Friday, 10 January 2014

Ofsted and Primary Languages

This week I have been preparing a course for primary teachers who are preparing for compulsory Key Stage 2 Languages, which will arrive in September this year.  One of the things that I need to include is "What are Ofsted looking for?"

I realised that I hadn't heard anything from Ofsted about what they will be looking for during inspections come September, and so on Tuesday sent them an email to ask that very question.

On Wednesday I received an answer:  "Refer to the inspection framework."  Hmm.  I emailed back to ask for some more detailed and specific information.  This email was passed onto the subject team.

Today I received a much more useful reply from one of the HMIs:

"The new requirement puts modern foreign language on the same footing as other foundation subjects and therefore will be inspected in the same way. The pattern of provision is up to individual schools and there is no required number of hours. The curriculum guidance says inspectors will take account of whether the curriculum ‘is effectively planned and taught’ and is broad and balanced in the context of the school. At the very least we would expect to see a plan for the introduction to meet statutory requirements within a reasonable timeframe.

The substantial progress expected would be evident in schemes of work that support a pupils modern foreign language learning in one language from word level understanding and reproduction to the list of expectations expressed in the new National Curriculum requirements by the end of Key Stage 2. In common with all subjects the removal of levels will require a new way of measuring progress that is yet to be confirmed.
I am sorry I have no further information on this at present."


  1. Thank you Clare! Most useful! Have there been any further developments since you posted this in January?
    Many thanks

  2. Thank you from me also. Was wondering whether there has been any further information in regards to measuring progress and assessment in Primary MFL?

    1. Thanks for your comment. Ofsted has been less than forthcoming! I'd recommend you read my other posts about Ofsted Julie Yarwood's video is pretty much all we have to go on at the moment.