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EIF inspections in primary schools

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EIF inspections in primary schools

  1. 1. EIF inspections in primary schools
  2. 2. Purpose of this slidepack  This slidepack comes from the first in a series of webinars we’re holding for schools in 2022. For details of others, see: https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk/2022/03/21/three-free- ofsted-webinars-for-school-leaders-and-staff-register-to-join/  We want you to take information about Ofsted directly from us rather than relying on third-party and often expensive sources.  This slidepack clarifies our inspection approach and aims to reassure you about how inspectors focus on subjects in primary or small schools. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 2
  3. 3. Chris Russell HMI National Director, education Gill Jones HMI Deputy Director, Schools and Early Education Kirsty Godfrey HMI Specialist Advisor The webinar was given by:
  4. 4. Key resources www.gov.uk/ofsted www.youtube.com/ofstednews www.slideshare.net/ofstednews  Blogs and press releases  Contact us
  5. 5. Where you can find our information  The only guidance and materials you need for an inspection is the guidance and materials that Ofsted produce. We publish a variety of content to support you.  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted  our inspection handbooks which outline our policies and processes on school inspections (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/education-inspection- framework).  other guidance documents intended for schools and our own inspectors EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 5
  6. 6. Where you can find our information  Other resources to support school leaders and teachers:  Ofsted’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/Ofstednews)  SlideShare (https://www.slideshare.net/Ofstednews)  Education inspection blog for schools and further education and skills (https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk/) EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 6
  7. 7. The education inspection framework judgements Leadership and management Personal development Early Years Quality of education Behaviour and attitudes Overall effectiveness
  8. 8. The EIF judgements  The EIF is a framework to get to the heart of quality of education in ALL schools.  Inspectors make judgements in four key areas:  Quality of education  Behaviour and attitudes  Personal development  Leadership and management  In coming to each of the key judgements in primary or infant schools, inspectors take account of the provision in the early years. They make a separate judgement about the quality of the early years.  All these judgements come together to reach the judgement of overall effectiveness. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 8
  9. 9. Ofsted – phased return to inspection Slide 9 We look at how a school’s curriculum helps its pupils build a rich, deep body of knowledge: what pupils know, remember and can do. The EIF looks at how pupils achieve the results that they do and whether they have the knowledge they need to succeed. In this slidepack, we will look particularly at how we conduct deep dives and our expectations around subject leadership
  10. 10. Deep dives in primary schools EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 10
  11. 11. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 11 Collecting, connecting and evaluating evidence Judgement area Top-level view Bringing it together Collect and connect
  12. 12. Collecting, connecting and evaluating evidence: explainer  The slide above illustrates our inspection process.  For each judgement we make we collect, connect and evaluate evidence. We do this for all judgement areas, but for the ‘quality of education’ judgement, we call the collect and connect step of this a ‘deep dive’.  This starts with our inspectors establishing a top-level view of the curriculum. This is the top level view for all pupils in the school, from the youngest to the oldest.  Through our deep dives we collect and connect evidence of how a school’s curriculum delivers a high-quality education for all its pupils.  We then bring this together with further evidence to come to our judgement. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 12
  13. 13. Collecting, connecting and evaluating evidence: explainer  Inspectors do not have a preferred curriculum model.  Inspectors build the top-level view through their pre-inspection analysis and in the educationally focused conversation they have with school leaders on the day before the inspection begins.  From this conversation, the lead inspector and the headteacher agree in which subjects the team will carry out deep dives. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 13
  14. 14. Deep dives focus on what matters most for the quality of each pupil’s education: whether pupils are learning the knowledge they need to achieve the goals of their education. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 14
  15. 15. Deep dives: explainer  In a primary school, depending on its size, inspectors will typically carry out between three and five deep dives.  Deep dives are not subject inspections. We look at a selection of subjects as a means of getting to the heart of the quality of education.  The focus of each deep dive is to find out whether pupils are learning the knowledge they need to achieve the goals of their education and exploring how pupils gain more knowledge as they travel through the school, from their start in early years to when they leave in Year 6.  By looking at a selection of subjects through deep dives, inspectors identify the common strengths and any areas that need working on. They will test further to see if any weaknesses are significant or widespread, or are relatively minor. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 15
  16. 16. Connecting back to the big picture 3. Carry out the other deep dive activities in whatever order you need, jointly with leaders where possible. 2+2 Lesson visits Work scrutiny Pupils Teachers Connect what you see to what leaders expect you to see. Senior leaders 1.Begin with the top- level conversation about the intended whole curriculum offer. Curriculum discussions 2. Discuss the curriculum content and sequencing within subject/s with relevant leaders EIF inspections in primary schools
  17. 17. Connecting back to the big picture: explainer  The slide above illustrates the deep dive process. The purple arrows represent the inspector’s thinking process.  Deep dives start with a conversation focused on education with senior leaders on the day before the inspection begins.  The lead inspector will ask questions about the structure of the school and the organisation of the curriculum within these conversations  As early as possible during the inspection, we’ll meet with relevant leaders to discuss content and sequencing within the deep dive subjects. These meetings help us have a sense of the ‘big picture’.  Inspectors understand if the subject isn’t an area of specialism for the leader. We also have no view about who might ‘lead’ a subject. We know that in primary schools people wear many hats. We want to meet with whoever is best placed to talk to us about what’s in the curriculum in that subject.  What matters most is what you want pupils to learn and why. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 17
