Ofsted inspectors studied the performance of 31 secondary schools in depth and found that the main reason given by pupils for skipping lessons was that they found the teaching dull and unstimulating, had difficulty getting on with particular teachers or catching up with work if they had been away. Many also said they did not believe what they were being taught was relevant to their needs in the outside world.
You can find the Ofsted report on this here.
Reading the reports in the papers I was reminded of research that we covered in November last year, which said:
In sum, arenas such as citizenship, PSHE and key skills would seem to be important to pupils – although not generally for their cross-curricular value, but rather useful as distinct topics themselves. The pupils themselves suggest that relevance might be increased by considering who delivers the curriculum (e.g. the PSHE curriculum – professionals in the field).
At the time we said:
This research suggests that if schools fall back to just dolling out information about drugs without putting that information in a proper context for learning there is the potential to loose the interest of pupils. The research points out:
- Pupils enjoy subjects and activities where the curriculum involves learning that is active, participatory and has practical application.
I guess we’re now finding out what happens if learning doesn’t engage pupils.