Determining the effectiveness of teaching

I am currently in the process of introducing a new system for determining the effectiveness of teaching in our school. I want to ensure that we are able to come to the most accurate judgement possible about what we are doing in the classroom and how this impact on our students’ outcomes. Having thought a lot about how students learn and what we can do as teachers to help them, I then began to think about how can we determine how effective we are being as teachers. What evidence from what sources do we need to gather? I want to move as far away from grading individual lessons as possible and move to generating a bigger picture of how effective a department’s provision is as a whole. I have brought together the processes we currently have in school and aligned them with ISI expectations. Staff will hopefully see a purpose for these processes, will find them useful and will be familiar with the expectations of any inspection so when that does come around this is normal daily practice – not something special! Here is what I’m working with so far:• Typicality learning walks: what is happening in classrooms on a daily basis. The Head drops in for 10 minutes to get a feel for what is happening and sends a few comments back to the teacher• The Developmental Lesson Observation scheme: as mentioned in a previous blog, teachers select a focus they want for the observation and the observer provides a summary of positive features on the lesson as well as coaching questions around the area in focus. • Department Reviews and Progress Checks: Every three years a department goes through a department review, in the interim years, a progress check is conducted which is like a mini-review – where is the department currently and where do we want to go before the next big review. • Work scrutiny: departments conduct regular scrutinies of work looking at a variety of areas• Extra-curricular provision: what is the department doing to support learning outside of the curriculum and to support the School community as a whole. I have created a document where each department can outline their strengths and areas for development in these five areas throughout the year. This will help them to build a big picture of what the department’s strengths are and what areas they may need to focus on for development. This can then feed into professional development targets, department development plans etc., hopefully aligning all of these processes further. The document will also enable HoDs to track the progress of their students. In the junior school progress will be measured against age-related expectations across key areas of the curriculum. In the senior school, progress data for each year group is calculated based on the target grades from the nationally standardised baseline assessments (INCAS/MidYis/Yellis/ALIS). This is completed after every data capture. For years 11 and 13 performance in the nationally standardised external assessment (GCSE/A Level) will also be compared to the target grades. My plan is to enable HoDs to have a better overview of how their department is working and to enable them to support students and their colleagues effectively. It will also support them in providing meaningful evidence about the quality of teaching in their departments and clearly identify areas requiring more attention and support. As an SLT, we can look at all of this information at a whole school level and a line of best fit can then be applied to come to a judgement on the quality of teaching and learning across the school.

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