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​​​​​​​Ofsted Curriculum research reviews

A series of reviews by Ofsted looking at the research evidence currently available about different curriculum subjects.

The research reviews collate currently available research evidence. Ofsted will consider what the evidence indicates about a high-quality education in each subject.

Click on the image above to find out more about the principles behind Ofsted’s research reviews and subject reports.

Levelling the playing field: The physical education subject report

Ofsted has published a subject report looking at how physical education (PE) is being taught in England’s schools. 

The report evaluates the common features of PE in 25 primary schools and 25 secondary schools. It identifies strengths and areas for development in how pupils are taught the subject.Physical Activity resources, challenges, videos and games for children at  home! | Rowlands Gill Primary School

The report carries a series of recommendations for schools to consider. These include:

  • Making sure that the PE curriculum matches the breadth and ambition of the national curriculum for all pupils.
  • Making sure that the time in PE lessons is spent on developing pupils’ competence…so that they can secure the prior learning and, importantly, build their confidence.
  • Choosing the most appropriate physical activities and sports, so that all pupils are well supported to meet ambitious outcomes.
  • Supporting pupils SEND effectively so that they can access an ambitious curriculum and achieve well.

The report could be used as a reflection piece to reaffirm or modify your practice.

Striking the right note: The music subject report

Avoid copyright and use royalty-free music for video production -

Ofsted have published their subject report for music Striking the right note: The music subject report. This follows on from the research review in July 2021.

The aim of the Ofsted research reviews is to ‘support and inform those leading the thinking on subject education in our schools’ and they provide a set of ‘guiding principles’ for subject leads.

The new subject report draws on evidence from 25 primary and 25 secondary schools and examines the strengths and weaknesses of music education as well as considering the challenges that the subject faces.

The report recommends ways that school and subject leaders can make sure that all pupils leave school with a well-rounded music education that supports them to think more musically and, consequently, become more musical.