Sadly we have yet another OFSTED report which could be construed as criticising language teachers.
These are interesting times with much change, uncertainty and opportunities.
Tomorrow will see the publication of performance tables which will include the English Bac measure.
Undoubtedly there will be much ‘huffing and puffing’ about what this might mean.
Stepping aside from that, what is positive from the perspective of the language community is that there is now a performance measure with a high profile whereby it is to the advantage of a school to have more pupils within a cohort gaining a C grade GCSE in languages.
Although there are various aspects it does not include (Asset / NVQ / Applied or grades below a C grade etc. etc.) .. YET it does provide an incentive for schools to get more students continuing with ML.
And therefore I feel that we should be positive and optimistic and reflect on the great work which ML teachers have been doing at KS 4 (and KS3 to prepare for KS4) to continue to maintain an enthusiasm for languages .
We are all aware of the challenge which the new Controlled Assessment regime poses, but equally we need to recognise that this was the outcome from Lord Dearing asking teachers what they wanted and the imperative which was given to move from the 7-minute one-off oral test.
Whereas we were very aware that because of performance measures currently and previously in operation, such as CVA, studying ML at KS4 was potentially detrimental to a school’s ‘performance’ and OFSTED judgement, we are now in a situation which promotes getting a C grade per se (rather than in comparison with other subjects) .. and there is an opportunity to be grasped here.
We still need to continue to press resolution of the ‘Severe grading ‘ agenda (see here http://www.all-london.org.uk/severe_grading.htm) BUT to use a metaphor, we are now on the front foot rather than the back foot.
In conclusion, I’d like to urge a positive response so that we can be offering constructive suggestions in response to the English Bac and highlighting the successes of ML at KS4.