Ofsted Inspector Chat No.1 – Books

Two inspectors are carrying out a book scrutiny during assembly:

These books look immaculate.

Yes, I agree. Works of art.

I feel like I should be wearing gloves to protect them.

Ha, ha. I know what you mean.

Just look at them. Printed learning objective slips with success criteria, which pupils have traffic lighted to show us how they felt about their leaning. The teacher has written whether the work was done independently, with adult support or peer supported.

I know. Every other page has been deep marked with pupils editing with purple pens and teacher comments indicating next steps with top tips to make accelerated progress.

Very impressive, I agree. Look here. The teacher has written VF to show when verbal feedback was given. It’s everywhere.

I saw that too. They’ve even written next to the letters VF exactly what they said to the pupil and drawn an arrow to show us exactly what the pupil did in response. Brilliant.

There aren’t any pages missing and every date is perfectly written and underlined with a ruler.

The teacher has even made it very clear what the pupil did well by repeating the learning objective. “You managed to use adverbs today like the LO said you were going to do.”

That’s dedication for you. Makes it so easy for us to make a judgement on the books and the impact the teacher is having.

I agree. I have just noticed that staff are required to initial every piece of work too to show they taught the lesson.

I love all these symbols they use too: little ladders for next steps, stars and magic wands for 2 stars and a wish, hearts for good sentences, emoji-like faces to show how the teacher feels about their work etc. Truly beautiful.

I especially love the use of highlighters. Over most of the work, the teacher has highlighted good bits in one colour and bits to improve in another. It makes it so obvious to us that the teacher is pushing the pupils on. It smacks us right in the face. Very clever.

It must take teachers hours every week to make these books look Ofsted ready.

Yes, you’re right. They are very good.

Shame really though, don’t you think; if we’re really honest. I mean, would the pupil still make progress without any of the above in books?

Oh, I would have thought so. Teachers are very smart. They know their pupils really well and adjust lessons accordingly on a daily basis to ensure progress is made.

Yes, I agree. I know they give so much feedback in class to pupils.

So it makes you wonder why they do all this work then. I mean, it would cut down on workload if they didn’t need to do so much in books.

Yes. You might be on to something. Maybe we should say something?

What do you mean?

Well, if we can see that the books look overly worked on by teachers, because of an obsessive SLT who dictate how books should look in order to impress Ofsted, maybe we should pick up on this because of the impact it has on workload.

Wow. That would be interesting. Do you think it would work?

I think so. It’s progress we should be looking at over time. No one should worry about the other stuff. SLT should be doing the same. They must have a long list of non-negotiables for staff to follow to make the books look like this. It’s crazy.

Can you imagine SLT being criticised in our report for creating excessive workload for teachers, just to make books look Ofsted ready.

Right. I think we’ve decided then.

Yup. That was really useful. Thanks for the chat.

I will call the boss right away and put forward our suggestions.

Brilliant. Cuppa?

Please. Any chocolate biscuits going?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s