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What are ofsted looking for?

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by gememily, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Does anyone have a copy of the things that Ofsted are looking for when they inspect? Like what makes an inadequate lesson, a satisfactory lesson, a good lesson or an outstanding lesson? Do ofsted inspectors have a checklist that they work to or anything like that?
    Thasks for any help
  2. Does anyone have a copy of the things that Ofsted are looking for when they inspect? Like what makes an inadequate lesson, a satisfactory lesson, a good lesson or an outstanding lesson? Do ofsted inspectors have a checklist that they work to or anything like that?
    Thasks for any help
  3. Ofsted's judgement criteria are published on their website and elsewhere. The key thing is what pupils learn as a result of the lesson. Since most people learn best by doing and talking with others, the most effective lessons often include opportunities for pupils to work things out for themselves, often in pairs or groups. This means you have to think about what you are teaching in terms of questions like 'how can I set up a situation that will force pupils to address the issue I want them to learn about?'
    Example: suppose you are teaching business studies and want pupils to learn about delivery notes, invoices and other documentation. Rather than tell them what happens in business (which is giving the solution to a problem they didn't realise existed) try to set up a situation (eg a simulation) where they think of the idea for themselves. You might engage pupils in some sort of trading game that initially works on trust, but then introduce a dispute about whether a payment or delivery has been made. Pupils will soon suggest some kind of recording system for orders and deliveries. Once they understand the problem, the solution may be fairly obvious. As teachers, we often try to teach students about the solution without getting them to understand the problem.

    In English, understanding the problem may become 'understanding your audience'. In science, understanding the problem may be related to scientific enquiry. For example, Hookes Law (extension of a spring is proportional to the load) may be best approached by considering the problem of how to construct a mechanism for measuring weight or force.

    Satisfactory lessons generally involve half decent organisation, transmision of information and little inspiration. Good lessons get pupils thinking. Outstanding lessons get pupils thinking and excited. They may involve risks.

    Example: a history teacher starts a lesson as normal but then challenges a girl who is eating sweets. The girl reacts angrily and throws the sweets at the teacher, who shouts at her and sends her out. She refuses to go until threatened that the hedteacher will be summoned. The teacher takes the girl out and leaves the class. Shortly after, another teacher enters and says that the Head has heard the commoton and wants every pupil to write a witness statement. They mustn't confer, but just write down what happened. The teacher collects all the pupils papers,
    The original teacher returns and reminds the pupils that they had been thinking about the credibility of witness testimony in the context of the Alabama bus incident, when a black woman refused to give up her seat to a white man. The pupils' witness statements concerning the sweet incident are reviewed and it turns out that many had no idea what had happened in front of their eyes. In reviewing the witness statements of the incident, which it is now admitted was staged, the pupils get a much better understanding of the difficulty of validating even eye-witness testimony.

    Inadequate lessons are often disorganise. The teacher interrupts him/herself repeatedly to remonstrate with those not paying attention, each time lossing the atention of a few more pupils. When pupils ask questions, the teacher fobs them off, becuase he/she doesn't really know what the pupils need to learn. The teacher is more concerne dwith finishing work than effective learning. Pupils with special needs are ignored - the teacher being embarrassed that they haven't followed the splendid explanations. Pupils who ask for clarification are told they should have paid attention in the first place. Pupils who make understandable errors due to well known misconceptions are told off rather than helped. Teachers' calls for quiet are immediately recognised as having no authority. Its like a living nightmare...
  4. Thank you so much subjectknowledge that really got me thinking!
    I have had a look on ofsteds website and can't find the criteria, maybe i am just being dense!
    Could anyone be so kind as to post a link to where it is!
    Thank you all, sorry if I am being dense!
  5. The link is:


    Here are the sections on judging behaviour and teaching. They refer to judging the school as a whole, but are relevant for lessons.

    It is iften helpful to read the annual report and relevant subject reports.

    Evaluating the standard of learners? behaviour
    Outstanding Learners? mature, thoughtful behaviour is an outstanding factor in their successful learning and creates an extremely positive school ethos. Learners are very supportive of each other in lessons and show great consideration of each other?s interests around the school.
    Good Learners? behaviour makes a strong contribution to good learning in lessons. Their behaviour is welcoming and positive. They show responsibility in responding to routine expectations, set consistent standards for themselves and need only rare guidance from staff about how to conduct themselves. They behave well towards each other, showing respect and encouraging others to conduct themselves equally well.
    Satisfactory Learners? behaviour is acceptable in the classroom so that it does not interfere with learning and time is not wasted. They can work on their own or in small groups. Around the school, learners? behaviour is secure and well-ordered so that public spaces are normally safe and calm. Learners themselves feel secure and understand how to deal with bullying or other problems. Learners generally respond appropriately to sanctions.
    Inadequate Learners? behaviour inhibits progress or well-being in lessons more frequently than very isolated occasions. Time may be wasted through persistent low-level disruption or occasional deliberate disobedience, for example by interfering with others? concentration during independent work. It may also be reflected in lateness and a lack of attention such as extensive off-task chatter. Some learners show a lack of respect for ? or direct challenge to - adults or other young people, including instances of racism, sexism and other forms of bullying.

