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CLASSROOM OBSERVATION

Revised January 2010

Classroom Observation
Aims Classroom observations are used to support teachers and other classroom staff and to monitor the quality of teaching and learning at Whitefield. Observation contributes to the school’s self-evaluation, to the School Development Plan and to the professional development of classroom staff. It enables us to recognise and reinforce good practice, to identify ways of improving teaching and learning and to highlight practice which ought to be shared more widely. In all these ways it contributes directly to the quality of pupils’ learning and experience in school. Organisation Observations are organised by the Head of each School. Every teacher is observed three times, for a maximum of three hours in total, during the academic year (unless they request or agree to further observations for a specific purpose or are the subject of capability procedures). Two observations are structured and graded according to OFSTED criteria. The third scheduled observation is ungraded and may be a peer observation, an advisory observation by a line manager or other colleague with particular expertise or an opportunity for a less experienced colleague to develop professionally by observing practice. The nature of the third observation should reflect the teacher’s development needs. All observations link to a teacher’s performance management and at least one of the two OFSTED style observations should be carried out by the line manager responsible for that teacher’s performance management.
Some observations each term will be carried out by two observers as a way of moderating judgements and promoting a consistent approach. Teachers new to Whitefield have additional informal observations to support them in their development. They will also have the opportunity to observe colleagues informally. Other teachers may request informal observations via their Head of School or the line manager responsible for their performance management. Nursery Nurses, Higher Level Teaching Assistants and Supervisory Teaching Assistants will be observed once each year in their roles as group leader in a class which they regularly cover. Observations each term focus on a specific theme (e.g. assessment for learning) or subject each term, as agreed by the Senior Leadership Team, and the outcomes are used to evaluate practice in that area of the school’s work. Grades will relate to the lesson as a whole, not to the term’s theme. Observations need not be classroom based; indeed, if they are to make an effective contribution to the school’s self-evaluation they should cover a range of contexts inside and outside the classroom.

Preparation It is the observer’s responsibility to ensure that the person being observed is aware of the purpose of the observation and of any particular focus. This may be discussed informally or in a brief meeting in advance of the observation. Observers are expected to plan for the observation by reading any paperwork given in advance and familiarising themselves with the class to be observed.
It is the responsibility of the person being observed to ensure that all relevant paperwork (previous observations, Welcome File, planning for the lesson and pupils’ IEPs) are readily accessible to the observer and that they have advised the observer on any issues which may adversely affect the lesson (for example, it may be unwise for the observer to approach a particular pupil, a key member of staff may be absent and replaced by a less experienced member of the supply team). H:\work\policies\staffw\classobs.doc lr 1

Evaluation, grading and recording Specific pro formas are used to record OFSTED style, peer and professional development observations (see pages 6 – 16).
The pro formas for OFSTED style lessons are based on guidance in the OFSTED handbook and identify key criteria which contribute to the overall judgement. The final grade, however, is not the ‘sum of the boxes ticked’ but a ‘best fit’ of the grade descriptions on page 3. Observers and those being observed should note the conditions which mean that a lesson cannot be judged as satisfactory, however good other elements of the lesson might be. Peer observations and professional development observations are based on the school’s view of good practice. No overall grade is given. As the pro formas for observations form part of the evidence for teachers’ performance management, copies are kept in the teacher’s performance management file and their personnel file. A further copy is given to the Head of the Centre for Professional Development and Information who will collate the information across the school for discussion at the Curriculum Monitoring and Development Group. Advisory observations need not be formally recorded; the nature of the written record is agreed between the observer and the person being observed. These records are not filed centrally; teachers may use them in their performance management if they wish to do so.

Feedback Verbal feedback should take place on the same day if possible and always within two working days of the observation. Written feedback should be given to the person observed within five working days and should take account of the comments made by the person being observed. Training Classroom observations are carried out by members of the Senior Leadership Team, the Head of CPDI, Specialism Leaders and other middle leaders identified by their HOS.
Observers are trained by an external consultant and/or as part of the school’s middle management course. Regular refresher courses are provided. In addition, paired observation is an important way of maintaining consistent practice and each observer will normally participate in at least one paired observation each year. Observation training forms part of the school’s induction programme and the training programme for Supervisory Teaching Assistants. Individual schools may organise refresher training as appropriate. Many sessions within the school’s curriculum implementation training will relate to the practice which ensures a good or outstanding observation.

Code of Practice All observers are expected to follow the school’s Code of Practice for observation (page 4). If the person being observed feels that the observer has fallen short of what is expected they should express their concerns to the observer or to an appropriate line manager as soon as possible after the observation or feedback.

