[/b] With my summer tan fading and the 6 week break becoming a distant memory, I drive up to the newly re-furbished gates of “over-subscribed school in sought after area” for the September Training Day. Ooooh , see the old faces with their new hair-cuts, see the Senior Management looking casual and almost approachable and there huddled in a corner, see the 20 NQT’s who all look about 12. So, today’s agenda is cleverly pinned on the back of each member of staff and personalised with their PMR targets. What a great starter….NOT! I see Teacher with Outstanding Feature has a somewhat aspirational target…100% A*/A in A level Geology. Hmmm, easily done I think. Move all the borderline A/B students onto the recently introduced HND Geology course… sorted. We all sit down and pretend to look interested whilst thinking about the week’s to-do list. Hopeful Head gets the term underway….”Congratulations to Core Subject Department” he announces. “Results are up by 0.75% to 98.25% A*/A ….blah, blah, blah” The closing sermon on “be inspirational, be outstanding be the one who makes a difference” sends us on our way…to tea ,coffee and the loo. Half-term came and went in a flash and I am behind with all my exam classes. Not that surprising really when 10 out 20 of my lessons have been taken from me by Core Subject Dept for extra exam prep. I wonder if my 50% loss in lesson time is worth their 1.75% gain in exam grades. Oh well, I’m sure it’s all for good measure. Sexy, but bit of a sod HOD stands clutching the Departmental Development Plan in morning briefing – this can only mean one thing…OFSTED. Teacher with Outstanding Feature is already dusting down her “ Gimmicks and gadgets for Outstanding Lessons” Box. It’s the start of the Ofsted week. I arrive at school feeling zombified by the overkill on lesson planning sheets. We all pile into the staff room with extra bags under our eyes to meet and greet the Ofsted Team. Lead Inspector looks about 105 but a jolly chap nonetheless. He reminds us that there is nothing to get stressed about and we should all just carry on as normal. If normal means everyone running around like headless chickens and panic-stricken at the thought of their lesson being observed then we don’t have anything to worry about. I notice that Teacher with Outstanding Feature is looking particularly pleased with her giant “Countdown Clock” on the screen. Apparently she has set it so that a photo of a pupil in the class appears every 5 mins. A timely cue for some Assessment for Learning to take place. I make my way to my teaching room. Just my luck…. Lead Inspector is already there, perched on a stool, clipboard at the ready and with the Ofsted smile fixated on his face. Lead inspector will be looking to tick 101 boxes for an “outstanding” grade. But personally I will be happy with a “satisfactory”. I have decided to stick with my tried and trusted recipes for student success. I only manage 10 ticks. Well, news travels fast. I am sitting in Hopeful Head’s office for my ”staff intervention interview”. Hopeful Head lists some of my downfalls in my observed lesson. · My lesson objectives were not displayed on all 4 walls and I only mentioned them 5 times. · I didn’t do my Assessment for Learning every 5 mins · 2 students broke the “no hands up” rule. · Only 25 students were able to quote their forecast grade, target grade, FFT grade and their working at level. · The task at the start was too open-ended but the task at the end was too “closed”. <font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font>In my defence I tell him that the students often thank me for teaching them and helping them understand the work… “but does it tick the box ?“ he asks. “It ticks my box” I reply. He is not amused and recommends that I attend the Ofsted linked “Master 101” course. In the meantime I can do some lesson observations in school. <font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font> It’s official, the school has achieved “Outstanding” status. Apparently, amongst other things, the Ofsted team was very impressed with the school’s effective “ staff intervention interviews”. Hmmm….I congratulate myself for being part of that and soon forget about my observed lesson. <font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font>Thank God it’s Friday.