Flying visit to Corby for education secretary

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Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove made a whistlestop tour of a Corby school this afternoon.

Mr Gove visited Brooke Weston School in Coombe Road, Corby, as part of a tour of three schools in the East Midlands.

Michael Gove at Brooke Weston School, with principal Trish Stringer

Michael Gove at Brooke Weston School, with principal Trish Stringer

He spent half an hour at the school and was taken into Spanish and chemistry lessons by principal Trish Stringer.

In the year seven Spanish lesson taught by Louise Pape, he showed off his own vocabulary while reading a passage from a workbook. Mr Gove was told how children at the Ofsted outstanding school are allowed to pick their own levels at which to work.

Mrs Stringer said: “We’ve defined the curriculum into four levels so each child comes into the classroom and has the power to pick which level they work at.

“Parents are initially a bit worried about this but we tell them to trust their children.

“Children are, by nature, aspirational.”

Mr Gove also visited a year 12 chemistry lesson taken by Head of Chemistry Paul Knight. Pupils were doing an experiment to discover how much iron there was in thyme.

He spoke to Molly Beeby who came to Brooke Weston at sixth form level. She said: “The level of teaching here is very high. I love coming to Brooke Weston.”

After the visit Mr Gove said: “I have been impressed by everything I have seen here at Brooke Weston today.

“I knew that the school was outstanding before I came here but I was very impressed by the fine language teaching and the A-level chemistry class.

“It’s an amazingly high level of teaching.

“The fact that the teachers have designed their own curriculum suggests to me that the teachers here own their school but also that the pupils are having an enjoyable time learning,

“It’s a brilliant school.”