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Classroom Observations....Advice Please.

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by din057, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. din057

    din057 New commenter

    Hello, have just had a Yr 6 numeracy lesson observed by Maths co-ordinator (Yr2) Bit surprised when he wrote a grade, using Ofsted scales, at end of observation sheet. Next day brought question up at Staff Meeting, stating NUT against use of Ofsted scales and Ofsted itself stating there was no expectation forHeads to use scales. My Head replied.."Obs need to be graded so I can fill in Sef or provide evidence of Teaching and Learning standards for Ofsted. Anyone else in this situation, or Heads doing the same. Advice please....unhappy Bunny!
     
  2. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    ours are always graded using ofsted criteria, personally i cant see the problem with it, but i am an NQT who is used to be observed and graded!!!
     
  3. bnm

    bnm

    I agree with your head.
    Each term I have to update the local authority on the percentage of good or better teaching in the school.
    But surely you want to know the outcome of your observation?
     
  4. din057

    din057 New commenter

    Are your Union happy about it? What about being "graded" by people with no training in doing so?
     
  5. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    i think you need to take it on the chin, and remember that its subjective. We recently had Ofsted, where the head and ofsted did a joint observation, making sure that she was grading correctly. Among the staff we are all aware that the head is primarily ks2 experienced, so when she disagrees with something being done in ks1, and downgrades us, we just take it on the chin and remember that she is just one person observing us
     
  6. din057

    din057 New commenter

    So does that mean you observe all staff every term? Or do you also do drop ins etc. Would you accept gradings given by other members off staff?
     
  7. bnm

    bnm

    There are a variety of observations carried out every term by a variety of people. Ours is a large school. Yes, I do accept gradings by other members of staff. We try to do paired observations where possible as an internal quality assurance.
     
  8. din057

    din057 New commenter

    Sorry to go on.....but it appears that the only observations being "graded" are in Numeracy (PM not sure as quite a while since it has happened) So does this give a true reflection of T&L throughout the school? Haveyou ever been asked to provide evidence for your response to LA or Ofsted? Really like the idea of paired obs. Don't mind there being a grade discussed etc just uneasy at Ofsted grades being used by people not trained in doing so and because of Union advice.
     
  9. bnm

    bnm

    Yes. Through observation notes, children's progress, and paired observations with the LA and Osfted.
    I can't comment on the specific situation in your school, just what we do. Do you know the person observing has had no training? I don't dispute your comment about union advice, but would say I have not read anything myself that says observations shouldn't be graded.
     
  10. din057

    din057 New commenter

    Thanks bnm, welcomed your responses. Yes I do know that there has been no training, also that Lit obs aren't graded here. Perhaps I really am being a dinosaur ! Thanks again....off to finish reports !
     
  11. Why does a subject leader need training to observe a colleague? He may be brilliant at teaching and know their subject really well. He may also have read the grade descriptors. Unions issue their views about lesson observation frequency but there is no law. Why don't you ask the subject leader to teach alongside you for a lesson or ask if you can observe them to be pro active and respectful of his views on your practice? If he is **** as you seem to suggest you can smile to yourself and feel smug for a bit.
     
  12. Heads (if they have any sense) make sure they fully understand the Ofsted criteria and many observe to those criteria. We are expected, during an inspection, to substantiate our position regarding the quality of teaching in our schools. The purpose of observations in inspections is primarily to test the school's judgements.
    LA officers, when they visit schools and carry out observations also use Ofsted criteria. It is only sensible for everyone to use the same benchmarks.
     
  13. I do wonder why we put so much emphasis on Ofsted criteria and often ignore The Teaching Standards doc. Ofsted inspectors are sometimes rather coy about giving judgements on individual teachers and talk a lot about only giving an overview or 'holistic' opinion of whole key stages. I use the Teaching Standards & Ofsted and staff observe each other using the same format. Provides precise evidence based, non emotional dialogue and not an airy fairy 'holistic'/'depends how I'm feeling because I'm queen/ king/ Ofsted/HMI and you minion - are not' ( sorry - Ofsted rant like a nervous tick!)
     
  14. jellandy

    jellandy New commenter

    Perhaps the 'issue' isn't the judgement process but the inconsistency across the subject leaders??


     
  15. Have you asked the Numeracy leader to go through the OFSTED criteria with you and explain their judgement? So long as the grade is fair then I don't see a problem, although the HT might need to agree with the subject leaders whether they grade lessons so that there is consistency. I would also always do joint Obs with someone new to grading lessons first so that I could check that their judgements are accurate.

    As for your observation, if you feel the judgement was overly harsh, ask the HT to observe you again.
     

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