I was somewhat dismayed upon reading "False ideal in three parts" (TES, 2 January)
Firstly, I reject the notion that the three part lesson is a straitjacket for creativity. The idea that a lesson should commence, have a middle and some form of ending seems to be a perfectly logical one. That it is planned, with learning outcomes that encompass literacy and numeracy again seems an unarguably sensible and logical framework in which to ensure that children learn in a progressive and coherent curriculum.
Secondly, good teaching is the panacea for school improvement - without it a school will not be successful. To reject the principle of planning is a recipe for self-indulgent teaching characterised by the "I start with what I want to teach and then see how (at best) or whether (at worst) it meets assessment criteria."
Thirdly, if a teacher fails to deliver a planned lesson - one that in MacGilchrist et al's words is "well matched to the pupils previous learning and appropriate to their stage of development" it is the failure of the paid professional - not the child. I would recommend "The Intelligent School" by MacGilchrist, Myers and Reed to anyone who shares the views of the letter writers from last week.
As trained, highly educated professionals we have the responsibility for literacy standards, numeracy standards and educational standards in our schools. We are of course, subject to the ravages of society - but it is by challenging the accepted notions that we overcome them.
Matthew Arnold School