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Lesson Observation Form for 2012 inspection

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by watfordgap2, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Does any one have a good lesson observation form suitable for the new 2012 inspection framework?
    The guidance provide best fit criteria and tell you not to break them down into a checklist. I am keen that we can be seen to be observing lessons accurately using the criteria, but I am struggling to provide the guidance to systematically collect evidence to support a judgement.
    If you are in the same position, then can you say how you are doing lesson observations and how you gather evidence for how good the teaching is in your school.
    This is one of the first questions that inspectors ask when they come in, so it is important that the system we use matches the criteria that inspectors will use.
    So what sort of proforma could be used to help observers who don't have Ofsted training?
  2. I think you are wise not to go down the route of using the evaluation schedule criteria on a grid to carry out individual lesson observations. To my knowledge, Ofsted does not provide inspectors with anything as simplistic as "from January 2012, tick these boxes and the lesson is good". Inspectors are still required to use their own judgement, based on experience. These two checklists are taken from some older Ofsted guidance. They set out what to look out for and leave it to the observer to decide the extent to which the different qualities of teaching and learning have been seen. When there were seven grades, this was quite tricky. Now there are only four, a combination of teaching experience and common-sense will get you pretty close! Just remember, there is quite a wide spectrum of possibility within each grade!

    Once you have lesson observation data, you can add this to the analysis of results, work scrutiny etc and use the evaluation schedule to make an overall judgement about the quality of teaching. A checklist version of the schedule can be found here.


  3. Dear Lipservice
    You have put into words exactly my thoughts on this subject. I have struggled with this same problem and you have explained exactly what the problem is.
    We used to have a pretty good prompt sheet for observing teachers but since the new criteria came out we have struggled to try to adapt it. I dont see why the criteria should have changed. The evidence for good teaching and learning must surely have stayed the same.
    I agree that Ofsted should have produced something for schools to use. It is almost as if they designed the new criteria to make them impossible to use by schools. I also want to know what inspectors are looking for when they see lessons. The new grade descriptions are just summaries of a lot of information that would need to be collected but is not mentioned anywhere.

  4. JSearl's advice is spot on. If you use a form with things to look out for and tick, then you will miss so much in a lesson.
    To answer your question lipservice, Ofsted do not use any kind of form. They loosely follow the headings in the evaluation schedule but make open text comments on an evidence form on strengths and weaknesses. Most inspectors are now making it clear why the lesson was not graded the grade above; making a comment such as 'not outstanding because ...x y z'. This is because the opening bullet of the report now has to state why the school is not graded the grade above. Also, Ofsted do not expect you to use any kind of proforma, but would expect you to use a variety of monitoring and evaluation activities to judge the quality of your teaching, not just formal lesson observations. For example, schools that just use formal, pre-warned lesson observations as a method of judging the quality of teaching are likely to get a more positive view of teaching than the achievement data would suggest.
    Lipservice, if you are responsible for M&E of teaching, it may be a good idea to get a good consultant in who does Ofsted inspections to do some joint lesson observations for a couple of days alongside senior staff. This will give you a very good idea of how Ofsted observe lessons, what inspectors write on EFs and how objective they are if, as you say teachers disagree with judgements
  5. At no stage have I ever said this; and never in my postings.
    What on earth is wrong with that? Hundreds of schools do it and many more do now that SIPs have been withdrawn and did a bit of that external monitoring. My view is that some kind of external monitoring can be very beneficial as somebody who takes an independent, objective view of teaching. That external person or group of people can be from another school, ASTs, senior staff from another school or consultants. It goes on all the time. What's so shocking about that?
  6. OK. You aren't an inspector.
    I agree that a critical friend like SIPs used to be can be helpful in reviewing a school's work, but we shouldn't need to pay a consultant to explain how Ofsted judges a lesson the people posting messages here are simply asking for more information. I think this is completely reasonable.
  7. People have raised some important issues in this thread. There are problems with using the new 2012 Inspection criteria because they are in the form of summative statements. You can only really use them once you have collected information as a result of observing a lesson. Yet there is no guidance given on observing a lesson.
    Anyone who suggests that there isn't a problem with this needs to explain exactly how they would go about it, what prompts would they use, what criteria would they have in mind, what checklist of things to look out for. If they can't explain this simply then I wouldn't trust them to observe a lesson on the basis that they cannot explain what they are doing - and probably couldn't explain how they reached a judgment either.
    I have just been reading another thread where teachers are complaining at SLT watching a lesson, declaring it satisfactory and then refusing to explain how they used their evidence to arrive at a judgement. If they can't do this then the observation is worthless and probably damaging.
    Ideally, no SLT member should be observing lessons without having had the appropriate training and being able to demonstrate that they are familiar with the Ofsted grade criteria and can talk about the differences between say a good and a satisfactory judgement.
    But given that all schools must observe teaching there should at least be a proper framework that shows how to apply the criteria to the evidence collected. The government haven't produced one so it is again left to teachers to try to cobble one together. The message in the framework that you shouldn't try to break the grade criteria into separate elements makes it even more difficult to know where to start.
  8. Robby64 suggests that if you use a form with things to look for and tick then you will miss things in a lesson.
    I think the opposite is true. Most teachers will get a feel for a good lesson instinctively, but if you are bring asked to do an evaluation then you need to be systematic about looking at a range of things and making a judgement on each of them. A prompt sheet is probably better than a tick box list but without any prompts at all an observer risks making a judgement and then not be able to explain it with examples. Think of if someone judged your lesson as unsatisfactory when you thought it was OK. You would expect them to be able to produce a convincing explanation with evidence. If they can't then you will be left with the view that this is just their opinion. This would just cause friction and loss of respect.
  9. Hi, Do you have a copy of yours that I could see?
  10. accidentalrunner

    accidentalrunner New commenter

    The links in your post. I would be interested in the forms. Is there another way to access them?

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