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OFSTED defines an outstanding lesson as one in which pupils are:
In order to be classed as outstanding, teachers also have to comply with guidelines such as:
Any OFSTED inspector will tell you that there is no exact recipe for an outstanding lesson; they simply know one when they see it. The one vital ingredient is enthusiasm – from both from pupils and from teachers – whose body language speaks volumes about how engaged they are.
Chief inspector of OFSTED Amanda Spielman has spoken out against the single-minded focus on exam results at the expense of a rounded, enjoyable education. An outstanding lesson is no longer measured by academic success only, but by the engagement of its pupils. As a result many teachers are turning from the traditional classroom methods in favour of more progressive learning methods, such as flipped lessons.
A flipped lesson mimics the university learning model, in which students learn about a topic (by means of reading, online lectures or other research) prior to a class. The lesson itself takes the form of a collaborative discussion and/or activity learning, promoting a personalised learner-centred instruction model.
Flipped lessons are by no means the only method by which a teacher can create a engaged and enthusiastic classroom environment, but the success of the flipped classroom illustrates the need to combine a variety of teaching methods, beyond the classic lesson model. Prioritise your pupils’ passion for the subject equally with results and think outside the box for an outstanding OFSTED result.
Establishing tasks that fulfil OFSTED’s objectives for an outstanding lesson and rehearsing them with your class is a good way to create a dynamic learning environment without needing to take risks during the inspection itself.
Getting your classes used to high risk tasks so that they become routine will go a long way towards reducing OFSTED stress as you have prepared everything beforehand.
Easy ways to incorporate OFSTED objectives into your classroom routine include:
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