Gill Jones, Deputy Director of Early Childhood for Ofsted, writes about the latest focus for inspection in primary schools and early years settings:
https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk ... framework/
Early reading and the education inspection framework
Gill Jones, our Deputy Director for Early Education, sets out how we look at early reading and phonics teaching as part of our new inspections.
As I write, many schools will already have had an inspection under the new education inspection framework (EIF). A large proportion of those are primary schools.
If you’re reading this and work in a primary, junior, infant or lower middle school, you should be aware that the new EIF includes a reading deep dive. The reading deep dive is a mandatory part of the new inspections in these schools. Inspectors will look at 7 aspects of early reading, as set out in paragraph 298 of the school inspection handbook.
If you've not looked at this section of the handbook yet, then do; it sets out what inspectors will be considering when they look at how well the school teaches children to read from the beginning of Reception.
We’ve made the early reading deep dive mandatory because it’s so important that children learn to read fluently as quickly as possible. Inevitably, fluent readers will learn more, because they can read and gain knowledge for themselves.
All inspectors have been trained to focus on the things that make the biggest difference, drawing on the evidence set out in our report ‘Bold beginnings: the Reception curriculum in a sample of good and outstanding primary schools’.
To prevent myths being created, I’ve set out here what inspectors will be looking at during deep dives into early reading. They will consider the extent to which:
Do read Gill's full post - it isn't long and it has links to important documents for the teaching profession in England - and hopefully other countries will follow this example of valuing the teaching of foundational literacy - well - for every child regardless of background.
Here is 'paragraph 298' in the Ofsted School Inspection Framework as mentioned in Gill's post:
298. In reaching an evaluation against the ‘quality of education’ judgement, inspectors will consider whether:
◼ the school is determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. All pupils, including the weakest readers, make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations
◼ stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction are chosen for reading to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading. Pupils are familiar with and enjoy listening to a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction
◼ the school’s phonics programme matches or exceeds the expectations of the national curriculum and the early learning goals. The school has clear expectations of pupils’ phonics progress term-by-term, from Reception to Year 2
◼ the sequence of reading books shows a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that is matched closely to the school’s phonics programme. Teachers give pupils sufficient practice in reading and re-reading books that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know, both at school and at home
◼ reading, including the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics, is taught from the beginning of Reception
105 Wherever possible, inspectors should listen to children read in a classroom or in an open area with which pupils are familiar. The length of time a pupil has attended the school should be taken into consideration.
◼ the ongoing assessment of pupils’ phonics progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the programme’s pace. If they do fall behind, targeted support is given immediately
◼ the school has developed sufficient expertise in the teaching of phonics and reading.