Grab #outstanding lessons with both hands! by @TeacherToolkit

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In this short article, I hope to impart to the reader what it means to be ‘Outstanding’ according to Ofsted, and also, according to you, the individual teacher. I aim to provide you with a few very useful classroom strategies that I cannot live without and hopefully some, that Ofsted would love to see.

Ofsted context:

Let’ start with the day-to-day bread and butter for the classroom teacher. For those of you who follow my blog and read my tweets on @TeacherToolkit, you will be fully aware of the following:

“Ofsted inspectors do not expect to see a lesson plan…”, but wait for it; expect to see… “a well-planned lesson that enables all pupils to learn and make progress”. They must also “…not advocate a particular approach to teaching or planning lessons.”

Photo Credit: Claire-Louise75 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Claire-Louise75 via Compfight cc

The recently revised Ofsted framework (September 2013) for classroom teachers asks that:

“… Inspectors must spend as much time as possible gathering evidence on teaching and learning, observing lessons, scrutinising work (including in pupils’ books and writing), whilst talking to pupils about their work, gauging their understanding and their engagement in learning, and obtaining pupils’ perceptions of typical teaching…”


This following idea features in my new book, 100 Ideas: Outstanding Lessons. My own classroom strategy to implement and embed this day-to-day, is by getting the students to self-assess each other every single lesson. I call it, ‘Covert press-ganging’, which requires detailed oral and written feedback, so learners know how well they have done and how to improve. This is no easy feat in every lesson!

The simplest idea for teachers embedding ‘re-drafting’ as a learning process, is to name all pieces of classwork as a ‘draft!’ In my own subject Design Technology, this is naturally placed into the design process for developing ideas through a sequence of initial ideas; developed ideas and a final idea. This process is failed by the idiotic-technique, when asking students to complete 5 ideas in order to move forward!

Photo Credit: Christopher Pattberg via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Christopher Pattberg via Compfight cc

Outstanding everyday:

Embedding ‘covert-feedback’ will allow you to ensure pupils’ books have extended pieces of writing; re-drafted work; thorough understanding and structure, as well as a heightened understanding of their own learning.

My top-five ‘covert press-ganging’ opportunities (taken from my new book) to encourage students to love drafting and redrafting work time and time again, not for the purpose of delaying or jumping through hoops, but for the process of learning and acting on feedback are here on exclusively on Teachers Media.

Teachers Media

What else?

To read the remaining parts of this article, which elaborates on ‘Outstanding’ teaching Blooms and SOLO Taxonomy; plus, why placing CPD into your own hands will enable all teachers to move forward; you will need to login to Teachers Media to view the strategies.

Access is free; just click here to get started. Good luck and keep me posted by tweeting your thoughts to @TeacherToolkit.



In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

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