I have been worrying about Ofsted all year, and haven't been able to shake the little ball of nerves that had firmly lodged itself into my stomach. I heard so many horror stories about how horrific the new inspection framework was etc and was constantly trying to pre-empt what they might ask and generally getting myself into a tizz about it. Well, we got the call on Tuesday for Thursday and Friday and I can honestly say it WASN'T THAT BAD! It was my first Ofsted, and also my first on the SLT team as KS1 coordinator...due to upheaval in our leadership over the last few years, their emphasis was on the middle management and KS1 - EEK! We all know that obscene amounts of work go into it, most of us were in school at 6am, leaving at about 8 and working at home until god knows when. That was absolutely shattering. BUT..When they arrived, it really wasn't that bad. They introduced themselves in a briefing and the lead inspector was very human. Another caught my eye and smiled. I was flabbergasted that they were actually PEOPLE. I'm not sure what I expected! The lead spoke about how they weren't against us, that they knew we were nervous etc and was generally reassuring. I only had one 30 minute observation, and got my first 'good' in the 4 years I've been teaching which boosted my confidence for the rest of the inspection. As a member of SLT, the only thing I was expected to do was attend a 20 minute meeting with 3 other members of SLT, and basically talk the inspector through everything we'd done to lead the school and make sure they knew we were moving forward and capable of leading the team. It was, to put it bluntly, quite easy. We all chipped in and talked constantly for the 20 minutes to explain as much as we could! She then said we could leave things with her if we hadn't managed to say everything we wanted to - so I left her with a sheet I had prepared showing everything I had done to lead KS1 this year. She was friendly, interested and encouraging. We came out with no issues with leadership and management. Our headteacher handled ALL of the discussions around data - which was my fear. The thing to remember is that it is likely there are only going to be 2 or 3 inspectors, and you will only be observed a couple of times. (A couple of ours got 3 - they were the mixed age classes because this was one of Ofsteds concerns). A couple of half an hour observations is not that bad, and when they are not in your room you can relax a little bit and bring yourself back to your 'A-Game' when they walk through the door. By 11am Friday our observations were done - they weren't going to do anymore, and the rest of that day was spend in talks with the head and governors. The BIG thing that came out of ours was all around too much teacher talk, and extending the higher ability. I think teacher talk is currently a big thing. I needed to post for a couple of reasons; 1) To de-Ofsted my brain! 2) Because I have been a nervous wreck all year and for anybody else feeling like that, I thought I could perhaps offer some reassurance because so many spout horror stories afterwards. The worst part is all the work that goes in beforehand - make sure you are planned and organised and the actual experience of Ofsted will fly by. I'm off to go and enjoy my weekend now, minus that Ofsted-niggle that has been the bane of my life for far too long!