Ofsted

The Outstanding Ofsted: What a difference half a decade makes

Reading time: 4 minutes

In past blog articles we’ve taken a close look at just what it means to be an ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ school, as defined by the all-powerful Ofsted organisation. If you’ve been reading with us, then you’ll appreciate that these grades are anything but clear cut.

In this, our third instalment on Ofsted grades, we hone in on the differences that are today faced by schools aiming for that coveted outstanding rating.

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‘Good’ – Just what is it by Ofsted standards?

Reading time: 3 minutes

Ofsted grading is an enduring matter of debate amongst educational professionals – a way of representing an entire school, its pupils and its workforce’s efforts, in a single word. For parents, an Ofsted grade can seem completely straightforward – and with that one word a rush for school places ensues.

Yet as any education professional knows, all is never as it seems when it comes to Ofsted. Here, we take a look at the ‘Good’ grade – and explain why it continues to be a sticky issue.

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Ofsted: Just what is outstanding, anyway?

Reading time: 4 minutes

Ofsted. For teachers and educational professionals, it’s the single word that can strike fear into hearts; for parents, carers and guardians, it’s often considered the Holy Grail of a school’s quality – the be all, and end all. However truly defining what makes a school ‘Outstanding’, may not be such a simple matter. As we’ll go on to discover, this seal of quality is often not such a straightforward concept.

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New Ofsted Common Inspection Framework

Reading time: < 1 minute

New plans revealed by Sir Michael Wilshaw this week are ‘the biggest reforms to inspections in Ofsted’s 20-year history’ (TES).  The new common inspection framework will come into effect from 1 September 2015.

Under the new framework, any schools classified as ‘good’ will have a short visit every 3 years, rather than every 5 years under present inspection frameworks, in order to identify any signs of decline; triggering a full inspection if found.

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Reflecting on Teaching Practice

Reading time: 3 minutes

Reflective practice within teaching centres around activity which takes place in the classroom, the thought processes around why things take place and then considering if it is all working as it should be.

Reflecting on your teaching means you are undertaking self-observation along with self-evaluation and is important because we can identify the kind of practices we undertake, analyse the beliefs in how we teach and evaluate the overall situation with an outcome as to any changes which are needed or improvements in the way we teach.

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Lesson Observations

Reading time: 3 minutes

Lesson observation is a critical teaching tool which should be used in a positive way for both the teacher and the observer. For the person being observed, it is a time to be able to reflect on their teaching style, content and effectiveness and for the observer, the opportunity to see a snapshot of how well the students are being taught as well as the overall skill of the teacher.

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Update on the Pupil Premium

Reading time: 2 minutes

Ofsted released a report this week analysing the evidence of progress made to raise the achievement for pupils eligible for free school meals.

151 inspection reports analysed between January and December 2013 have been used along a sample of 83 primary schools and 68 secondary schools to provide examples of good practice and weaknesses present in the spending of the Pupil Premium.

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5 Simple Strategies…for surviving an Ofsted inspection

Reading time: 3 minutes

With new Ofsted inspection guidelines published last month, we thought we would take a look at some tips on the ways you can show pupil progress made through your lessons.

It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but ensuring your lessons are well planned and that they effectively demonstrate your pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the topic is essential.

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Are you ready for assessment without levels?

Reading time: 3 minutes

September 2014 sees a major shakeup in the secondary school curriculum and assessment methods – and the indications are that many schools are still not fully prepared.

Admittedly, there has not been a great deal of time. It was only in June last year that the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, dropped his bombshell.

He announced at the NCTL ‘Seizing Success’ conference that the new National Curriculum to be introduced in September 2014 would not involve existing National Curriculum assessment levels.

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