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What makes an "outstanding" lesson

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by RebelX, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. What are the criteria for an outstanding lesson?
  2. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

  3. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

  4. You may want to have a look at this Ofsted document too ... but be aware of the last line on the first page; basically this isn't for a normal, whole school inspection, but rather for a maths-specific survey visit/inspection.
  5. Outstanding Progress
  6. Over the past 12 years I have become more and more convinced that outstanding, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
    But you definitely won't get it unless every student is seen to make progress, which is probably a good thing to make your number one aim by giving a differentiated lesson.
    Secure and positive learning environment for all.
    Demonstrate some high-level questioning, even better if your students are obviously used to it and developing the skill themselves.
    Students given the chance to develop their own learning independently, and again, obviously used to doing it and keen to get on with what they have realised is a highly satisfying way to work.
  7. On a course at the moment and it has been said many times that the 'only' thing ofsted are interested in is the progress of the learner. If your lesson impacts upon all the learners and they all make 'good' progress, then your lesson is outstanding.

    http://iteachmaths.blogspot.com/ (My blog.)
  8. A pupil once asked me that question after we had gone through an Ofsted. [​IMG]
    I didn't know where to put myself!
    Either he had not realised how outstanding my lessons were over 4 years .....
    ... or, they weren't.......
    Perplexed City, Arizona is where I was ..................
  9. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Precisely; so teachers in krapstonville comp with drug addicts and sex offenders in their year 10 set 7 have precisely zero chance of getting outstanding.
    Whereas if you teach in a nice school with children highly motivated by parents to start with ...
    Not that I am saying OFSTED are unfair.[​IMG]
  10. Then it is bl00dy hard to prove outstanding progress because they all have targets of A+
  11. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    What utter tosh! Outstanding progress is possible in any type of school. And to think that working in a school in challenging circumstances gives you any flipping excuse to give up on the kids is simply offensive
  12. Well said!
    Beat me to it!
  13. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    A fairly recent OFSTED inspection observation of a colleague says otherwise I'm afraid.

  14. Is the original question
    What makes an outsanding lesson or what makes outstanding teaching?
  15. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    I do not think so. OFSTED might agree.
    So you are offended by something that I didn't say. Do you always make the leap between saying outstanding progress is not possible [which BTW another poster on here implies is the case if the children all have targets of A+] and giving up?
    I am quite offended.

  16. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Quoting OFSTED does not add any weight to any counter argument in my eyes.
    In fact the first ever OFSTED inspected actually told the whole department that he did not believe in awarding the top grade. So I remain convinced that OFSTED are a monumental waste of tax payers' money.

  17. I'm lucky enough (!) to have been given an outstanding rating during an OFSTED inspection. It was a lesson to C/D borderline students on limits of accuracy - boring, no?
    Basically, I had the class seated by ability.
    I differentiated (not to the nth degree though).
    My starter linked to the lesson objectives by reviewing what they should already know.
    I used A LOT of AfL to judge and demonstrate progress.
    I broke the lesson up into lots of little tasks.
    At the end of each task, we review what we'd learnt.
    The key bit is to ensure that the students do more than you do in the lesson, and that what they do is varied from 'Page 63, Exercise 1, Questions 1-10' every time.
    I too take umbridge at the fact that people believe you can't make outstanding progress with any group apart from one that is the very best in the first place.

  18. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    During my last but one OFSTED I was teaching parallel second set year 11 groups and was observed teaching much the same lesson to both in terms of activities.
    The first lesson went really well but because the classes grades were poor the lesson was satisfactory. Apparently it was too teacher led. What the inspector initially did not know, and when informed did not care, about was the fact that I had taken over the class from a teacher that was off with stress the week before so the grades were nothing to do with my teaching.
    The second lesson was observed by a different inspector and was pretty dire. The pupils behaved pretty poorly and tbh made little progress in my opinion. However because they all had A and B grades the lesson was judged outstanding.
    Perhaps the inspector I had was poor relative to other inspectors but it did make me question the value of the inspection. If that's the criteria then why not just look at the levels and grades on paper rather than turning up.

  19. It annoys me when people say things like 'top set kids don't need much feedback as they are getting most stuff right- feedback is for the kids in the lower sets really'. If the students in top set are getting everything right all the time then they are not being stretched and challenged enough!
  20. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    I like Tandy's google doc link.

    I think Ofsted should take the time tofind out about the local area, the intake, the previous teaching history befoer they make a snap judgement on our teaching. Some inspectors do this very well. Some expect the same thing to be happening in very different schools.

    I remember the criteria for outstanding lesson being that ALL teachers made progress beyond expected grade. That meant I was never going to get outstanding since I could probably get some to that level, but not every pupil.

    But I'm happier being good/satisfactory all year, than being unsatisfactory and then pulling it out of the bag when an inspection looms, and being consistent is hard work!

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