12 Jun 2015

Linking, OFSTED and Curricula

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How Linking supports requirements of primary and secondary curricula:

The National Curriculum in England: Key Stages 1 and 2 Framework Document and Key Stages 3 and 4 Framework Document (both 2014)

“Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:

promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. “

DfE: Improving the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of pupils: Departmental advice for independent schools, academies and free schools (November 2013).

Standard 5(1)(a)(v): assist pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions:

“…Pupils must be encouraged to regard all faiths, races and cultures with respect. Teaching should also have a positive aspect, preparing pupils to interact easily with people of different cultures and faiths. Schools should develop opportunities for pupils through links with other schools and organisations, as well as the content of curriculum.”

How Linking supports requirements for “Outstanding” R.E. teaching (OFSTED Religious Education Survey, April 2014)

The overall effectiveness of religious education (RE) provided in the school

“The curriculum is rich, relevant and engaging, with a strong programme of enrichment activities which bring the world of religion and belief alive for pupils.”

Quality of the curriculum in religious education

“Excellent links are forged, through first-hand experience and/or through the use of ICT, to provide pupils with exciting and challenging opportunities to engage with the reality and diversity of religion and belief in the modern world.”

Achievement of pupils in religious education

“Pupils show impressive achievement in linking their study of religion and belief to their exploration of more personal reflections on issues of meaning and purpose.”
“They develop a strong understanding of how the beliefs, values, practices and ways of life within any religion cohere.”

And just to show how much of an impression School Linking can make on OFSTED…

Primary School in Wembley: (June 2013 OFSTED report). Pupil’s behaviour and personal development: Outstanding

“…Pupils learn about other cultures through a focus on different cultural traditions…In addition, Year 5 students take part in the Three Faiths Forum [Schools Linking project], whereby pupils from
the schools meet up with pupils from other faiths. They learn about tolerance and respect for all pupils…”
Secondary School in Brondesbury: (December 2012 OFSTED report). Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils:

“Cultural development is provided for well, and students’ awareness of ethnic diversity and different cultures is developed, with an emphasis on tolerance and harmony between cultural and religious traditions. The school has good links with those of other faiths and is part of the Three Faiths Forum.”

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