Outstanding Teaching and Learning from Ofsted’s Annual Report 2011
by Loic Menzies
22nd November 2011
In schools with the best teaching and learning:
1. Teachers have high expectations of all pupils’ learning and seek to ensure that the strengths and needs of pupils of all abilities are given appropriate support and challenge
The pace of learning is well-judged and there is no wasted time in lessons
The sequence of lessons and activities is well planned, and teachers use a good range of resources to ensure secure progress in learning and acquisition of the skills required for mastery of the subject
Lessons are interesting, may deal with contemporary issues and developments of relevance to the pupils, and include a range of activities, including practical sessions and out-of classroom activities, which help to motivate pupils and maximise learning
Imaginative and effective use is made of the internet, interactive whiteboards and other technical resources to bring variety to lessons and to gain access to a wealth of resources.
Based on good subject knowledge, teachers explain things clearly, anticipate pupils’ misconceptions, select their teaching strategies judiciously, and target the use of high-quality questioning so that all pupils are involved and understanding is developed
There is a creative and appropriate balance between teacher-directed learning, which sets the framework in which the learning takes place, and independent learning, which allows pupils to explore questions and solve problems in more depth
Where appropriate, there are good opportunities for pupils to make choices, ask questions, find answers, collaborate, listen, discuss, and debate and present their work to their peers so that others can comment. This adds depth to pupils’ understanding and develops confidence and communication skills
The interaction between the teacher and the pupils is positive but challenging and relationships are well managed: teachers take care to build up pupils’ confidence and encourage them to take on new challenges in their learning
Support staff, where available, are well directed, have clear roles and provide good support for individuals and groups, which deepens their understanding.