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Surviving No Notice Inspections


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#1 Roy Huggins

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:13 PM

Hi Folks,

Survived yet another Ofsted inspection in special measures, I've been observed so many times in the past year that I've lost count. We were inspected using the new framework which is significantly different to the previous one. We've received support from lots of different sources and I've picked up lots of really useful advice and documents that I will try and share in this thread as it develops.

As you may be aware, from September every school will be subject to no notice inspections. In some respects, it will be a good thing as it will stop people from putting on a show for Ofsted. We received the dreaded call on Monday, we were last inspected 12 weeks ago and thought that we had at least until after half term. If you are as silly as me, then you do silly things like get up at 5am and work until 1am, trying to produce outstanding lessons. Thatís no longer going to be possible under the new framework, which will hopefully give Ofsted a more realistic snap shot of what is going on and a bit of a welcome relief for schools like mine that operate in a challenging environment.

Anyway, necessity is the mother of all invention and thatís especially true if you are trying to survive in special measures. I would therefore make the following suggestions, that I think every history teacher in the land should seriously consider following if you want to survive from September when an Ofsted inspector can just walk into your classroom without any notice:

Active Learning Files

Keep a file for each class on your desk which contains the following:

  • SEN details for your students
  • Class data
  • Intervention logs / detention slips
  • Relevant copies of lesson observations / lesson plans
  • Two Seating Plans

It is critically important that you can explicitly demonstrate how you use data to plan and differentiate to this end I would strongly recommend that you have two seating plans, one for mixed ability and the other for specific group work based activities that are setted by ability. Besides the obvious, your seating plan should include the following information:
  • Target Level
  • Currently working at
  • SEN
  • G & T

Marking & Assessment

You can't afford to not mark a set of books regularly, nor is it possible to mark everything therefore you have to specificly target what you are marking. Our school policy is to provide written feedback every 5 lessons. I aim to provide a star and a wish type of comment. We've been advised by HMI to use the phase: 'Your next steps to improve are ....' I've also tried to limit the amount I write by designing highly detailed assessment feedback sheets for each assessment aimed at different sub levels from 3b to 7c. Its a hasstle to make, but if you share the burden within the department when you review your assessment tasks it cuts down the time it takes to mark your work.

Assessment For Learning

It is critical that the Ofsted inspectors can find evidence of a learning dialogue in your exercise books. To this end, Ive been getting my students to write my comments into their own words, so that they can demonstrate that they have read my comments and taken onboard my advice on their next steps to improve. I always get them to use the phase: 'My next steps to improve on:' change and continuity, cause and consequence etc ... I do this with all my students KS3 - KS5.

Its also important to make sure that there are examples of peer assessment in your exercise books or AFL files. The star and the wish works well, 'I really lied the way that you backed up your point with two good examples from the source','next time try and explain your examples and link them back to the question.

If you really want to blow away the inspectors then look at my thread on AFL for OCR MWH B. All my GCSE students use my AFL packs and are fully trained like puppies to mark each others past paper questions, make comments and feedback. Its great preparation from day one of the course, cuts down on your marking and fulfils all the AFL criteria and works really well. Check out the pupil feedback sheet I've just posted in that thread.

Lesson Aims & Objectives

Ofsted now hate must, should or could or the similar variations. Please see attached lesson plan for which I got a one for teaching. My advice is to set all your aims and objectives on your IWB for the week ahead, before you leave school on Friday:

Attached File  Year 11 Lesson Plan Example 2012.docx   26.4K   479 downloads

I will add my other lesson plans onece, I've had the chance to take out the data and any information which identifies my school or students. Please remember that I'm only including this as an exmaple for a PM observation and for how to set out your aims, objectives and outcomes as you will not have the time to produce documenst like this from September with 'no notice inspections.'

Timetabling

All the guidelines from the unions and the government advise that teachers shoudl be given their new timetables at least 5 to 6 weeks before the end of the Summer Term. Get your union reps working on this now. You need to have your Active Learning Files ready for the first week back as Ofsted could be marching through your classroom door at any moment!

And finallly ....

I would be really interested in hearing from anyone who has any similar good ideas that they can share. It would be great to create a thread that becomes a survival kit for hassled history teachers. I will post some useful documents over half term into this thread.

I feel incredibly tired at the moment. The one positive from this week was that I got a 1 for my teaching, 2 for my behaviour and learning in my lesson. Not bad when you consider that they have upped the grading again so that a good 12 weeks ago is now a satisfactory. The HMI inspector said that the only limiting factor was the students. The only way that you can get a one for either learning or behaviour is if the kids are really excited about what they are doing and enter the room wanting to take charge of their own learning straight away, not an easy task with teenagers.

Anyway, if you have got an Ofsted tomorrow good luck, but I would recommend that everyone follows the tips that I've outlined above as a bare minimum from September. The advice that I've included has been hard earned in a tough school on the frontline. There is a coming Ofsted Blitzkrieg that will sweep away the ill prepared. Please, take onboard these tips and pass them onto your colleagues. If you are already following them and have some even better tips then please share them.

Kind Regards

Roy :jester:

Edited by Roy Huggins, 11 February 2012 - 11:57 PM.

"Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." - Epictetus

#2 Roy Huggins

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:27 PM

Hi Folks,

The attached document was produced by our school improvement advisor. This document gives some excellent, hot of the press advice on how to meet the new criteria in the new Ofsted framework.

Attached File  JUDGING LEARNING - updated.docx   21.35K   391 downloads

The cultural, moral etc is a reference to teh ethos in your classroom. When I got my 1 this week, I kept on stressing the importance of working together, supporting each other and explaining why we were doing certain tasks. For example, during the start of the snowballing session I said things like: 'Your memory is like any miscle in your body, teh more you use the stronger it gets.' I also keep on emphasing which thinking skills or PLTs that we are using. I also kept on trying to contextualise the learning by making references throughout my lesson to current affairs and real life situations that they could link the lesson to

Kind Regards

Roy :jester:

Edited by Roy Huggins, 09 February 2012 - 08:28 PM.

"Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." - Epictetus

#3 Ed Podesta

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:17 PM

Roy, this is such excellent advice - thank you for providing it. Would you mind if I passed it on to colleagues in school?

Ed.

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

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#4 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:40 PM

This advice is absolutely fantastic. Thank you for sharing your experience and expertise. These notes and observations are greatly appreciated.
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#5 Roy Huggins

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:19 PM

Feel free, I will post some more when I've had time to recover. I only wish I had more time to devote to the forum but I'm at full stretch at the moment with my responsibilities as union rep and acting head of faculty. I've been teaching for 20 years, raced with the winds and danced with the Ofsted inspector in the pale moon light, but its not getting any easier!

Roy :jester:
"Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." - Epictetus

#6 David Bryant

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:22 PM

Roy, thank you very much for this extremely useful advice and comments. It has given me a lot to think about.

#7 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:50 PM

If comments on twitter are correct a few schools in York have had literally no notice of inspections this week.

#8 KatKlunder

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:53 PM

Thankyou so much for all the good advice - we are awaiting an Ofsted inspection this year, and are pushing for Oustanding as a school (which, judging by the new framework looks increasingly hard to achieve)

This will be my first inspection and I am really panicking about it, so your advice is really helpful!

#9 Stewart Hogg

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:10 PM

Brilliant as ever Roy.

Even though here in Wales we are under a slightly different inspection framework i have passed this on to my SLT.

#10 Roy Huggins

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:14 PM

Many thanks for your kind words, please do pass these suggestions on. I'm signing off for now and will try and pop back in again for a few times between now and Easter - so much to do and so little time! I hate being in special measures, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as we have made so much good progress, we are going to be given a full Section 5 inspection which will hopefully take us out of special measures. :blink:

Anyway, back to my R & R before I go back into the firestorm of 'No Mans Land.' Hopefully see you all on the other side - Berlin by Christmas!

Roy :jester:
"Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." - Epictetus

#11 jennyroberts

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:10 AM

Are you saying that you have a written lesson plan, in two versions for all your lessons, in the amount of detail which is on your plan. Are we expected to have a plan like that for all classes just in case Ofsted decide to walk in?
How can that be realistic or sustainable?

#12 Judy G

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:55 PM

Are you saying that you have a written lesson plan, in two versions for all your lessons, in the amount of detail which is on your plan. Are we expected to have a plan like that for all classes just in case Ofsted decide to walk in?
How can that be realistic or sustainable?



I was recently on inset with an Ofsted inspector who was talking about planning - particularly in the light of no-notice inspections. He said Ofsted do not require a lesson plan. The only thing that he said is useful for them is a seating plan with student levels marked on so they can target specific students to talk to.

#13 Roy Huggins

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:09 PM

Cheers Judy, hence the need for an Active Learning File that you can pass across to the inspector that contains your seating plan, SEN detals, interventions! With the exception of PM, lesson plans will become a thing of the past with Ofsted. At least on the first day of the inspection!

Kind Regards

Roy :jester:

PS One lesson plan, two seating plans - Mixed / Setted for differentiation!

Edited by Roy Huggins, 14 February 2012 - 06:53 PM.

"Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." - Epictetus

#14 Jenjane

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:19 PM

Cheers Judy, hence the need for an Active Learning File that you can pass across to the inspector that contains your seating plan, SEN detals, interventions! With the exception of PM, lesson plans will become a thing of the past with Ofsted. At least on the first day of the inspection!

Kind Regards

Roy :jester:

PS One lesson plan, two seating plans - Mixed / Setted for differentiation!


Yes, Seating plan is an excellent idea. I ahve mine done on the IWB software so it's easy to move tham about, so adding extra data will be no problem. Will ask all of my department to do this at the next meeting.
Thanks
jane

#15 Lesley Ann

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:44 PM

Having gone through Special Measures process the detailed daily 3 page lesson plan for every lesson is horrendous.

I now have a proforma overview for each class in a file with seating plan detailed with targets, SEND & GnT identified. The proforma is a snap shot of the class detailing number of boys, girls, SEND, GnT & target level ability of group. It also details specific general learning need of SEND students & measures that are in place to support their learning. This proforma only needs to change if the class dynamics change ie child moves in or out.
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