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OFSTED guidance on grading lessons
The overall judgement will be a ‘best fit’ of the grade descriptions in the box, except in the case of an unsatisfactory lesson where particular conditions mean that the lesson cannot be satisfactory.

Description
Outstanding (1)

Characteristics of the lesson
The lesson is at least good in all major respects and is exemplary in significant elements, as shown by the significant progress made by all of the learners. Most learners make good progress because of the good teaching they receive. Behaviour overall is good and learners are well motivated. They work in a safe, secure and friendly environment. Teaching is based on secure subject knowledge with a wellstructured range of stimulating tasks that engage the learners while. The work is well matched to the full range of learners’ needs, so that most are suitably challenged. Teaching methods are effectively related to the lesson objectives and the needs of learners. Teaching assistants and resources are well deployed and good use is made of time. Assessment of learners’ work is regular, consistent and promotes progress.

Good (2)

Satisfactory (3)

The lesson is inadequate in no major respect, and may be good in some respects, as shown by the satisfactory enjoyment and progress of the learners. A lesson cannot be adequate if: • Most learners, or a significant specific minority of learners, make less than satisfactory progress • Learners’ overall behaviour or attitudes are unsatisfactory, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are neglected, and learners’ overall personal development is poor • The health or safety of the learners is endangered • The teaching is unsatisfactory. Unsatisfactory teaching is likely to have one or more of the following: o Weak knowledge of the curriculum leading to inaccurate teaching and low demands on pupils o Work badly matched to the pupils’ starting points o Ineffective classroom management of behaviour o Methods which are poorly geared to the learning objectives or which fail to gain the interest and commitment of the learners o Inadequate use of resources, including assistants and the time available o Poor assessment

Inadequate (4)

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CODE OF CONDUCT FOR OBSERVERS

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CODE OF CONDUCT FOR OBSERVERS

Observers should:
Recognise and celebrate the achievements of staff and pupils. Carry out observations with professionalism, integrity and courtesy, recognising that the process of being observed can be stressful for staff and disruptive for pupils. Work with teachers/group leaders to minimise any disruption to pupils which may rise from the presence of an unfamiliar person. Evaluate the work s/he observes objectively, basing judgements on sound evidence.
Report honestly and fairly, ensuring that feedback gives clear guidance on both strengths and areas for professional development. Report within deadlines, verbal reports should be given within two working days, and written reports within 5 working days. Engage in professional dialogue, taking note of the information provided in class documentation and the teacher/group leader’s perspective given during verbal feedback.

Act in the best interest of the pupils, following up any concerns and maintaining confidentiality in line with Whitefield’s Code of Ethics.

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OBSERVATIONS USING OFSTED CRITERIA

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LESSON OBSERVATION AND ASSESSMENT FOR NEW TEACHERS Teacher: No. Pupils: Date: Lesson/Session objective(s): Other staff: Key Stage: Time (From/To) Level: Subject/session: School:

Primary focus of observation:

Previous Points for development:

Outstanding 1. Classroom is well organised/Welcome File is available and up-to-date 2. Planning has clear objectives reflected in the lesson 3. Teacher shows good subject knowledge and understanding which engages pupils 4. Work is tailored to individual needs and teaching methods enable all pupils to learn effectively 5. The level of challenge stretches without inhibiting 6. Thorough, accurate assessment informs the next steps for improvement 7. IEPs are embedded in practice and referred to during the lesson as appropriate 8. Support staff and resources are well deployed to support learning 9. Staff have high expectations of behaviour and any challenging behaviour is managed effectively 10. Wherever possible pupils are guided to assess their work themselves and are encouraged to be independent learners. 11. Pupils attain well in relation to their ability and make progress over time 12. Pupils enjoy their work and show a good attitude

Good

Satisfactory

Development Needed

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Comments: General

Comments: Use of ICT to support learning

Points for development:

Judgement

Observer:

Date:

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LESSON OBSERVATION AND ASSESSMENT Teacher/Group Leader Other staff: School:

No. Pupils: Date: Lesson/Session objective(s):

Key Stage: Time (From/To)

Level: Subject/session:

Primary focus of observation:

Previous Points for development:

Outstanding 1. Classroom is well organised/Welcome File is available and up-to-date 2 Planning has clear objectives reflected in the lesson Teacher shows good subject knowledge and understanding which engages pupils

Good

Satisfactory

Inadequate

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4. Work is tailored to individual needs and teaching methods enable all pupils to learn effectively 5. The level of challenge stretches without inhibiting 6. Thorough, accurate assessment informs the next steps for improvement 7. IEPs are embedded in practice and referred to during the lesson as appropriate 8. Support staff and resources are well deployed to support learning 9. Staff have high expectations of behaviour and any challenging behaviour is managed effectively 10. Wherever possible pupils are guided to assess their work themselves and are encouraged to be independent learners. 11. Pupils attain well in relation to their ability and make progress over time 12. Pupils enjoy their work and show a good attitude

