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You are here > Members' Resources > Online Learning Magazine > 2014 Magazine Issues > Issue 46: OFSTED and Outstanding
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Magazine Issue 46: OFSTED and Outstanding
April 2014

This month: thoughts about OFSTED and Outstanding.


Article: Ofsted and Outstanding
New Resources
Additional Resources

This Month's Article:

Ofsted and Outstanding

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Ofsted and Outstanding An Article to prompt discussion and debate about school inspection and the word "Outstanding".

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Teaching & Learning, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Ofsted Outstanding Quality CPD
Ousted
My spellchecker brings up 'ousted' whenever I type Ofsted. Make of that what you will but this isn't an article to criticise anyone or any organisation. However I do have four criticisms of the word "Outstanding" and three recommendations for alternatives:

  1. Outstanding is a nominal fallacy - the belief that by naming something we suddenly know what it is.
  2. Outstanding is divisive - it can drive a wedge between those who are labelled so, and those who aren't yet.
  3. Outstanding is misused - it is variously used to describe teachers themselves and/or their professional practice
  4. Outstanding is descriptive not developmental - it describes an outcome not a process of improvement.

There. That feels better to get it off my chest.

Alternatives to Outstanding
Here are three alternatives:

1. Stand Out
Teachers and those who inspect/advise/support them look for features of practice that stand out. What makes lessons more interesting? What is happening in lessons that is new and exciting? What is different? What grabs your attention? What is surprising and engaging?

2. Effective
Effective teaching is successful in achieving its desired aims (the official and hidden curricula). To describe teaching as effective rather than outstanding links it directly to its intent rather than to a generic accolade.

3. Quality
Often cited on this website, a helpful meaning of the word "Quality" is fitness for purpose. It does what it's supposed to. Quality isn't about shine and glitter, it's about what's in and on the tin. Quality teaching is the right teaching for the context you're in.


3 Levels of Effective
So here's a suggested way to think about your own teaching at three levels:

  • Very effective: High quality teaching with many stand out features
  • Effective: Quality teaching with stand out features
  • Not effective yet: see above

These match existing descriptors (outstanding, good, requires improvement)

The same could be used to describe all strands of any inspection process, and learners themselves:

You are a very effective learner
You are an effective learner
You are not an effective learner yet

Feedback
I'd be interested to know what you, your colleagues and your pupils think of this. Can a subtle change of wording alter attitudes, emotions and associated behaviours?

New Resources:

Hard Q Thinking

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Hard Q Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool for pupils to create their own challenging questions about any subject.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Questioning, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Secondary, Tertiary

Tags: Independent Thinking Questioning
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Hard Q Thinking Powerpoint

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Hard Q Thinking Powerpoint A Thinking Tool Template in Powerpoint, to help quickly create Hard Q Thinking classroom resources.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Questioning, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Secondary, Tertiary

Tags: Questioning Independent Thinking
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Art Think Sheet - Colour and Shape

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Art Think Sheet - Colour and Shape A Think Sheet focusing on creative ways to think about colour and shape in art.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Art, Secondary

Tags: Art Colour Shape
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

A further article on Outstanding & another Thinking Tool related to Questions

Outstanding Lesson Design

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Outstanding Lesson Design An Article to download that offers one view of what should be included in a plan for an outstanding lesson. Use it as a resource to benchmark your own planning and to debate the issue of lesson planning with colleagues.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Article, Planning, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Outstanding Planning Lesson Design

101Q Thinking

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101Q Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool using categories to prompt the creation of many different questions. Challenge pupils to exceed the target of 101.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Questioning, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Questioning
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.



More Art Think Sheets

Art Think Sheet - Mark Making

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Art Think Sheet - Mark Making A Think Sheet using Thinking Classroom ideas to develop the creative use of tools, media and surfaces. 

Categories: Think Sheet, Art, Early Years, Infant, Junior, Thinking Skills

Tags: Mark Making
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Art Think Sheet - Moving Image

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Art Think Sheet - Moving Image A Think Sheet applying Thinking Classroom ideas to film and video.

Categories: Think Sheet, Art, Media, Secondary, Thinking Skills

Tags: Film
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.


Books:

Full On Learning: Involve Me & I’ll Understand
by Zoe Elder

Full On Learning: Involve Me & I’ll Understand <br>by Zoe Elder

A clear and graphically rich presentation of the key features needed for a future-facing education. Includes thoughts and activities around collaboration, emotional intelligence, digital learning, motivation, questioning and feedback.

Available from Amazon

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Books, Skills Based Learning, Curriculum

Tags: Quality Teaching Infographic Visual Thinking


Websites:

Effective Teaching: Review of Research & Evidence

Effective Teaching: Review of Research & Evidence Find a summary & download research that will help you to define what effective teaching means in your school, carried out by CfBT (Centre for British Teachers) Education Trust.

www.cfbt.com/en-GB/Research/Research-library/2013/r-effective-teaching-2013

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Websites, Research, Professional Development

Tags: Visual Thinking



Next month we think about... TBC