Do you remember at school when you were getting on with group work and the teacher was roaming around the classroom, having a look, giving a nudge here and there? (we call it assessment in the moment now).
And do you remember that when she came within earshot of your table, you and your friends would seamlessly switch your conversation on to what it was supposed to be about. It was a psychic, unspoken and effortlessly coordinated move between you all which sadly involved raising your voices a little too much; speaking a bit too clearly (so she could hear you) and sadly, James looking right at her as the final giveaway that you hadn't really been on task.
But never mind, your teacher had done exactly the same thing when she was at school. And you still do it now in hands-on, experiential training sessions.
It's one of the great complicities of education (and quantum physics): the observer affects the system (like those cameras in the picture). We all know it but we don't talk about it. It's like Ofsted. We are the tables chatting about the whole child; they are the teacher, expecting us to be discussing data. When they enter our orbit, we shift our focus. At least we did. At least they did. Hopefully, from September, we'll all be on the same page.
I've read the final, sorry, proposed new inspection framework and it makes good sense. Not too sure about paragraph 227 but all in all, if those using it genuinely understand its intent, I'm sure their implementation of an inspection will have huge positive impact on teacher well-being and children's future success.
Disclaimer: I am not Ofsted trained. I just pick up the pieces after they leave or help schools enact their recommendations or support the interpretations of their findings.
However, for what it's worth, here is a 10-point summary of what you need to do when they roam your way:
1. Know your subjects
2. Have and articulate a whole-school ‘shared why’
3. Stay legal
4. Be able to justify choices and rationale
5. Know your curriculum end points
6. Sequence learning well
7. Be flexible and design for pupil need and context
8. Ensure the basics are really, really embedded
9. Emphasise authentic long-term memory
10. Show impact
I genuinely would like to hear from any inspectors using the new framework to see if and how they might adapt this.
Oh, and on another note:
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