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Mike Fleetham Mike's Thinking Classroom Blog


Outstanding to Outstanding

Cleves School, Weybridge - consistenly outstanding (last 2 Ofsteds) AND by my cobbled together standards above. Spent a day there learning with the children and staff. Y'know, if I ever do become an inspector, I'd teach 2 or 3 lessons during the inspection (and insist that my team did the same) Why:

1) Would you buy a car without test driving? Could you really describe a horse without riding it? Can someone who has never taught really understand the art and science of the teacher?
2) For credibility

When I teach a class in a school, I find out very quickly what the school is like. I am on the horse, holding the reins, I know it (I'm not watching it from the grandstand with a clipboard)

Cleves from the inside:
1. Each lesson was like settling into a favourite chair - the children knew how to learn and expected to. But they weren't passively faking interest. They were alert like rabbits, eager to engage and find out, eager to discover and learn.

2. Working up the age group I noticed the best progression of thinking skills in 5 years. Actual skills similar to other schools BUT at Cleves it's mapped and therfore ensured. Quality is not hit and miss. It's planned and delivered.

3. Facilitating staff (4:30, early Nov. remember) - equally enagaged. Best professional dialogue I've heared. Most professional progress I've seen in a 55 minute session.

"What's your secret?" I asked HT Sue Croft...her answer was not rocket science…go visit if you want a bottle of it!


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