    If a significant proportion of lessons is disrupted by weaknesses in behaviour so that learning is less than it should be, then behaviour should be judged inadequate. Inspectors should weigh the frequency and extent of problems in making this judgement.
    Where behaviour is sufficiently weak to be graded 4, this is likely to lead to the overall grade for personal development being graded 4.
    The quality of provision
    How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the needs of the full range of learners?
    Inspectors should evaluate:
    ? how well teaching and resources across the range of the curriculum promote learning, enjoyment and achievement, address the needs of the full range of learners, including those of pupils from black and minority ethnic groups or with LDD, and meet course requirements
    ? the suitability and rigour of assessment in planning and monitoring learners? progress
    ? the diagnosis of, and provision for, additional learning needs
    and, where appropriate:
    ? the involvement of parents and carers in their children?s learning and development.
    Evaluating the quality of teaching
    Outstanding (1) Teaching is at least good in all major respects and is exemplary in significant elements. As a result, learners thrive and make exceptionally good progress.
    (2) Learners make good progress and show good attitudes to their work, as a result of effective teaching. The teachers? good subject knowledge lends confidence to their teaching styles, which engage all groups of learners and encourage them to work well independently. Classes are managed effectively. Learners respond to appropriate challenges. Based upon thorough and accurate assessment that informs learners how to improve, work is closely tailored to the full range of learners? needs, so that all can succeed including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Learners are guided to assess their work themselves. Teaching assistants and other classroom helpers, and resources, are well deployed to support learning. Good relationships support parents/carers in helping learners to succeed.
    Satisfactory (3) Teaching is inadequate in no major respect, and may be good in some respects, enabling learners to enjoy their education and make the progress that should be expected of them. Teaching promotes positive behaviour and learning.
    Inadequate (4) Learners generally, or particular groups of them, do not make adequate progress because the teaching is unsatisfactory. Learners do not enjoy their work. Behaviour is often poor and is managed inadequately. Teachers? knowledge of the curriculum and the course requirements are inadequate, and the level of challenge is often wrongly pitched. The methods used do not sufficiently engage and encourage the different groups of learners. Not enough independent learning takes place or learners are excessively passive. Assessment is not frequent or accurate enough to monitor learners? progress, so teachers do not have a clear enough understanding of learners? needs. Learners do not know how to improve. Teaching assistants, resources, and parents/carers are inadequately utilised to support learners.

  6. Ofsted lesson criteria

    In my last post, I put in the link and text about judging teaching across the school. I have now located the guidance on judging teaching in a lesson.

    The link is:


    The essential part of the text is:
    Guidance on where to pitch judgements about the overall quality of a lesson
    The overall judgement will be a ?best fit? of the grade descriptions in the box, except in the case of an unsatisfactory lesson where particular conditions mean that the lesson cannot be satisfactory.

    Description Characteristics of the lesson
    (1) The lesson is at least good in all major respects and is exemplary in significant elements, as shown by the significant progress made by all of the learners.
    Good (2) Most learners make good progress because of the good teaching they receive. Behaviour overall is good and learners are well motivated. They work in a safe, secure and friendly environment.
    Teaching is based on secure subject knowledge with a well-structured range of stimulating tasks that engage the learners while . The work is well matched to the full range of learners? needs, so that most are suitably challenged. Teaching methods are effectively related to the lesson objectives and the needs of learners. Teaching assistants and resources are well deployed and good use is made of time. Assessment of learners? work is regular, consistent and promotes progress.
    (3) The lesson is inadequate in no major respect, and may be good in some respects, as shown by the satisfactory enjoyment and progress of the learners.
    (4) A lesson cannot be adequate if:
    ? most learners, or a significant specific minority of learners, make less than satisfactory progress
    ? learners? overall behaviour or attitudes are unsatisfactory, spritual, moral, social and cultural development are neglected, and learners? overall personal development is poor
    ? the health or safety of the learners is endangered
    ? the teaching is unsatisfactory. Unsatisfactory teaching is likely to have one or more of the following:
    o weak knowledge of the curriculum leading to inaccurate teaching and low demands on pupils
    o work badly matched to the pupils? starting points
    o ineffective classroom management of behaviour
    o methods which are poorly geared to the learning objectives or which fail to gain the interest and commitment of the learners
    o inadequate use of resources, including assistants and the time available
    o poor assessment.

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