Letters extra: Her majesty's inspector of fun

6th April 2001 at 01:00

It was good to hear that HMI within OFSTED are going to investigate the "fate" of the foundation subjects in the current literacy - and numeracy - dominated primary curriculum (TES March 30).

Previous OFSTED evaluations of the strategies have been partial - neglecting to report on the other costs involved in schools' rigorous adherence to government diktats.

Despite anxieties over the prospect of being re-inspected if they admit deficiencies schools need to be frank with HMI about the extent of their "corner-cutting" and uneasy accommodations over the period of the implementation of the strategies.

But will they? HMI need to consider not just the health of the foundation subjects but also the "fate" of other features that contribute to children's primary education - residential experiences, field trips, theme days, art workshops, whole-school celebrations, and even (dare I say it ?) fun-type activities.

But will they ? Numeracy and literacy are very important; so are the foundation subjects. But even more important is a fulfilling, enjoyable, yet educative, childhood.

Professor Colin Richards
Spark Bridge
Cumbria

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