  18. 18. Connecting back to the big picture: explainer, continued  Throughout the first day of the inspection, we will carry out other deep dive activities such as lesson visits, discussions with teachers, talking to pupils and work scrutiny.  These lesson visits during in a deep dive are not to judge teaching, they are to look at curriculum implementation.  We do not look at teaching separately from the curriculum. Teaching is a means of delivering the curriculum and that is what we want to look at – the curriculum in action.  Inspectors will invite a school leader to visit lessons with them. This can be whoever the school wishes, a curriculum leader or the headteacher, for example.  The inspector will think back to the top-level view, connecting what they are finding back to what the headteacher said in the educationally focused conversation. The inspector is asking themselves, ‘How does this stack up with leaders'’ view of the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum?’ EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 18
  19. 19. In practice:  We will seek to understand the leadership structure in the school.  We will be flexible and pragmatic with the meetings we need to hold.  We will always work with the school to plan the inspection and ensure staff are not overburdened.  We understand small schools will not necessarily have the same capacity as larger schools. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 19
  20. 20. In the early years The area of learning Quality of interactions Deliberate intentions EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 20
  21. 21. In the early years  Inspectors will visit the early years as part of their deep dives to understand how pupils gain the knowledge they need from the start of their time in the school. But this does not mean they will expect to see national curriculum subjects being taught in the early years.  Inspectors will want to find out how learning in the early years prepares pupils for the next stage in Year 1 and beyond.  The three aspects that inspectors consider in the early years are:  The area of learning  Quality of interactions  Deliberate intentions EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 21
  22. 22. The three early years aspects: explainer The area of learning  In the early years, inspectors focus on the statutory curriculum as set out in the educational programmes for the seven areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). It is important not to confuse the curriculum with the Early Learning Goals, as these are simply assessment criteria and do not cover the full statutory requirements. Quality of interactions  When inspectors can see a relevant area of learning, they will use this as part of their deep dive. But we do not assume this will be happening every time we visit the early years. Where this isn’t the case, we will consider the quality of interactions between adults and children.  We know that young children learn best when they have high quality interactions from adults and there is a focus on language and communication. We’ll look at the way that adults develop children’s vocabulary and comprehension, generally seeing how adults help children to learn and remember important knowledge and support them to use more words. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 22
  23. 23. The three early years aspects: explainer continued Deliberate intentions  When visiting the early years inspectors will want to understand how teachers ensure that children make progress in all seven areas of learning.  But inspectors will not be looking for files full of assessment evidence on individual children, or photographs or post-it notes that record children’s progress. We have been clear since the launch of the EIF in September 2019 that we will not look at school’s internal data, assessment and tracking when on inspection.  Instead, inspectors will do this by finding out about the activities, environments and routines that are in place and how they implement the curriculum. They will find out from teachers what children need to know now and what they need to know next and seeing how well activities, environments and routines help children to practice and reinforce their learning. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 23
  24. 24. Subject leadership in primary schools
  25. 25. It often is not possible or realistic to develop detailed expertise in multiple subject areas. The curriculum just needs to be ambitious and coherent. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 25
  26. 26. In practice: EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 26  We are not expecting leaders to be subject specialists.  We expect leaders to have an overview of the whole subject from EY to Year 6.  We will look at the support staff are given to develop knowledge of their subject.  We understand subject leadership will often be part of a teacher’s wider role.  We are happy to talk to whoever is best placed to talk about the subject.
  27. 27. Early reading EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 27
  28. 28. Getting reading right early If pupils cannot read, they will not be able to access the curriculum, and will be disadvantaged for life. Children who lag behind in reading during the early years will typically continue to do so for the rest of their schooling. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 28
  29. 29. Getting reading right early: more detail  We know how important it is that schools teach reading well from the start. Reading is the gateway to learning in other subjects. We know that reading opens doors – enjoyment, academic success and lifelong opportunity.  Pupils who struggle with phonics can quickly fall behind their peers. They read less than others and so do not accumulate knowledge and vocabulary from their reading. Pupils who cannot read accurately and speedily are likely to struggle in every subject that requires them to read or write. This is because fluency in word reading, spelling and handwriting are essential in allowing pupils to focus on understanding what they read or composing a piece of writing.  Research has found that being able to read accurately by age 6 has a strong correlation with future academic success. And those who fall behind in the early years typically do so for the rest of their education.  We know there are too many pupils, and probably many more as a result of the pandemic, who are still not reading age-appropriate books fluently by the time they reach key stage 2. For them, and for pupils of any age who are still in the early stages of learning to read, learning to read must therefore be an essential priority.  That it is why we must all focus on making sure that all pupils learn to read as soon as they should. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 29
  30. 30. In practice:  We will conduct a deep dive in early reading on all inspections with primary aged pupils.  We will use the early reading evaluation criteria to check how well all pupils are taught to read.  We will focus on the lowest 20%. We will check how quickly these pupils are catching up. We will listen to a sample of these pupils read.  We will evaluate how well the school’s chosen phonics programme is implemented and the impact it has on pupils – there is no Ofsted requirement to use a ‘validated’ programme. EIF inspections in primary schools Slide 30
  31. 31. Thank you
  32. 32. Ofsted on the web and on social media www.gov.uk/ofsted https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk www.linkedin.com/company/ofsted www.youtube.com/ofstednews www.slideshare.net/ofstednews www.twitter.com/ofstednews

