0300 123 1231
F 020 7421 6855
22 June 2011
Mrs C Moon and Mr
Principal and Headteacher
The Business Academy Bexley
Dear Mrs Moon and
Ofsted 2011 ̶ 12
subject survey inspection programme: citizenship
Thank you for your
hospitality and cooperation, and that of the staff and students, during my
visit on 8 and 9 June 2011 to look at work in citizenship.
The visit provided
valuable information which will contribute to our national evaluation and
reporting. Published reports are likely to list the names of the contributing
institutions but individual institutions will not be identified in the main
text without their consent.
evidence used to inform the judgements included: interviews with staff and
students; scrutiny of relevant documentation; analysis of students’ work; and
observation of six lessons as well as other activities including students’
leadership meetings and an assembly.
effectiveness of citizenship is good.
Achievement in citizenship
Achievement in citizenship
Standards at GCSE are satisfactory with 54% of the cohort gaining
Grade C or above, representing good progress. GCSE coursework provides evidence
of critical awareness and campaigning activity on issues, such as youth crime
Standards at AS and A2 are satisfactory, also representing good
In the lessons observed, students achieved well and enjoyed learning
about issues, such as crime and political ideology.
Lower attaining students, in a lesson observed, made particularly
good progress because they were motivated to read for understanding, to discuss
issues, share ideas and explain them in writing.
Many students in the Academy are outstanding role models in their
exercise of leadership roles; these are widely distributed and effective in
supporting daily life and school improvement.
Students also achieve well in a range of wider citizenship
activities, from a local to global scale. For example, it is impressive that 90
students recently took part in the 15 kilometre ‘Bridges to Africa’ walk.
Quality of teaching in citizenship
The quality of
teaching in citizenship is good.
Lessons observed ranged from outstanding to satisfactory. Other
evidence, including students’ work, confirmed a picture of generally good
teaching, including effective but inconsistent use of assessment through
marking and comments.
Characteristics of good and outstanding teaching included careful
planning, well-understood ground rules that enabled the use of a wide range of
learning styles, very positive relationships, high expectations of all students
and expert use of technology.
Specialist citizenship teachers have taken the opportunity to inform
planning and pedagogy within the humanities department to good effect.
Assessment is given high priority in planning and in lessons, but
some misconceptions were apparent in relation to the link between lesson
objectives and National Curriculum assessment and levels.
Evidence from observations and students’ work suggests that challenge
could be greater for higher attainers and sixth-form students in terms of planning
and selection of resources.
Quality of the
curriculum in citizenship
The quality of the
curriculum in citizenship is good.
Reflecting changes being made to the curriculum as a whole, the citizenship
curriculum is developing, building on solid foundations.
The Key Stage 3 curriculum provides all students with a
comprehensive citizenship programme within a thematic humanities course. As
well as having strong citizenship themes, good links are made between subjects.
In Key Stage 4, past, present and planned programmes include GCSE
and AS citizenship as discrete options as well as coverage through humanities.
As programmes have developed, the Academy has sought to retain an entitlement
Medium-term plans are evolving but examples of current planning are
good in several respects. Some lesson planning was outstanding in taking
account of individuals’ learning needs and in the productive sequencing of
lessons. Overall, however, the approach to defining learning objectives and
outcomes in planning is an area of relative weakness.
The core programme is augmented by a wide range of opportunities
including outstanding attention to the development of leadership roles. These
include house and Academy student leadership groups, the regular current
affairs sessions in tutorials and house assemblies and a very wide range of
extra-curricular opportunities including a strong international dimension.
Students also have many opportunities to take responsibility in the
school and wider community.
of leadership and management in citizenship
of leadership and management in citizenship is good.
Citizenship is central to the aims and values of the Academy and is
very strongly promoted and supported by senior leaders, as manifested in the
priority given to student leadership, taking responsibility and ‘respect for
Citizenship is well resourced in terms of staffing and material
resources and has a prominent place in the curriculum and the broader life of
Development planning for citizenship is thorough and well targeted.
Subject leadership of citizenship is developing in scope and
experience, working within the humanities faculty. Steps have been taken to
analyse outcomes and monitor provision. Work remains to be done in providing
support, particularly for non-specialists and in aspects of citizenship such as
teaching about controversial issues. Schemes of work have been prepared but do
not as yet provide for progression, for example between key stages.
Citizenship makes a strong contribution to the promotion of
community cohesion in the Academy and beyond.
improvement, which we discussed, include:
reviewing medium- and short-term planning in the context of
progression in the National Curriculum and GCSE, with clearer definition of
learning outcomes at each level
developing the role of the subject leader, drawing on expertise
within the school and more widely
increasing the level of challenge for higher attaining and sixth-form
I hope that these observations are useful as you
continue to develop citizenship in the school.
As I explained previously, a copy of this letter will
be published on the Ofsted website. It may be used to inform decisions about
any future inspection. Except in the case of academies, a copy of this letter
is also being sent to your local authority.