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How would you define an outstanding lesson?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by nano1, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Is it a one-off showpiece extravaganza or something else?
  2. I think it starts with a very good relationship with the class, which implies pretty good teaching all of the time.
  3. I would agree that a good relationship with the class is important. What comes next?
  4. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    I'm afraid 'outstanding' is in the eye of the beholder. If the observer wants to see good, that is what they will see.
  5. All groups within the class making progress within all parts of the lesson is a good start. The teacher using AfL to ensure this happens.
    I've lit the touch paper I'll retreat now!
  6. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Have to agree with this as well.

    You can KNOW you have ticked every box in the outstanding column from the observation criteria,

    KNOW all children made better than expected progress,

    KNOW you have hit all the bits you learned in a TES 'How to be Outstanding' course,

    KNOW you have used all you learned from reading 'How to be an outstanding primary teacher',

    even (because you know the person observing doesn't want to see outstanding) used lots of bits from 'Pimp your Lesson'

    And yet the person observing says 'mmmm it was good and one of the strongest lessons I've seen here'. You ask about outstanding, and they say things like 'Well the thing is you can't quite put your finger on it, but you do know when a a lesson is outstanding, but I can't describe it.'

    If the person observing is open minded to the idea that you might teach an outstanding lesson, they will look for those things and probably give you an outstanding rating. If they want to be able to say you are satisfactory at best and you wow them, the best you will get is good.
    • Building on previous learning.
    • Relationships with children - being able to have a laugh with them.
    • Subject knowledge...which leads to...
    • Flexibility - not sticking rigidly to a plan.
    • Not trying too many whizz bang ideas.
    • Not being rigid with learning objectives/success criteria.
    • Open, searching, differentiated questioning.
    • Differentiation through questioning and support rather than activities.
    • Do what you do normally and don't try to put on a show.
  9. Using AfL to identify the next steps in the learning is key as is differentiation in order to meet those.
    Agree that the one off show piece is a thing of the past.
    Outstanding is probably easier to demonstrate over time I think. We had Ofsted a while ago and a fantastic teacher was graded as good in the 20 minutes they were seen. Not a problem though as the inspectors were open to the fact that there is clearly outstanding progress over time in the room.
  10. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Whereas I was told 'data shows children in KS1 in this school don't make enough progress and therefore your lesson can only be satisfactory'. I pointed out that data so far for my class (this was the autumn term) showed children were making excellent progress, but she was having none of it because KS1 results for several years had been poor and the results for that year so far hadn't been independently verified! Even when I pointed out I hadn't taught in KS1 before and so it was nothing to do with me and my class the previous year had made good and better progress and I had the data to prove it, she wouldn't budge. Not sure why she bothered to turn up for 20 mins to be honest.

    So to be outstanding, you either need to be observed late in the year with a class who have made great progress. OR to ensure you teach in a year group where good progress was made the year before.
  11. This seems really unfair. The last inspection we had, they didn't use whole school data. We are not a one class entry school, and teachers teaching the same age children got vastly different grades. They did seem to look at individual teachers rather than whole school data.
  12. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Yeps and I'm still in a strop about it months later.
  13. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul Occasional commenter

    An outstanding lesson cannot be defined outside of its context. The tick box approach designed to measure "good practice" tells you nothing about the standard of teaching and learning. All it tells you about is the teacher's ability and willingness to tick boxes defined by others people. There no such thing as "good practice"; there is effective practice, and ineffective practice, and of course all gradations thereof. Outcomes should be measured, not processes.
  14. littlelebowski

    littlelebowski New commenter

    When we had the 'special visitors,' it was all about the learning and not the teaching. As she said to me, she was observing only what the pupils had learned in that lesson and would only give me feedback on the learning in the room, not the teaching. She liked the high levels of interactivity in the room.

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