What age group/subject are you? Primary seems to be all about having all children engaged all the time, doing v little whole class teaching, lots of mini-plenaries to check progress, obvious good use of TAs and children being able to say what they are learning and why. All much easier to type than to achieve in practice!
It's a bit Teacher's Pet, but I bought a book over the summer called "The Perfect OFSTED Lesson" and it's been really useful. It plays the game for you, and gives simple suggestions which can be put into place quickly.
Biggies are progress and independence, so try to ensure you have opportunities in every lesson to demonstrate both. Group work, followed by a feedback session is a good way to hit both with one activity. Does your school have resources you can make use of?
- Thumbs up / thumbs down - Red / amber / green cards - mini whiteboards to scrawl answers on - continuum (ask question at the beginning of lesson and ask pupils to put themselves on the continuum; then ask same question during lesson or at end of lesson to check progress) - Post it notes to stick 'what I have learnt' on the whiteboard - list of starters and plenaries
Sorry to go off track slightly, but what support is school giving you with this? Being observed twice already this term seems excessive (have you seen the work to rule campaign at the moment?) - especially if you're then left hanging in terms of what to do to improve.
Oh, no, I've just been observed once at my current school. Last year I had a maternity cover, and there was an Ofsted inspection.
I kind of relearnt the ropes during the maternity cover, but the school I'm at now has just come out of special measures so is very hot on all things Ofsted. I'm feeling the pressure to improve far more as it's a permanent position and Ofsted will be back soon.
The head is very supportive, to be fair.
I'm exhausted, though. On a huge learning curve, and have just separated so feeling the pressure at home too.
The key is to check progress often but quickly. In my school, we're being encouraged to use a basic lesson structure like this: 1. Set a task that requires some level of research/discussion/opinion forming (eg develop understanding of the background to "Of Mice & Men") Divide class into groups and give them the means to work independently (IT, books, notes from previous lessons etc) 2. Kids get on with task (independent learning- big tick) 3. Kids feedback to each other (stand up and present orally, for example) demonstrating progress. 4. Other kids give feedback on the feedback (peer assessment) suggesting how it could be developed or improved (AFL, independence) 5. Kids return to groups and make necessary improvements/developments, then share these with the rest of the class (showing more progress)
The progress checks needn't be big, official or always written, just obvious to the kids and anyone watching you teach.
Agreed. The progress checks don't have to be big or time consuming. 'Would you be able to tell me three things about Lennie if I asked you?' (thumbs up or down, if you get too many thumbs down give them one minute to find out from someone with thumbs up, then choose anyone in class - not volunteers - to answer the question. Five mins, tops)
I do sympathise though. I was only off for eight months mat leave & came back to jargon I didn't understand, so can only imagine what it must be like after 9 years!
You basically need show that the pupils have made progress after each 20 min section. I chunk my lessons according to this and have a mini review after each chunk using some of the methods already mentioned. Peer assment is useful for doing this. Say the pupils have written a persuasive advert for something, get them to swap books and highlight the techniques their partner has used. Ofsted rarely stay no longer than 20 minutes so make sure you can demonstrate progress regularly throughout the lesson. HTH
Trixi - it's not that any more. They want to see progress "over time". So you need to make sure you have evidence of this (trackers, marked books, marksheets etc- whatever works best) There is now not so much of a need for the constant progress checks. Also, OFSTED might just pop in for a few minutes, or might stay a full hour.
One way to move from satisfactory is to ask someone you respect to plan a lesson with you with sturdent progress in mind. Then to watch you teach and give you really honest feedback. Maybe then watch them teach the same or another co-planned lesson and discuss the feedback with them. This co-coaching model has been working miracles in our school. Try it in a trio or quad and it's even more powerful. It uses up non-contacts but unpicking your won teaching with someone else massively shifts your practice. Good Luck