A recent up-date on the new OFSTED framework. By Ross Morrison McGill in The Guardian.
At a classroom level, many of you will be surprised to hear that inspectors do not expect to see a lesson plan, but wait for it; expect to see a well-planned lesson that enables all pupils to learn and make progress. It took me quite some time to figure this enigma out too. Basically, don’t waste your time over planning and filling out school-proformas; keep up the day-to-day routines in the classroom and when the hour itself calls, evidence of preparation is what they will see.
Subsequently, when you are actually mentally planning what to do, inspectors do not expect to see three or four part lessons with starters and plenaries anymore. Didactic teaching will not necessarily lead to a judgement of inadequate (did you fall off your chair when you read that?) and furthermore, the word ‘differentiation’ is rarely used. Note, you would be foolish to disregard the Shangri-la utopia that “all students make significant progress,” so do keep it in mind. Teachers are required to meet the individual needs of all the pupils they teach, so the need for effective differentiation is obvious and inspectors will look for evidence of this during observations. If you are an outstanding practitioner, planning will be evident in student outcomes, but you may want to read this paragraph again.
Literacy and numeracy
If literacy and/or numeracy are not well supported in a lesson, it is likely to be judged inadequate. It is the duty of every teacher, regardless of the subject they teach, to promote high standards of literacy; so do make sure you check the three Rs in your teaching and assessment. This is taken directly from the Teachers’ Standards: “Demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of standard English, whatever the teacher’s specialist subject.”
Only set homework if it is appropriate to the learning needs of the students. If your school does not have a homework policy, then this will probably make your decision to set homework a considered thought.