So yesterday my lesson was deemed Inadequate because...(27 Posts)
...the kids were completing their end of unit assessment so I can mark them over half term.
Drop-in by HMI. He missed the first 20 mins where we reviewed the kids' previous assessment feedback, looked at the criteria for the next level they're working towards and they set themselves targets. He came in just as they'd started writing. Stayed for 15 mins (during which time I'm circulating, checking kids' work, answering their questions etc). He looked in their books (all marked up to date - all with levels, targets, positive feedback from me, peer assessment, self assessment etc). Then he left. He told my Head it was inadequate because he hadn't seen progress in that time.
My (lovely) Head told me not to worry - he's seen me teach loads of times. He knows I'm not inadequate. But seriously - are we not meant to do any extended writing now? How am I meant to give pupils an accurate writing level (I teach English) if they don't actually write? Does he not realise that when they get to GCSE, these pupils will have to write for two hours solid - when are they meant to build up stamina for that if they shouldn't write for 15 mins?
Aargh. Rant over...
The inspector you saw was not up to date in his knowledge at all! Look on the ofsted website.
OP, I lurk quite a bit and rarely comment (especially in the staff room as I'm just a parent--ha!), but I have to say that is one of the more ridiculous things I've heard in a long while.
What a twerp.
I thought inspectors were not supposed to give a judgement on a drop in. We were told that at least 20 mins must be observed for a judgement to be made and only then when combined with planning and book scrutiny over a longer period.
This extended writing is a bug bear of mine too. I regularly support in a literacy lesson where the first 15 minutes is given over to reflecting on next steps marking, new targets, success criteria followed by 20 minutes of teaching then 10 minutes of writing (which is interspesed by endless mini plenaries) followed by 10 mins of peer and self assessment.
Sometimes I feel like shouting- "Will you just bloody let them get on with it!"
Thing is she is doing exactly what OFSTED advised is the best way to move on their learning.
Sometimes they come out with crap. I teach D&T and got observed during a yr 9 practical lesson. (He also missed the start of my lesson) In his feedback he 'marked me down' because I hadn't asked pupils to do enough reading out loud in a whole class situation. I was totally puzzled and asked how he thought it would have improved their understanding in that lesson, he couldn't answer. This was a few yrs ago
This makes me absolutely furious! The Inspector had no idea at all what OFSTED is recommending.
Can I direct you to this document published by OFSTED in March 2012? It contains the only review of English Teaching that actually makes sense to me. Maybe you could show it to the HMI? I have copied the main points here. There is specific advice about extended reading and writing.
18.Inspectors believe that the effectiveness of learning in this and many similar lessons was limited by some common misconceptions about what constitutes good teaching and learning. These include the following.
Pace. There seems to be a belief that the faster the lesson, the better the learning. While pace is important – a slow lesson is likely to lose pupils’ concentration – teachers too often concentrate on the pace of their planned activities rather than the pace of learning. For example, a teacher told an inspector that they had been advised that a starter activity should never last longer than 10 minutes. While this may be a sensible starting point for discussion, the inspector’s view was that a starter activity, like any other activity, needs to last only as long as is needed to ensure effective learning.
The number of activities. As implied above, some teachers appear to believe that the more activities they can cram into the lesson, the more effective it will be. This is often counterproductive, as activities are changed so often that pupils do not complete tasks and learning is not consolidated or extended.
Over-detailed and bureaucratic lesson plans. Teachers are encouraged to plan individual lessons in considerable detail. Inspectors sometimes note that excessive detail within these plans causes teachers to lose sight of the central focus on pupils’ learning. This is explored in further detail in Part B.
An inflexible approach to planning lessons. School policies sometimes insist that all lesson plans should always follow the same structure, no matter what is being taught. In addition, evidence from the survey suggests that teachers often feel that they should not alter their plans during the lesson. The notion of a three- or four-part structure to lessons with certain key elements, such as a lively starter activity and an opportunity to review learning at the end, is helpful to teachers. However, teachers need to have the confidence to depart from their plans if early indications are, for example, that the pupils know more or less than the teacher had anticipated. The key consideration should be the development of pupils’ learning rather than sticking rigidly to a plan.
Limited time for students to work independently. A constant criticism from inspectors was that pupils rarely had extended periods to read, write or discuss issues in class. Indeed, inspectors observed lessons where pupils were asked to self- or peer-assess work before they had been able to complete more than a sentence or two. No doubt, teachers feel that they need to be actively engaged when they are being observed. However, this shows a degree of misunderstanding as inspectors’ priority is above all to evaluate the quality of pupils’ learning in lessons.
Constant review of learning. As noted above, in lessons observed, significant periods of time were spent by teachers on getting pupils to articulate their learning, even where this limited their time to complete activities and thereby interrupted their learning! Pupils need time to complete something before they can valuably discuss and evaluate it. To invite self- or peer-evaluation before pupils have had time to engage fully with learning is counter-productive although the principle of self- or peer-assessment remains important.
I could have written this ! My lesson was deemed "requires improvement" yesterday because pupils apparently didn't make progress. It was an assessment lesson! In my subject, Music, this means 30 performances in 55 minutes, each one recorded, watched for technique, listened to and graded by me. Peer assessment had been done the previous week, but apparently I should have magicked up some extra time to fit that in this week as well!!!!!
Once they had performed, pupils worked independently on a self assessment and then a consolidation worksheet, backing up theory we had covered last term. Behaviour was exemplary and they even made progress in the 10 minute rehearsal at the beginning. They progressed in countless other intangible ways, such as maintaining focus behaving appropriately as an audience.
I challenged the grading but was told that "the form says" they have to make progress. I have just finished my NQT year. Honestly don't know what this observation game is all about.
Banished, thank you so much for that document. I shall be copying relevant sections into some emails this week...
It makes me so bloody angry. I'm a good teacher. My students get good results and do well. On what planet is it inappropriate for them to be writing in an English lesson? When does the inspector think that extended writing will happen? Doubtless he would be critical if there was insufficient evidence of writing in their books...
Absolutely ridiculous! ! This is getting beyond a joke now. Surely he could see progress being made-surely. Stories like this make me sick to the stomach with whatIis happening from above with teaching. You clearly have a positive frame of mind and thankfully a supportive head.
I continually feel fortunate that despite teaching for 11 years I've only been OFSTEDed once. I was also in a position when they came in to teach poetry to all my classes - enabling me to jump through all their ridiulous hoops.
I am however, worried. I now teach RSS as well as English which apparently OFSTED are targetting as it's 'inadequate in many schools'.
This inspectors seriously out of date. New recs from. Before Xmas binned all the progress shit
I got adequate for an otherwise good lesson because one child rushed, finished, went off task for 2 minutes til I got to him and pointed out how to extend his answer, them he got on with it. Not enough pace, apparently, and I should have had more extension stuff - despite the fact that he had not properly completed the extension task and was able t continue working once I had pointed it out. Madness.
In my friend's school, an A level Spanish lesson was graded inadequate because there was not enough in depth questioning. The lesson was conducted in the target language and had plenty of questioning, but the inspector did not realise as he didn't speak Spanish!
The thing about Ofsted is to play the ridiculous game. One of my colleagues had an inadequate and I could have told her it would happen as she told me in passing that she was going to have the children working independently in small groups for the first part of the lesson as they needed more practise of what she had been teaching. Given she had a difficult group I knew this was a massive mistake as she would be judged for no progress. Of course that is exactly what happened and she should have done a teacher led lesson introducing something new. This is what they are looking for. If any child is either misbehaving or not working then you will be down graded. it is total madness. We were also told to stop whatever we were teaching when an inspector came in to do a mini plenary!
I got an inadequate last year because the class was reading for too long. It was a drama lesson. They were reading out loud for about 5 minutes so that they all knew what was happening in the scene they then developed.
When we had Ofsted in (the new, stricter Ofsted) the head asked us to bin any planned assessments and teach instead, to avoid this issue.
Recently ex-English teacher here. I could cry at all this. I have done.
It's jumping through hoops, but invisible hoops that have been pulled out of someone's arse and won't stay still.
Last time we had ofsted in (first time after coming out of SM) I had 8 kids in a professional play and the inspection coincided with their rehearsal days. I had to supervise, though the pro director was in charge. The HT brought the inspector down to the hall to watch a bit of it. When the report came out, there were 3 mentions of "good practice" in my dept. Clearly this is the way to go I am a dept of one, btw.
A teacher friend of mine posted a link to this blog post on Twitter and it felt relevant to this thread.
"Lesson Observation Grades Are Over. Officially, this isn’t news. It’s been implied in the new framework for a while. However, for various reasons, the message has not been getting across. There are still elements of the written guidance that have yet to be fully aligned and, naturally enough, there are inspectors who have not fully taken on board the significance of the guidance. Mike Cladingbowl has been updating guidance to inspectors to make this more and more explicit – with evident frustration at how difficult this has been."
How can this be true when no one seems to have told Ofsted? What an utter shambles.
This is why I'm leaving teaching. Op - and everyone else - I bet you're a fantastic teacher!
I'm not a teacher, I have friends who are teachers and I have children at school and I am angry and despairing at how this government is destroying schools and teaching.
Because I'm not a teacher I'm trying to keep my comments short and just give links as I don't feel I have the right to vent my feelings but I am angry and I don't blame you one bit for wanting to leave teaching at the moment.
I'm sure you are a great teacher but it's a completely different thing to have to deal with all the changes and pressures there are at the moment.
I'm a chair of governors not a teacher. Please challenge these assessments. The new guidance is to show "progress" in the subject which us not the same as "progress in a lesson". I've just read the guidance myself.
Helena, that's interesting - do you have a link please?
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