We are regularly asked for advice on judging what grade a Lesson should be given. In this post we attempt to provide some guidance to help you decide which grade an observed lesson falls under. If you have any questions about anything in this post, please contact us. If you want to ensure that you have everything you need in order to make the most accurate judgement, see our Practical Handbook and Lessons Learned System.
A LESSON WILL REQUIRE IMPROVEMENT WHEN:
The quality of teaching is low.
- Expectations are too low with learning activities not well matched to learner needs Teaching fails to engage, interest or motivate learners, or particular groups of learners, including those with disabilities or special educational needs;
- Assessment takes too little account of prior learning or understanding of tasks and is not used effectively to help learners improve.
The quality of learning is low.
- Too many learners fail to work effectively unless closely directed, and give up easily;
- Learners cannot communicate, read, write or apply maths skills as well as they should;
- Learners, or particular groups, make inadequate progress in the lesson and over time;
- Considerable numbers of learners, or particular groups, are underachieving and not making progress.
NB If: the teacher fails to manage pupil behaviour such that learning is disrupted for some or all pupils the lesson would be judged as requiring improvement.
A LESSON MAY BE OUTSTANDING WHEN:
The quality of teaching is very high. Teachers:
- Have consistently high expectations of all pupils and generate high levels of engagement and commitment to learning;
- Plan and teach lessons that mean pupils learn exceptionally well across the curriculum;
- 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;
- Ensure the teaching of reading, writing, communication and mathematics is highly effective and cohesively planned and implemented across the curriculum;
- Deploy focused, timely support and intervention accurately matched to needs;
- Use consistently high quality marking and feedback so that pupils make rapid gains;
- Set appropriate homework.
The quality of learning is exceptional. Learners:
- have excellent concentration and sustain focus;
- are fully engaged and very rarely off task;
- show resilience and perseverance when tackling challenging activities;
- demonstrate a keenness and commitment to succeed;
- demonstrate positive attitudes and enjoyment;
- make very good progress relative to their starting points.
There are five key aspects for learners. Are they:
- motivated to learn;
- actively engaged in the learning process;
- challenged and as a result making good progress;
- routinely reflective about what they have learned;
- responsive to feedback from their teacher.
Checking the quality of learning through questioning. Ask learners:
- What they are learning/have learnt in the lesson and if this is new learning;
- Whether they feel engaged, challenged and or supported in the lesson;
- Whether they know what their targets are and what they need to do to improve further.