FORUM
ISSN 0963-8253


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Volume 60 Number 1 2018

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CONTENTS [click on author's name for abstract and full text]

 

All Power to the Imagination!

Patrick Yarker. Editorial. All Power to the Imagination!, pages 3-9 FREE ACCESS VIEW FULL TEXT http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.3

Melissa Benn & Jane Martin. The ‘Patron Saint’ of Comprehensive Education: an interview with Clyde Chitty. Part Two, pages 11-30 FREE ACCESS

Fiona Carnie. Rebuilding Our Schools from the Bottom Up, pages 31-37

Mike Davies. Fly With Me: how Stanley Park High School developed an alternative vision and practice, as told through the narrative of four teachers, pages 39-44

Katie Alden. Creating Independent Learners: placing students at the heart of the assessment process, pages 45-50

Jacquie Thomas. The Case for Alternative Creative Curricula, and What We Did at Stanley Park, pages 51-56

Susan Noble. Igniting a Passion in English, pages 57-63

Alison Bailey & David Taylor. Keeping All of Your Passengers on the Plane: creating truly inclusive, human-scale secondary education for all, including those with special educational needs, pages 65-70

John Coe. The Relevance of Primary Education, pages 71-76

John Quicke. Recruitment, Retention and the Workload Challenge: a critique of the government response, pages 77-85

Patrick Ainley & Martin Allen. Labour’s Pedagogic Project and the Crisis of Social Democracy in the English Labour Party, pages 87-95

Richard Zaiser. Literature in Language Lessons, pages 97-109

Jonathan Savage. Music Education for All, pages 111-121

Nansi Ellis. The Arts in School: what has befallen them, and why they remain vital, pages 123-127

Colin Richards. Ofsted Inspection as Existential Threat, pages 129-132

BOOK REVIEWS VIEW FULL TEXT http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.133

Betraying a Generation: how education is failing young people (Patrick Ainley), reviewed by Richard Harris, pages 133-136

Cleverlands: the secrets behind the success of the world’s educational superpowers (Lucy Crehan), reviewed by Melissa Benn, pages 137-142

Harold Rosen: writings on life, language and learning, 1958-2008 (John Richmond, Ed.), reviewed by Patrick Yarker, pages 142-146

Taught Not Caught: educating for 21st century character (Nicky Morgan), reviewed by Allen Parrott, pages 147-151


 

The 'Patron Saint' of Comprehensive Education: an interview with Clyde Chitty. Part Two

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.11

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This is the second and concluding part of the interview which Melissa Benn and Jane Martin conducted with Clyde Chitty in the summer of 2017. The first part appeared in the previous issue of the journal, FORUM, 59(3). When Clyde stepped away from regular duties with the FORUM board, Michael Armstrong dubbed him ‘the patron saint of the movement for comprehensive education’. Clyde talked with Melissa and Jane about his working life as a teacher-researcher who notably campaigned for the universal provision of comprehensive state education. His unshakeable conviction that education has the power to enhance the lives of all is illustrated by plentiful examples from his work-life history. The interview is structured like a narrative. Phrases or sentences in brackets are interpolations for sense and by way of additional context. The section in italics comes not from the interview, but from Clyde’s chapter in the book edited with Melissa Benn: A Tribute to Caroline Benn: education and democracy. As a coda, we append details of all Clyde’s articles for this journal from 1981, beginning characteristically with a piece entitled ‘Why Comprehensive Schools?’, along with details of his editorials from 1995.

 

 

Rebuilding Our Schools from the Bottom Up

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.31

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We live in a democracy and yet our schools are far from democratic. Decisions made by central government, implemented by headteachers and policed by Ofsted are rarely scrutinised or debated by those whose daily lives are significantly affected by them. Little surprise then that there is so much disenchantment on the part of teachers, disaffection of young people and disengagement by parents, many of whom feel powerless in the face of current education policy. This article explores how schools can transform their culture by strengthening voice, participation and the understanding of what it means to be part of a learning community. Giving examples of schools where teachers are encouraged to explore new ideas and discuss the challenges they face, where parents are actively involved and supported to help their children, and where young people are genuinely listened to and able to contribute to decisions about their learning and their school, a new way forward is charted, one which recognises the power of developing a shared sense of purpose and a common vision. It proposes transforming our schools from the bottom up.

 

Fly With Me: how Stanley Park High School developed an alternative vision and practice, as told through the narrative of four teachers

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.39

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This article introduces texts by practitioners at Stanley Park High School, links these to articles about the school in the previous issue of FORUM, and endorses the continuing commitment at Stanley Park to encouraging a thriving learning culture.

 

Creating Independent Learners: placing students at the heart of the assessment process

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.45

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Stanley Park High School, Carshalton, was designated a Building Schools for the Future ‘One School Pathfinder’ in 2006 and charged with being innovative in all aspects of schooling. At a time of increasing compliance in schools, with an unwillingness to deviate from centrally controlled orthodoxy for fear of falling foul of ever-tightening accountability measures, Stanley Park High has striven to establish a curriculum which inspires excellence for all students as well as developing an equitable assessment system which enables students to become equal partners in their own learning.

