Oct 12, 2018

Headteacher's Blog

Posted by: rbramley

Dear Parents, Carers and Friends

There was a really interesting interview with Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of Ofsted on Radio 5 on Thursday morning. Ms Spielman spoke about too many schools, ‘teaching to the test’ and narrowing their curriculum in order that the students, and hence the school, achieved the right grades to make the school statistics look good. Ms Spielman said she did not blame the teachers (quite rightly) and used the phrase “nobody came into teaching to get the perfect Progess 8 score”.  She went on to say that good teaching (and hence good learning) will always produce good outcomes, but it is possible to produce good outcomes without good learning. Unfortunately it is possible to cram students into rows, have them sit down and shut up and teach them ‘what they need to know to pass the test’.  We don’t do that.  Lady Lumley’s has always believed, and I hope always will believe, that we are here for the students not the scores.  We put the students at the heart of everything we do. For instance, we have an almost free choice of options in Year 9 and build the curriculum around the students’ choices. We do the same at A level.  We do not believe we should restrict the subjects a young person studies just because the scores she gets won’t fill the right boxes or ‘buckets’ for the school.  It was refreshing to hear Ms Spielman talk of rebalancing the Osfted judgments to move away (if only a little) from the school’s scores and to instead consider the experience of the students and whether we have actually taught them something and helped kindle a lifelong love of learning.  Anyone who knows Lady Lumley’s school knows that we have always said that the students and their learning come first, the results will follow.  We get good results because of the learning, not instead of it.  It is understandable why so many schools have put the cart before the horse, but it is not right for the young people who put their faith in us and, ultimately, not right for the country which requires people who can think independently, stand up for themselves and love learning for its own sake.

Richard Bramley


Sixth Form News

On Thursday Evening, Lady Lumley's sixth form were invited to attend the Ryedale School Pathways Evening; an event offering advice and guidance to Year 10 and Year 11 students about their post-16 options. As you will be aware, a number of students join our school community from other schools for their A Levels, with healthy numbers joining us from Ryedale School. On this occasion we took four of our current Year 13 students. They did a wonderful job fielding questions from parents and students about all matters of life in the sixth form. I would like to take this opportunity to say thankyou to Emily Calcraft, Sophie Knowles, Mary Middleton and Ella Turnbull for generously giving up their time to support the Ryedale students and parents in making such an important decision.

James Ambrose