Ofsted have been carrying out “interim visits” to schools since they have returned from closures in March. These visits have highlighted that schools' remote lessons are "not fully aligned" with the classroom curriculum.
The findings come in a new report published by the watchdog, highlighting the findings of its visits to schools this term.
Chief inspector Amanda Spielman said there was a "curriculum issue" at play, whereby schools' remote learning provision was "not fully aligned" with what would be taught in the classroom, in a commentary published alongside the report.
The report noted how leaders had made numerous adjustments to make it safe for pupils and staff to be back. Most pupils had returned to school with attendance at normal levels.
However, Ofsted has warned that whilst most subjects were being taught as normal, Schools' remote lessons are "not fully aligned" with the classroom curriculum.
"It became apparent on our visits that there is a curriculum issue here as well," Ms Spielman said.
The remote learning material is in place for pupils who have to stay at home.
Ofsted noted that “if we expect many children to find themselves at home in term time once or even more often this year, for possibly a fortnight at a time, they must not lose the progression that a strong, well-sequenced curriculum brings.”
“Without that structure, remote education becomes more about filling time than about effective learning.”
The Ofsted report says, "most schools" the inspectorate visited were providing remote learning for "some pupils".
"The schools were generally using online methods of delivery – recorded online lessons, individual study modules or often a combination of the two. Occasionally, leaders said they were using live online lessons," the report says.
Many leaders also told the watchdog that they were "working on what content they can best use to align their remote learning with their existing curriculum".
"Leaders reported that in some subjects their remote education was only aligned with their pre-existing curriculum to some extent. In others, it was not yet aligned," the report says.
Ofsted states it will "explore remote learning in more detail during this term".
The report adds that some schools had returned to teaching all subjects "straight away", while others were taking a more "gradual approach".
"In both primary and special schools, we saw a variety of approaches taken to their autumn-term curriculum," the report says.
"Some schools have returned to teaching all subjects straight away. Others are taking a gradual approach to reintroducing foundation subjects such as modern foreign languages and geography.
"Practical aspects of subjects such as physical education (PE) and music were sometimes not being taught. All the primary school leaders told us that they are concentrating hard on reading, including phonics.
"Many leaders explained that they wanted to make sure that if there have been any losses in learning, particularly in reading, these are quickly put right."
Ofsted will visit more than 1,000 schools during this term to check on how well pupils are being supported to return to full-time education.
Uteach Lessons is one way in which schools can continue to support pupils with classroom aligned lessons. Our comprehensive platform of lessons was created by outstanding teachers and a National Leader of Education.
They ensure pupils can be taught high quality lessons in school or at home from as little as £8 per month.
- By Uteach Lessons