So we know Ofsted will not formally grade the level of teaching and learning in lessons; which amazingly can lead to more anxiety about their impending visits! But really, this should not be how we look at teaching and learning in our classrooms, how we measure quality. A collaborative approach can be taken; it just depends on how much collaboration there is in creating this new method of qualitative lesson evaluation.
We decided to discuss and workshop with our heads of departments, and asked just one question
‘What does great learning look like in your classroom?’
We also discussed this with our pupils. Pupil voice is an important and I believe, underused method of informing and enhancing classroom practice, a great read is Engaging Pupil Voice to Ensure that Every Child Matters: A Practical Guide by Rita Cheminais (2013), which talks of making a commitment to using the data obtained from pupil voice to help with classroom evaluations, measuring the levels of learning across the school.
Trial after trial, (trial lesson observation form that range from just looking at a graphical analysis and proximal movement of the teacher to evaluating over time), led to an Lesson evaluation form 2016 that’s goal is to initiate academic discussion and focus on next steps, positive and improvements.
But what is brilliant about teaching is what one idea can lead you to. Just like when you find yourself watching a live performance of Everlong by the Foo Fighters on YouTube, having started with the bets of intentions by watching a short TED video on the Assessment for learning, the idea of ‘lesson evaluations’ got us thinking about how pupils surmise theirs and others learning in lessons. How do they perceive the tasks, the atmosphere, the methods used for assessment? We were mindful not to adapt a sheet that allowed the pupils to make judgement based on the lesson and the learning, but rather summarise their own learning and impact on the lesson. Pupil lesson summary sheets
We will be using it as an extension task in humanities for pupils initially, and reflecting on the impact if the task in our next dept meeting, which I will of course, post here.
That Foo’s video is great.