How OFSTED judges the quality of education

teaching a class, OFSTED inspection

There are multiple opinions on how to measure the quality of education ranging from the quality and richness of class discussions to the expertise of the teacher to the final exam results of the students.

OFSTED states it will judge schools' quality of education according to the following criteria:

  1. Intent

  2. Implementation

  3. Impact

I am going to provide a walk through of how a teacher or subject department might demonstrate these three benchmarks using a series of lessons, planning, resources and reflections.

In order to quickly convey my approach, I am going to tackle the following:

  • A KS3/National 5 History lesson on the Munich Putsch.

  • Lesson planning over the course of 4 x 1 hour lessons.

  • How to reach all students using the UDL framework

  • The creation of engaging resources.

  • Assessment - formal and informal.

  • Research-led teaching.

The slides below show how I would break down and show my intent, implementation and impact:

What I am demonstrating here is that I have thought about what OFSTED regard as the benchmarks of outstanding quality of education and used these to provide examples of my actions or commitment. This ranges from providing opportunities for all students to access the curriculum to building up to support retrieval practice and finally exam style questions.

This is an example of a series of lessons that I have taught, so I want to share my approach so you can see the ideas above in action:

The lesson flow

I started by showing the image below and asking 'What is going on in this picture?' This is a great starter task because they were able to identify Ludendorff and Hitler from their prior knowledge and this then led to questions about why these two men were together and who the other men were:

I began with the following sheet which contains all of the factual points that a GCSE/National 5 pupils would need to know about the flow of events:

I discussed the flow of events and talked to the pupils about the use of dual coding (the use of images and words) and colours to help them visualise and make connections when they will need to retrieve this information again. Many of them were on board with my suggestion that they closed their eyes and tried to see the wheel above in their minds. Some of them were able to remember the images and then work their way to the explanation of each part of the event. We spent around 15 minutes on this sheet, with me talking and asking higher-order thinking questions about the implications or consequences of each event on the wheel.

I moved on to the second task - a paired task in which pupils were required to make connections between the individuals - all of whom had already been introduced. I modelled one example on the sheet:

I also projected the images on to my whiteboard and after 10 minutes I went around each pair and asked them for their best connection - we did this multiple times. I used follow-up questions to draw out their understanding and identify any misunderstandings:

I kept a score to determine which pair had made the most accurate and detailed connections.

Task three required individual pupils to re-consider the events of the putsch and complete a partially completed cartoon strip of the key events. I walked around the room, supervising and asking questions as I chatted with a number of pupils:

The next ask required paired pupils to consider sets of three words and phrases. They were not permitted to use their notes. They had to try to construct a sentence using each word, showing the connections between them. For example, if the word set included, ‘Chancellor Stresemann, the Ruhr and Bavarian’, the sentence could read as follows:

Chancellor Stresemann’s decision to begin passive resistance in the Ruhr was unpopular with a number of Bavarian state politicians.

This took more time than I had anticipated, and yet the results were fantastic. Again, I kept scores for the paired work. The competitive element really fuelled this task and pupils were actively engaged and talking to each other about the task. I don't think I had ever witnessed my pupils so animated.

Pupils were then shown the following slides that were projected on to my whiteboard. They were required to, without notes, construct a number of sentences that included the word or phrase shown. After 15 minutes the pupils consulted their other half of their paired group and worked together to fill in gaps or improve/correct their ideas: