Mickey Mouse vision

19th September 2003 at 01:00
Inspectors asking pupils to help rate their school may not have bargained on the very particular world view of a five-year-old.

Asked what would make the school better, one pupil at Thorpedene infants in Shoeburyness, Essex, replied "Disneyworld in the playground".

A boy gave a resounding "no" when asked if his teacher was fair.

Anthea Meek, his headteacher, said: "When his teacher asked why, he said 'I always know the answer to all the questions but you don't always ask me'."

When the teacher asked him whether he thought she was being fair to everyone, the boy replied: "Yes, but the question is about what I think is fair."

Pupil questionnaires are one of the more controversial changes in the new Office for Standards in Education framework which came into force this month.

Another question asks children if they can say there is no bullying or racial harassment in school.

Christine Thompson, head at Limehurst high school, Loughborough, said: "I think in every school that answer will come out high. It doesn't ask whether there is a lot, some or none. Pupils don't have to have experienced it personally."

Thorpedene infants and Limehurst high were among the first 27 schools to be inspected this year.

In Gloucester, a school inspection at Calton junior began on the same day that the pupils arrived back (see story above). Unusually, this coincided with a week-long Tudor firearms demonstration booked by the head Geoff Gait Carr.

"We want to provide real experiences for our pupils," he said. "We have an enriched curriculum, in which we do fewer schemes of work but do them better.

"The History People, a re-enactment group, come in and fill the Year 5 rooms with Tudor artefacts. The group then has a swordfight and fires a musket. It is good fun."

There have been concerns that maths, English, science and information communications technology will get undue attention under the new inspection framework for schools.

Tessa Baylis, Year 5 teacher at Calton, did not think this would be the case. She said: "The inspectors couldn't help but know about our enriched curriculum, because it is linked to literacy, behaviour and motivation."

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