These grade descriptors, accessed from the School Inspection Handbook describe the quality of teaching in the school as a whole, taking account of evidence over time. While they include some characteristics of individual lessons, they are not designed to be used to judge individual lessons. NB The Handbook was revised on 3rd Sept 2012. It was then republished in January 2013 but with no further changes to the grade descriptors. See the revised Ofsted framework that came into force in September 2012)
C2G note (1): These documents are included in the Clerk to Governors blog for governors’ reference – there is no expectation that governors would undertake lesson observations with a view to making judgements about the quality of teaching. That is the role of the professionals.
C2G note (2). The minor changes in January 2013 to the September 2012 Handbook are these:
“References to LAT changed to L3VA data, clarifications to Para 14 (notification of inspection), Para 43 (regarding mathematics), Para 67 added (further information about providing feedback to the school), and Para 68 (regarding appointment of NQTs). Other updates and amendments to style and formatting made.”
Ofsted state: “These descriptors should not be used as a checklist. They must be applied adopting a ‘best fit’ approach which relies on the professional judgement of the inspection team.”
- However … here they are in a format that might support the school’s self evaluation: Quality of Teaching, & Behaviour – lesson observation criteria September 2012 (note the caveat, and the possible updates since it was published in the summer of 2012 – June, August, September and then again in January 2013 )
- Download the grade criteria for Quality of Teaching as a one page word doc: grade-descriptors-for-quality-of-teaching-sept-2012 v 3rd Sept 2012
- Much of the teaching in all key stages and most subjects is outstanding and never less than consistently good. As a result, almost all pupils currently on roll in the school, including disabled pupils, those who have special educational needs and those for whom the pupil premium provides support, are making rapid and sustained progress.
- All teachers have consistently high expectations of all pupils. They plan and teach lessons that enable pupils to learn exceptionally well across the curriculum.
- Teachers systematically and effectively check pupils’ understanding throughout lessons, anticipating where they may need to intervene and doing so with notable impact on the quality of learning.
- The teaching of reading, writing, communication and mathematics is highly effective and cohesively planned and implemented across the curriculum.
- Teachers and other adults generate high levels of engagement and commitment to learning across the whole school.
- Consistently high quality marking and constructive feedback from teachers ensure that pupils make rapid gains.
- Teachers use well-judged and often inspirational teaching strategies, including setting appropriate homework that, together with sharply focused and timely support and intervention, match individual needs accurately. Consequently, pupils learn exceptionally well across the curriculum.
- Teaching in most subjects, including English and mathematics, is usually good, with examples of some outstanding teaching. As a result, most pupils and groups of pupils currently on roll in the school, including disabled pupils, those who have special educational needs, and those for whom the pupil premium provides support, make good progress and achieve well over time.
- Teachers have high expectations. They plan and teach lessons that deepen pupils’ knowledge and understanding and enable them to develop a range of skills across the curriculum.
- Teachers listen to, carefully observe and skilfully question pupils during lessons in order to reshape tasks and explanations to improve learning.
- Reading, writing, communication and mathematics are taught effectively.
- Teachers and other adults create a positive climate for learning in their lessons and pupils are interested and engaged.
- Teachers assess pupils’ learning and progress regularly and accurately. They ensure that pupils know how well they have done and what they need to do to improve.
- Effective teaching strategies, including setting appropriate homework, and appropriately targeted support and intervention are matched well to most pupils’ individual needs, including those most and least able, so that pupils learn well in lessons.
Requires improvement (3)
Teaching requires improvement as it is not good.
Teaching is likely to be inadequate where any of the following apply:
- As a result of weak teaching over time, pupils or particular groups of pupils including disabled pupils, those who have special educational needs, and those for whom the pupil premium provides support, are making inadequate progress.
- Pupils cannot communicate, read, write, or apply mathematics as well as they should.
- Teachers do not have sufficiently high expectations and teaching over time fails to engage or interest particular groups of pupils, including disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs.
- Learning activities are not sufficiently well matched to the needs of pupils.
Here are the grade descriptors for the other judgements:
- Quality of teaching
- Behaviour and Safety
- Leadership and Management
- Overall Effectiveness
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