How do I achieve an Ofsted grade one lesson observation?
As a teacher/tutor, we are regularly observed in our lessons and graded on our teaching practice. The feedback we gain is valuable in terms of continuous professional development and therefore improvement, but receiving a grade can be both elating and crushing, depending on the grade. All of us strive for a grade one, so when we don’t get it, after hours of planning and preparation, it is inevitable that we feel a sense of failure. Surely this is not a good approach to developing our teaching practice?
In 2014 Ofsted published a document named “Why do Ofsted inspectors observe individual lessons and how do they evaluate teaching in schools? A summary by Mike Cladingbowl, National Director, Schools” in which he stated “Inspectors do not judge the overall lesson”. He goes on to explain that most inspectors observe 25 minutes of a single lesson, therefore they cannot accurately grade a lesson based on observation alone and the reports do not contain a section to grade a lesson, they only contain a space to record feedback. Inspectors must consider a broad range of evidence to judge the quality of teaching, this will include looking at student books, listening to feedback, student behavior, how well they are managed, standard of work and marking. Evidence should be based on looking at the impact of learning over time. Mike Cladingbowl then confirms that “Inspectors should not give an overall grade for the lesson and nor should teachers expect one”
So why do we still grade individual lessons if Ofsted do not?
This is a debate that has been ongoing for a while, but change is now starting to occur within teaching and training establishments where they are moving away from grading individual lessons, and looking at evidence over time to give teachers feedback and constructive development points.
So, back to the original title of this post- Ofsted grade one lesson observations.
If you want to be a great teacher, focus on meeting the needs of all your learners such as differentiating their learning tasks and doing all the things you have learnt to become an effective teacher, but do them consistently well over time. Do not focus on a single observation to show off your skills at that given moment, that is how you will receive good feedback on your practice and contribute to an overall grade one Ofsted report.
Overall, focus on your students, they are the most important thing and can sometimes ironically be forgotten when faced with inspections.
http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/ Accessed 5/6/14