 

The Case for Alternative Creative Curricula, and What We Did at Stanley Park

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.51

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This article outlines reasons for creating the Excellent Futures Curriculum at Stanley Park High School, Carshalton, the strengths of the curriculum, and its subsequent development.

 

Igniting a Passion in English

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.57

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This article looks in detail at the constraints imposed on teachers of English by current examination syllabuses, and at how approaches developed through the Key Stage 3 (KS3) offer and the innovative Excellent Futures Curriculum at Stanley Park High School, Carshalton enable KS4 students to be more securely and fruitfully engaged as readers, writers, speakers and listeners.

 

Keeping All of Your Passengers on the Plane: creating truly inclusive, human-scale secondary education for all, including those with special educational needs

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.65

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Stanley Park High School, Carshalton was designated a Building Schools for the Future ‘One School Pathfinder’ in 2006, and charged with being innovative in all aspects of schooling. This article, which links with a number of other contributions in this issue of FORUM about interconnected practices at the school, will focus on one of the four schools-within-a-school (SWS), Horizon. This SWS is markedly different from the other three because it contains two opportunity bases – Aqua and Ignis – that in total meet the needs of 91 students with an Education and Health Care Plan forAutism Spectrum Condition (ASC), a provision that we believe to be unique within a mainstream secondary setting in England.

 

The Relevance of Primary Education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.71

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This article sketches a vision of how primary education needs to be re-shaped to let schools focus more sharply on the development of children as individuals. Rapid social change requires a fundamental re-thinking of formal education and assessment. High-stakes testing must end. Greater weight must be given to the application of knowledge and skills. The parent-teacher partnership must be re-vitalised.

 

Recruitment, Retention and the Workload Challenge: a critique of the government response

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.77

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Various surveys have confirmed that there is a crisis of recruitment and retention of teachers in schools. This article examines the government response to this crisis, in particular to what is commonly cited as the main cause – unmanageable workloads. What it describes as the workload challenge has certainly not been ignored by the DfE, which in February 2017 produced an updated document detailing the steps it had taken in an attempt to reduce teacher workload. However, although it has taken the workload challenge seriously, it has downplayed some of the factors which even its own commissioned research has shown to be important. This article argues that, while it is certainly a step in the right direction, addressing the workload issue alone will not resolve the crisis.

 

Labour’s Pedagogic Project and the Crisis of Social Democracy in the English Labour Party

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.87

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This article contends that the implementation of government policies is mediated principally by the state, the economy and social class but that these have all changed so markedly since 1945 that education can no longer be seen as having the reforming role attributed to it in the post-war years. The continued assumption that it does means that, were policies based upon Labour’s characteristic pedagogic project to be implemented in government, they may well lead to disillusion. This would only contribute to, rather than help resolve, the crisis of social democracy in the British Labour Party.

 

Literature in Language Lessons

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.97

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Teaching modern foreign languages is not all about communicative skills. It is also about testing functional abilities. While we still pay lip service to the creed of communicative language teaching, we have adopted test formats and teaching styles that follow a hidden agenda: the production of human capital. The main objective of teaching is being shifted from communicative competence to cognitive measurement. This article argues that using literature in the modern foreign language (MFL) classroom is perfectly compatible with the communicative approach and the curriculum. It highlights the fact that literature, once driven out by communicative language teaching (CLT), could now help to bring back the ‘communicative spirit’ that is in danger of being drowned by competency-based teaching and testing.

 

Music Education for All

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.111

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This article argues that a systematic, developmental and comprehensive music education should be at the heart of every child’s formal education within the state education system. The benefits of a music education are briefly explored before a presentation of recent research data that demonstrates a decline in music education as a result of poorly designed and implemented government policies in recent years. Rather than an over-reliance on the ‘outsourcing’ of music education to music education hubs and other private providers, qualified teachers with appropriate musical and pedagogical skills and understanding hold the key to the provision of a quality music education for all young people. Within primary schools, teachers without a music specialism need to be reminded that music as a subject is not impossible to teach and can be done well with their ‘generalist’ skills; within secondary schools, music needs to relate to other curriculum subjects in a more explicit way. This is examined through a metaphor drawn from the Renaissance period.Ultimately, this article argues that music education is too important to be left to amateurs. All children deserve a music education that is designed and delivered by qualified and skilful professional educators.

 

The Arts in School: what has befallen them, and why they remain vital

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.123

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This article re-states the importance of the arts and humanities for education, highlights the declining provision for them in schools, and argues that a fundamental re-think of the purposes of education is required to re-establish creativity at the heart of formal learning.

 

Ofsted Inspection as Existential Threat

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2018.60.1.129

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This article exposes the fear that is at the heart of the Ofsted inspection process. It presents a challenge to Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. She must tread carefully if she is to reform Ofsted and our broken accountability system.

 

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