at key stage 2 and throughout years 7 – 9 at key stage 3.
As far back as 2008, an Ofsted report concluded that: “The first-hand experiences of learning outside the classroom can help to make subjects more vivid and interesting for pupils and enhance their understanding. It can also contribute significantly to pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.” This report evaluated the impact of learning outside the classroom in 27 schools and colleges across England. It went on to say that “Learning outside the classroom was most successful when it was an integral element of long-term curriculum planning and closely linked to classroom activities.”
As part of their Art curriculum, Furzedown Primary School in south west London has been running workshops on architectural design. This is to help the children’s knowledge and understanding of materials, structure, colour and aesthetics, and how they can be applied physically into built assemblies. Architectural design is not a subject normally taught in schools before college, but it is a subject that is very relevant to everyone. We all live in the built environment which is heavily managed with lots of design interventions. Individually and collectively these affect us directly, so why not bring architectural design into the classroom?