OfSted have a video explaining what they are looking for.
- Over time, look for evidence of themes not just snapshot
- Main focus will be on checking amount of progress by students, a way to measure impact of teachers.
- Data also checked, record sharing and tracking, pupil and parent discusions.
- Minimum aim is ‘good’, not ‘satisfactory‘.
It’s really interesting that we start with how we will be judged – cf Robin Millar’s ‘backward design’ concept.
- An outstanding teacher covers all areas, one bit at a time.
- This is (or should be) a corporate, not just an individual aim.
- Can be easy to focus on one area, often linked to School Improvement Plan.
- Being more rounded means supporting each other.
From HOD’s point of view, improving results may be focus. In most useful cases (ie not exam ‘strategy’) this will be via improved teaching. A good way to help with this is to cross reference performance management targets. This allows a department to set up mentors/mentees, so everyone makes the most of each other’s strengths. This could also work online.
Identify and tackle groups that are not achieving:
- Classroom intervention (over time)
- Set or group (sessions, etc)
- Back to individuals, but led by department
- What went well?
- Even better if?
Explained KS3/4 in Northern Ireland. Sounds much more open than in England, although a few ‘must cover’ areas, eg careers.
- Do they know about careers in science?
- What surprises them?
- Links to syllabus
- Minimum qualifications
Emphasis on women in biology, displays in corridor, people with Nobel prizes, local, inc current/recent. Use key words so kids can link to own learning. Include staff at school, hope to add ex-pupils in future. Steal this idea!
Have kids research then sum up an assigned scientist in a tweet. Have kids set success criteria before doing homework. Alternatively write obituary. Anything like this (careers, literacy, online skills) ticks a lot of outstanding boxes, esp if you start with a hook demonstrating local/contemporary relevance.
Write CVs for anything that shows adaptation – organisms, cells, organelles (eg red/white blood cells) – then kids compete. Judged by peers who therefore need to know both sides. e.g. 8 students, 4 present CVs for white blood cells while other 4 (red blood cells) mark their information, then swap. Worth stealing – pass on to Biology colleagues, add to KS3/4 SOWs.
Essays – write a paragraph, then spend lesson improving with markschemes, glossaries, peer checking, then redraft at end. Very good way to show AfL, and progress in lesson, would work well for split plenary. This isn’t too different from what I do now but would be a good way to practice use of checklists.
Friday afternoon [Subject] Resource pack, fun but relevant AS/A2 packages with markschemes. £90 makes this a department not a personal purchase. Learning without realising it, is best way. Q&A cards can be created and used in a similar way. An online version is ‘Ript’, free software. I’ve found several things that could be this, but there are loads of online flashcard systems available.
Complete Q loops by discussion and make an actual physical loop – much more interactive, especially for the first time. If you use a stopwatch, you can challenge students to beat their previous time. Because they get different cards each time, they gain familiarity quickly.
Hates paper based activities, but can be useful to boost kids, if you can stop all the cards getting lost.
National Strategies still very useful, but you’ll have to look for them in archives. Especially worth checking out the Ped-Pack. Unfortunately the original resources were all really badly organised; teachfind or similar is a good ‘doorway’. I’m not so sure about this but it could be my misbehaving computer/internet connection.
Tea stained paper and magnets practical shows the field. Can’t find a link to this at the moment.
Emphasize to students that when filling in APP sheet it will be hit and miss, each activity will have a level and will not always meet target over 2/3 years. Conditional formatting in excel can automate feedback by pinpointing themes.
Use of red/orange/green cards for immediate feedback – can assign kids as troubleshooters, go over, stop lesson.
Taboo and wordslap activities are quick and easy to use. Put together powerpoint?
“Who doesn’t know?” – if they stay quiet, they are accepting that they should have an answer.
Use Blooms for objectives in lessons, check out digital version which includes podcasting/tweeting etc.
Ideas I want to try out in the next week/fortnight
- Linking a ‘focus of the fortnight’ with my own observations of colleagues and trying out one new approach at a time.
- Having students write CVs – I’m going to try it for power stations (year 10 revision for exam)
- “Who doesn’t know?” as a way to involve quieter kids.