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Dear James - NQT observations - how often/ how long??

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by nugget, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. nugget

    nugget New commenter

    <font size="3">I&rsquo;m confused about NQT lesson observations and how they are
    supposed to have been happening this year. </font>
    I have only had one full lesson observed this year (in October).
    Three 20 min observations were done in March. Another four 20min observations
    have been organised for this week and next. Is this reasonable? The school are
    saying they no longer do full lesson observations because Ofsted now do the
    20min thing. This sounds convincing but does this apply to NQTs as well? I feel
    I&rsquo;m doing four times the amount of work and it seems odd to have four
    observations in two weeks. I also think I would get more out of someone
    observing the whole lesson in order to identify areas to improve etc. My
    observation tomorrow is likely to be cancelled at the last minute which will
    probably leave me having to plan a fifth observed lesson for next week. I&rsquo;m
    starting to feel that something isn&rsquo;t right here!?</font>
    How often / for how long have other NQTs been observed this
    lso, does your NQT mentor/induction tutor have to be your
    HoD? </font>

  2. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    ive been observed for a whole lesson, generally 1hr, each half term
  3. I have been observed once every half term. Each time the observation has been for a full lesson.
  4. The NQT statutory guidance clearly states that during induction an obserbvation should be carried out once in each half term. Induction is nothing to do with the OFSTED process - the outcome of induction is to see that you meet the core standards. OFSTED have a different role and are not seeking to establish if teachers meet the core standards, they are looking for teacher effectiveness in everyday teaching and learning. Normally NQT observations are of whole lessons so that the maximum opportunity to assess the core standards is taken. Observing 20 mins provides little evidence against the wide range of standards you have to meet.
    If the school had adhered to the NQT statutory guidance (as they should) then the shedule of observations should have been made clear at the start of the year. I am wondering how they completed the termly assessments - which normally refer to the observations - that are passed to the LA.
    NQTs may be observed at other times above and beyond the schedule and these may indeed take the form of 20 minute drop-in observations.
  5. It varies according to the school. I changed schools during my NQT year and my first school observed me for a full lesson once every half term so the feedback was quite comprehensive and reasonably spread out. As an NQT in my new school, however, I am observed far more frequently although it has been for a variety of reasons, e.g. 'on the spot drop-ins'; 'governor observations'; 'monitoring observations checking up on the use of success criteria or G&T provision'; SIP observations; speech and language therapist (child) observations (although they observed me and commented on my lesson too!) and these tended to last about 30 minutes. On top of these, I am also observed for a full lesson by the HT once a term, and twice every half term by my mentor. After checking the recommendations for observations on my union's website, I felt that I was being observed too frequently given that I am part-time, and so I mentioned it to my HT and she agreed! and they have since cut back on the number of observations they make in my class. So my advice is to check your union's website for recommendations and then politely point out to your HT that you feel you are being placed under a lot of unnecessary pressure and unless they have specific concerns about you (which they should have voiced by now), you would be grateful for a more reasonable spread of observations. Good luck.
  6. I've been observed 7 times throughout my NQT year, 4 by my mentor and 3 by my head. They have lasted anything between 20 mins and 1 hour each.

  7. I'm coming to the end of my NQT year at the end of summer term. I haven't been observed every half term. Is this a problem?
    I've been observed by Ofsted twice (over 2 days: just thinking about it makes me shudder), and the head teacher 3 times - once per term.
    Is this enough? I doubt I can do anything about it now if it isn't.


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