What is an Ofsted inspection and what do the ratings mean?

If you work in a school or an environment that offers learning such as a nursery or college, one of the most stressful things you can hear is that Ofsted are coming in to your school. It’s not that the school is necessarily doing anything wrong or has anything to hide, but the whole process is said to be extremely stressful and can put added pressure on a teacher’s already busy schedule.

Ofsted are there to inspect these places of learning to check how they are doing in different areas. The areas that they come out to check are split in to:

Overall effectiveness, Effectiveness of leadership and management, Quality of teaching, learning and assessment, Personal development / behaviour and welfare, Outcomes for children and learners and The effectiveness of early years and sixth form provision, where applicable.

Once the inspection has taken place it usually takes a few weeks for the report to be published. Even if the school knows how well they have done, they are not allowed to say until the inspection has been published. These grades can be Outstanding, Good, Notice to Improve or inadequate. Depending on the outcome, Ofsted may have to return within 12 months to check if progress has been made.

Helping your child cope with SATS stress

Many young children are taking part in their SATs exams starting this week. This can be an extremely stressful time for a child and although as parents you may not worry too much them, for the child it can be overwhelming. As a parent there are some signs of stress that you can look out for and ways in which you can help your child cope. Never brush it off, y telling your child not to be stupid or that they are overacting, as to them it may be something that is deeply concerning and something they cannot help worrying about.

For many of the children, it will be the first time they have experienced tests under exam conditions and SATs in particular have been deemed controversial for their difficulty and the level of stress they have caused pupils.

Helping to ensure that your child eats well, is sleeping well and staying active should help them manage their anxiety. You can also help devise a study plan with them, making sure that they also have time to switch off and play. Always reiterate to your child that exams can be important and will occur throughout their education but their well being is far more important.

 

Allowing yourself time to study

When starting to work on any new project you should always take time to learn. Often people learn new skills by reading books but for some people they learn better by actually taking part practically in something.

Video tutorials are a great way to see how to do something, often being able to have a visual aid makes it easier to learn that reading about it in a book or on a website.

Learning a new language is a skill that many of us do over our life time. It usually starts at school where you are often taught the basics of French, German or Spanish and for some people this is then a basis for them to build upon to allow them to be fluent in that language. A good way to learn a new language is to listen to the language been spoken. This may be in person or through an audio recording. Books can be a great way to quickly look up a phrase you need to use, so if going to a country where you are limited on the language it is always recommended to take a phase book with you.

Helping your children with their homework

Most parents now have to face the perils of helping their children through reams of homework and for some it can be pretty difficult as the standards expected from children now are so much higher than 20-30 years ago. However help is out there, firstly if your child is struggling with their homework it’s important to feed this back to their teachers as it’s important that they realise if the work is too hard for them.

If it’s a case of just wanting to understand more about what your child is learning then the internet really is your best friend. There are a lot of websites out there that can offer help following the curriculum standards so that you can be sure that you’re teaching them the correct current way that they will be learning at school.

Most importantly it’s essential to encourage your children to have a go at their homework even if they feel that it’s too hard, and explain to them that there is no harm in getting things wrong. As long as your children have you there to offer support and encouragement to complete their homework on time then you should be able to help them even without fully understanding the subject matter.

 

 

Giving reception children homework

Homework is often a hot topic of discussion in schools. Many parents feel that their children are given homework far too early or that they are given too much homework. As a child progresses through their school life, the homework tends to increase in volume and frequency so it may be better to get them used to it from an earlier age. When children first start reception there is a lot to take in. It may be the first educational setting that they have been to and therefore giving them homework immediately may be too much. After the first few terms children often see ready to be doing extra work at home and some even look forward to it. In reception, home (if given) is usually quite light hearted and fun and often involves a lot of parent interaction.

Examples of home work for a reception child may be to find letters or numbers around their home and photograph them or to write a letter to Father Christmas. Helping your child with these tasks are important but never do their homework for them without their input as this will not offer them any value and can also not help in teaching them responsibility.