Ofsted Loves English and Maths

It’s not only us who are interested in building a loving relationship between vocational
subjects and English and maths, Ofsted are also going strong when it comes to education and supporting our learners in working towards achieving that golden grade C (and above!), their ticket to a life time of employment, happiness and success. Pre 2015, Ofsted wanted to know ‘whether learning programmes contain appropriate attention to improving learners English, mathematics and Functional Skills, ensuring development of their employability skills,’ and we had to show them that they did, but since then things have stepped up a notch or two. It feels like English and maths are now the centre of the FE universe (not that I’m complaining) and therefore massively in the spotlight.

So, what’s changed?

What Ofsted were looking for pre Sept, 2015…

Teaching and learning supports learners to develop the English, mathematics and functional skills they need to achieve their main learning goals and career aims.

Learners progress in English, mathematics, language and functional skills is monitored and reviewed and their work is marked carefully.

Learners appreciate the importance of improving their English, mathematics and functional skills as appropriate in the context of their learning goals and life ambitions.

Resources to meet the above objectives include…

The 5 Minute English and Maths Promotion Plan (previously known as The 5 Minute Literacy and Numeracy Plan)

5 Minute Literacy and Numeracy Plan completed by Anita Wilkinson, Course Leader in Hair and Beauty
5 Minute Literacy and Numeracy Plan completed by Anita Wilkinson, Course Leader in Hair and Beauty

If you would like support in recognising how you are already embedding literacy and numeracy in to your vocational subjects, then I recommend you try The 5 Minute English and Math Promotion Plan. Click on the image to see a completed version of the plan. This is a quick and easy way to help you to identify areas where you are promoting English and maths in your subjects already, which in turn will enable your learners to make clearer connections themselves.

What the CIF says now…

Teaching, learning and assessment support learners to develop their skills in English, mathematics and ICT and their employability skills, including appropriate attitudes and behaviours for work, in order to achieve their learning goals and career aims.

Staff promote, where appropriate, English, mathematics, ICT and employability skills exceptionally well and ensure that learners are well-equipped with the necessary skills to progress to their next steps.

So, now we need to not only be identifying opportunities for English and maths within vocational subjects and promoting their importance in relation to their future employment, staff need to also be supporting learners to develop their English and maths skills in order t achieve their learning goals and career aims.

There’s the difference.

A great place to start this journey towards development, would be to identify where the opportunities arise, so get your I heart maths t-shirt on, grab a coffee in your I heart English mug and have a crack at the recently updated 5 Minute English and Maths Promotion Plan…which can be found here.

Further techniques and strategies to follow, but first, get your head around this one! Have fun.

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Author:

Experienced teacher in all things English: I teach GCSE English Language, FS English at all levels and deliver bespoke training and qualifications in promoting English and maths to all vocational departments as an Education and Training Consultant. I have mentored many trainee teachers specialising in English and maths, who work for and/or complete placements at college, supporting them in all aspects of becoming a confident teacher of English/maths in Further Education. I provide training on teaching and learning to colleges across the country and am an author for Hodder Education, writing contextualised English resources for use in vocational areas and GCSE English resources for use in FE.

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