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‘Good’ is the new ‘impossible’.

on July 2, 2012

So this morning I have been observed by my HoD, a member of SLT, and an Ofsted-related lady. She is in to make sure our observations are consistent, and are done to Ofsted standard. I did what I thought was a ‘good’ lesson:

Grade your understanding of ‘factorising quadratics’ using my SOLO grid.

Write what you know about factorising on a post-it, and stick it on my desk.  I then took a pic on my iPad and displayed them on the IWB.  We discussed what we knew, ano then looked at how to use it.

I got them to remind me of the FOIL and grid methods of multiplying out brackets, and we looked at what link there was between the numbers in brackets and in the equation. 

We found pairs of numbers with a given sum and product.  Lots of questioning etc.

We then looked at equations and tried to put them in brackets.

Students further ahead moved on to a>1. 

At the end, they re-graded themselves, and wrote down something they’d like to be better at by the end of next lesson.

Overall, the feedback was that the lesson was good (couple of lazy ones not engaged at times) but that the judgement had to be satisfactory. Why? Because the group are not hitting their FFT targets. 

This is a problem across our whole year 10, and from recent meetings, many other schools seem to feel the same.  However, this is what we are now to be graded on.   It implies that planning and assessment aren’t good enough if they are not meeting their potential. 

The conspiracy theorists among us have suggested that the exams are deliberately harder this year so that Gove can have a rubbish set of results to beat us over the head with when putting forward his latest scheme to vilify teachers and ‘improve’ education standards…

If there’s even a hint of truth to that, then God help any teacher being Ofsted-ed with KS4 next year…. 😦




2 responses to “‘Good’ is the new ‘impossible’.

  1. ceejaypee says:

    Hmmm. Our school is convinced that not only are the exams harder in some cases (or at least changing their focus with less structured questions eg those with a “*” on Edexcel) that also the goalposts are shifting within Ofsted to paint a picture that more and more schools will be inspected and be found to be unsatisfactory. The feeling is that this “finding” will support the desire of government to push through reforms and shift to private finance initiatives in the form of academies etc.

    What a shame, as the lesson sounds excellent. By implication, there is no point putting in the additional effort to make a lesson engaging and challenging as, if in the previous three years of schooling the students have not made as much prgress as they should, you will only get a satisfactory…might as well just chuck em the book, do one on the board and tell ’em to do the next fifty with your feet up!

  2. srcav says:

    The conspiracy theorists were spot on about English!

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