There are many criteria against which judgements are made when deciding the effectiveness of a teaching session. There's no precise formula to appease every Ofsted inspector.
Here are my top 5 tips to ace your first Ofsted visit!
1. Class books checked.
Marking needs to be totally up to date with smart, purposeful marking. The books need to be tidy and need to show progression. Keep class books at school for this reason. They should only go home when homework needs doing.
2. Tweak your lesson.
No-one can deliver outstanding lessons, five times a day, five days a week. But while Ofsted inspectors are on the premises you need to shine! Look at your lesson plan with fresh eyes. Are the students working hard enough? Set them activities that challenge, show where your differentiation is and get some assessment in. Peer marking or self-marking is the quickest and most efficient way of doing this.
3. Show off your students’ progression.
The inspector will not be in your lesson for very long. Approximately 20 minutes is standard so make the minutes count. When the inspector is in your room ensure a mini-plenary takes place. Stop the learning and ask your students questions, or get them to reflect on something in their book. I often leave post-it notes on the students' desks and they can write a question on it if they think of something.
4. Tidy the classroom.
Look at it from a visitor’s viewpoint. A tidy room is a tidy mind so the saying goes. Are displays hanging nice or do they need a few more pins? Are the books stacked neatly? These first impressions can count. Have you got all the stationery / equipment in your room that you will need tomorrow?
5. Then do your thing.
It is likely that you won’t sleep well the night before the Ofsted inspection takes place but try to rest. Eat breakfast and make yourself a lunch as you will need energy and sustenance. Ofsteded' this term. Ofsted is not disappearing and it is part of a teacher’s job so remember that and make sure you have a beer or bottle of wine in the fridge for when it is over and you can celebrate.
Let me know if you're finding these tips useful and if you have any more to add please let me know by commenting on the box below!
Ali B - Impact Candidate Care Team