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Comments: General

Comments: Use of ICT to support learning

Points for development:

Judgement

Observer:

Date:

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CLASSROOM OBSERVATION PROMPT SHEETS (RELATING TO OFSTED CRITERIA) Classroom/staffing/resources
• • • • • • • • • Pupils are seated/positioned appropriately. (1) Safe moving or handling practice is evident. (8) Learning resources are used effectively, stimulating learning and sensitively reflecting different groups, cultures and backgrounds. (8) ICT is in use if appropriate. (8) Displays reflect the learning objectives for the term – displays reflect the cultural diversity and contribution of the community – displays are used. (1) Support staff are deployed effectively (this includes volunteers). (8) Classroom is well organised. (1) Welcome file is up to date and planning is available, clear and accurate. (1) Sessions are organised in a way that minimises inappropriate behaviour. (9)

Teaching
• • • • • • • • • • Teacher has secure knowledge and understanding of the subject or area she or he is teaching. (3) Staff set high expectations and interact with pupils in a way that challenges them, keeps the work focused and moves at a pace. (5) Teacher shares learning objectives with pupils and staff. (7) Teachers’ planning aims to challenge all pupils. (5) Staff employ a range of strategies, and communication is appropriate to individual needs. (4) Staff show awareness of individual pupils’ IEPs. (7) There is evidence of assessment being carried out. (6) Staff respond appropriately to pupils’ communication. (4) The structure of the lesson makes best use of the time available by ensuring that pupils are engaged for as much time as possible. (2) Staff give positive and specific feedback to pupils, which reinforces certain behaviour and where appropriate helps them understand how to improve and make progress. (6) Staff respond to inappropriate behaviour in line with the School Behaviour Policy and individual behaviour support plans. (9) Opportunities are provided for pupils to take responsibility. (10) Lessons are introduced and concluded effectively. (2) Medical issues are responded to sensitively and discreetly. (8)

• • • •

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Learning
• • • • • • • • • • • Pupils show awareness of a range of stimuli. (4) Pupils attend to activities supported by familiar adults. (4) Pupils respond to adult interaction in a way that enables adults to infer meaning. (6) Pupils show a positive approach to their work – they are actively involved in exploring and handling equipment and materials. (12) Pupils stay with an activity not flit between several. (12) There is evidence of respect between pupils and adults, pupils are encouraged to articulate their own beliefs. (10) Pupils treat their own and others property with respect. (12) Pupils show initiative they are willing to take responsibility. (12) Pupils are clear about what is expected of them. (10) Pupils are involved in their own assessment. (10) There is evidence of pupils learning. (11/1)

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PEER OBSERVATION CHECK LIST

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Peer observation check list for monitoring Teaching and Learning
School:…………………………………... Teacher:…………………………………. Other staff:……………………………….. Subject/Session………………………….. Group:………………… No Pupils……….

Key Stage:……………………… Date:……………………………. Time from…………. to ……………

YES Was the Programme of Study/Scheme of Work being followed? Was the medium/short term plan being followed? Were resources used adequate? Were resources used appropriate for age and ability? Was work differentiated? Did the classroom environment enhance learning? Was ICT used in the subject – any evidence? Was there evidence of appropriate communication? If appropriate, evidence of literacy/numeracy in the subject? Were any training needs identified? Was the teacher confident in the subject? Were the pupils learning? Were IEPs being referred to? Were pupils being assessed? Were pupils involved in their own assessment? Did any issues arise during feedback to the teacher? General Comments and Agreed Action

/COMMENTS

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OBSERVATION CHECK LIST

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Professional development observation check list
School:…………………………………... Teacher:…………………………………. Other staff:……………………………….. Subject/Session………………………….. Group:………………… No Pupils……….

Key Stage:……………………… Date:……………………………. Time from…………. to ……………

Observed by: ……………………………………………………………. How does the lesson relate to the Programme of Study/Scheme of Work?

How were resources matched to age and ability?

How was work differentiated?

How did the classroom environment enhance learning?

How was ICT used in the subject?

How did the teacher match their communication to the needs of the group?

How was pupils’ behaviour supported and managed?

How were the other members of the classroom team deployed?

What teaching strategies were being used?

What were the pupils learning?

How were pupils being assessed?

How were pupils involved in their own assessment and given feedback?

What practice will you take back to your own group?

What would you like to learn more about?

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Available on I:\Drives

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