Spider stops inspection

3rd March 2006 at 00:00
"We pulled reception children out of class to look at a spider's web with rain water on it during an inspection," said Ronan Dunne, deputy headteacher at St Gregory's Catholic primary school in Liverpool.

"That got a comment in the Ofsted report. It was clear the inspectors liked it and they should, because it is what education is about."

St Gregory's, which is in a deprived area, is one of an increasing number of schools rewriting their curriculum to cater for pupils - rather than following national edicts.

But many teachers across the country are not sure how to move from subjects to broader learning based on topics - a recent call for help on the TES online forum prompted more than 100 requests for Mr Dunne's topic-based plans.

Mr Dunne said: "The greatest strength of education is when teachers get together and share ideas. The point of a topic-based curriculum is moulding it to your own context.

"We started with topic webs. You get a big piece of paper, write World War II in the middle and then every learning opportunity: history, literacy, art, design... Obviously there is music - such as Vera Lynn singing 'We'll meet again'. It doesn't work with everything, so you don't stretch it.

"When you have 11-year-old boys saying, 'We'll meet again', you know you're doing something right."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now