Editor's Notes

  • We wanted to take this opportunity to emphasize that the only guidance and materials you need for an inspection is the guidance and materials that Ofsted produce. We publish a variety of content to support you.
    We publish our inspection handbooks which outline our policies and processes on school inspections. We also publish a variety of other guidance documents intended for schools and our own inspectors, these can all be found on our section of gov.uk
    On YouTube and SlideShare you will find a variety of other resources to support school leaders and teachers
    We also publish blogs and press releases to delve deeper into a particular topic
    Lastly if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us directly, the details can be found on our website.
  • This slide sets out our inspection process. For each judgement we make we collect, connect and evaluate evidence. This process is the same for all judgement areas, however with our quality of education judgement we call the collect and connect step of this a ‘deep dive’.

    When looking at quality of education, our process begins with our inspectors establishing a top-level view of the curriculum. This is the top level view for all pupils in the school, from the youngest to the oldest.

    It is important to note here that inspectors do not have a preferred curriculum model. They build this top-level view through their pre-inspection analysis and in the educationally focused conversation they have with school leaders on the day before the inspection begins. From this conversation, the lead inspector and the headteacher agree in which subjects the team will carry out deep dives.

    Through our deep dives we collect and connect evidence of how a school’s curriculum delivers a high-quality education for all its pupils.

    We then bring this together with further evidence to come to our judgement.
  • In a primary school, depending on its size, inspectors will typically carry out between three and five deep dives.

    It is important to be clear that deep dives are not subject inspections. We look at a selection of subjects as a means of getting to the heart of the quality of education. The focus of each deep dive is to find out whether pupils are learning the knowledge they need to achieve the goals of their education and exploring how pupils gain more knowledge as they travel through the school, from their start in early years to when they leave in Year 6.


    By looking at a selection of subjects through deep dives, inspectors identify the common strengths and any areas that need working on. They will test further to see if any weaknesses are significant or widespread, or are relatively minor.
  • 16
  • Right from the first contact with the school, our lead inspectors will work with the headteacher to organise the inspection to manage the demands on each teacher.

    We will seek to understand the leadership structure of the school and adjust our meetings and activities accordingly.

    We will be flexible and pragmatic with the number of meetings and the scheduling of them. We want to work with the school to ensure staff are not overburdened.

    We understand that it may not be possible to do everything in a small school in the way that we might in a larger one. For example, we won’t expect to see a particular number of lessons being taught in the deep dive subjects. Inspectors will work with the school’s timetable and visit the lessons that are available. If we can’t see lessons in some subjects or parts of the school, we’ll gather evidence in different ways, such as by speaking with more pupils or looking at pupils’ books to see the curriculum that has been covered.

    The big message here is, we want to see your school in action as it usually is. Don’t do anything for inspection that is not part of what routinely happens in your school.

    Don’t ‘do it’ for Ofsted!



  • Inspectors will visit the early years as part of their deep dives to understand how pupils gain the knowledge they need from the start of their time in the school. But this does not mean they will expect to see national curriculum subjects being taught in the early years. Inspectors will want to find out how learning in the early years prepares pupils for the next stage in Year one and beyond. This slide shows the three aspects inspectors consider in the early years.

    The area of learning
    In the early years, inspectors focus on the statutory curriculum as set out in the educational programmes for the seven areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). It is important not to confuse the curriculum with the Early Learning Goals, as these are simply assessment criteria and do not cover the full statutory requirements.

    Quality of interactions
    When inspectors can see a relevant area of learning, they will use this as part of their deep dive. But we do not assume this will be happening every time we visit the early years. Where this isn’t he case, we will consider the quality of interactions between adults and children. We know that young children learn best when they have high quality interactions from adults and there is a focus on language and communication. We’ll look at the way that adults develop children’s vocabulary and comprehension, generally seeing how adults help children to learn and remember important knowledge and support them to use more words.

    Deliberate intentions
    When visiting the early years inspectors will want to understand how teachers ensure that children make progress in all seven areas of learning.

    But inspectors will not be looking for files full of assessment evidence on individual children, or photographs or post-it notes that record children’s progress. We have been clear since the launch of the EIF in September 2019 that we will not look at school’s internal data, assessment and tracking when on inspection.

    Instead, inspectors will do this by finding out about the activities, environments and routines that are in place and how they implement the curriculum. Finding out from teachers what children need to know now and what they need to know next and seeing how well activities, environments and routines help children to practice and reinforce their learning.

  • Now we would like to clarify our expectations around subject leadership in primary schools.

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