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Science Dept - Ofsted inspection

Discussion in 'Science' started by Roboteer, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Roboteer

    Roboteer New commenter

    Hi,
    Has anyone been through a science specific Ofsted? We are being looked at next week and wondered if anyone had any pearls of wisdom to share as to what things were looked at etc.
    I presume that as they are only looking at 5 of us there will be much more observation of individual lessons etc. Do they look at SoW/paperwork etc as none of this ever seems to happen with the big visits?
    Much thanks for any help/reassurance.
     
  2. Roboteer

    Roboteer New commenter

    Hi,
    Has anyone been through a science specific Ofsted? We are being looked at next week and wondered if anyone had any pearls of wisdom to share as to what things were looked at etc.
    I presume that as they are only looking at 5 of us there will be much more observation of individual lessons etc. Do they look at SoW/paperwork etc as none of this ever seems to happen with the big visits?
    Much thanks for any help/reassurance.
     
  3. Not a subject specific one but a general OFSTED last November. One 'paperwork' thing they were keen to look at was Health and Safety/Risk Assessment.
     
  4. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Hi,
    We haven't had a Science inspection, but another department had a subject inspection. As well as lots of observations and the usual stuff, they were particularly interested in:
    • Use of data - how well does the department understand its impact? How successful is the department in a range of measures? What are the trends? How well do EAL & SEN kids do?
    • Health & Safety
    • Pupil views - what feedback do you have?
    • Long term planning & schemes of work
    This is just a taster of what they dug into in quite some depth...a lot of SLT and subject leaders spent a lot of time trying to answer some quite difficult questions!
    Mark
     
  5. Another subject in our school had a subject inspection, they wanted to see extra curricular, marking, schemes of work, department handbook, textbooks they use, lists of outside speakers etc. They only saw two lessons and thought that the teachers were trying too hard to show progress and not concentrating enough on teaching so there could be progress.
     
  6. yes, we had one in June last year. One inspector. He was in school for two days. He observed all of the teachers and seemed to look at everything. Including marking, sow etc. I am not in management so couldn't say specifics. He watched half of each lesson and we knew on the day which lesons he was observing and which parts. He met with SLT and hod etc. Very thorough. He seemed to be particulaly concerned with progress of the higher ability pupils. All teachers observed got verbal feedback. Have a look at the reports on line to see what is written. Good luck.
     
  7. Roboteer

    Roboteer New commenter

    Thanks for the replies :)
    Hopefully we are all ready to go for next week - my HoD has a stack of evidence to show him that is sky high so if we're lucky it'll take him 2 days to get through just that ;-)
     
  8. We had a science survey visit in October - was billed as a development opportunity!!

    We got good in all four categories which would have been outstanding on old criteria. It was very tough and everyone in department (5 in my department too) was seen at least twice. You really need to make sure of the following:
    - spend lot's of time planning your lessons, make sure the objectives are acheivable and that you have shown the progress the students have made in the lesson, plenary etc. They all need to acheive it...
    - Get the science subject criteria from the website and make sure you have covered it all.
    - make sure of the H&S she was really hot on this - sources etc even the emergency eye wash on the labs!
    - She went through the handbook so make sure this is updated!
    - Are all your department following the marking criteria?
    - Really know your data (& kids), I was grilled for 90 minutes on both days!!!
     
  9. Sorry also need to add..
    - she looked at all the schemes of learning
    The best bit of advice is don't try to hide anything, they will find it. Just make sure you know the problems and have things in place to address them.

    Good Luck - it will be over soon!!
     
  10. I had a Science dept ofsted 3 years ago. The criteria may be different but certain points will be universal. Make sure you have lots of data to show them and that you know how to break it down into groups: teaching sets, gifted and talented, sen, free school meals, esl etc. Meet with your line manager and / or head teacher well before hand so that you "sing from the same hymn sheet". Have documented actioin plans for current classes and agree on longer term strategies. Expect all your teachers to be observed and marking of excercise books etc. to be scrutinised. During your grilling with the inspector and when getting feedback after observation, don't be afraid to argue your case.
     
  11. Yes-last week!
    HMI looked at all paperwork and documentation.

    We have recently achieved Primary Science Quality Mark Gold Award so had lots of evidence. Inspector had been through lots of our data before she came and went through all SoW, overview of curriculum, assessment, monitoring and lesson observations.

    Hope it goes well-good luck!
     

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