Damning Ofsted report for school which teaches creation story as science

Posted: Tue, 13 Feb 2018 15:56

A small independent Christian primary school which teaches the Bible's creation story in science lessons has received a damning Ofsted report.

The education watchdog rated Kings Kids Christian School in New Cross, in south-east London, as 'inadequate' overall and in four out of five major categories. In the other – personal development, behaviour and welfare – it said the school 'requires improvement'.

Ofsted said the school had not met the independent school standards and its leaders had "not encouraged pupils' understanding of and respect for people with different faiths and cultures".

Since the new independent school standards came into effect in 2015 Ofsted has reported in a "stark" increase in independent faith schools failing inspections.

The report was particularly damning of the school's curriculum. It said the creation story was taught in science and there was "no evidence" of pupils learning scientific theories about the earth's origin. It said pupils did not study practical science or develop the skills to collect and evaluate scientific evidence.

It said pupils made insufficient progress in "humanities and social aspects of the curriculum" because "history and geography are taught solely through the stories of the bible or the history of the United States of America, in particular the lives of early American missionaries".

Inspectors were critical of the school's approach to several other subjects, especially physical education and technology. They also said the school's pupils referred to non-Christian gods as "false gods".

"Leaders have not ensured that they encourage respect for other people," the report said. "Pupils do not know enough about other faiths, cultures and different groups of people with the full range of protected characteristics. This means that pupils are not as well prepared for life in modern British society as they could be."

The school's website says it encourages children to develop '"Christ-like character" and "Jesus is to be in the centre of all learning". The school uses the "bible-based" Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum, which it says is partly designed to "introduce children to the biblical standards outlined in the Bible".

Kings Kids has 25 pupils aged between three and 11. At its previous inspection in 2014 it was rated 'good' overall and in every major category.

The report identified improvements required for the school to meet standards on: the quality of its education; the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils; the school premises; and its leadership and management.

It said leaders had begun to address some of the issues it raised, for example by acquiring resources on British history and geography. It said pupils knew about "the Government and institutions of Britain" and democracy.

The National Secular Society campaigns to expose and end the promotion of creationism in schools. In October the NSS urged the Government to investigate a state-funded Jewish school whose newly-updated visitors' guide insisted the world was 5,778 years old. In December the Society criticised a creationist organisation which was sending DVDs advocating 'intelligent design' to every secondary school in the UK.

Alastair Lichten, the NSS's education and schools officer, said: "A faith ethos is not a free pass for indoctrination and pseudoscience, which seriously undermine young people's educational rights and their potential. Education should be about opening doors for young people, not moulding them for life in a narrow religious community."

Kings Kids told News Shopper nobody was available to comment to the press during half-term.

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Tags: Education, Creationism, Independent schools