Chatroom

17th April 2009 at 01:00

Inspections

Posted by SaintED

Our school is to be inspected soon. I have never been involved in one, so help and advice on preparation and procedures appreciated.

Posted by Pete Sake

I haven't been involved in the allegedly new HMIE "lite" inspec-tions, but nearby schools have. Apparently, it's relatively painless and staff said it was more positive than they thought it would be. But keep your guard up - especially if they ask what might seem to be innocuous questions. There's no such thing, even when they're talking to kids. They might ask them about one thing, like a specific curriculum subject, but they'll be passing judgment on other things, like how they talk in groups and interact together.

Posted by SaintED

What worries me is that they can judge your teaching ability in one lesson or a whole day, without taking into account much of the pupils' circumstances etc. I have proof of the pupils' work, assessments and recordings, but I feel anxious. What will they be looking for?

Posted by st joseph

Don't fear it and don't expect it to be world-changing - they're human and will treat you well, but keep a distance regarding information on class, department, school.

Posted by Durkin

Don't be afraid to question them. I once had an inspector describe drawings my class had done as "one-dimensional". I asked him to ex- plain. He stumbled his way through a justification - I told him he was wrong and that I disagreed. As has been said, they are human - and do make mistakes. Make sure, if ques-tioned, you get your points across.

Posted by Pete Sake

Be prepared to explain things that they might not see in the time they are there. You should have the opportunity for "briefings" after the observations, where you can say how you think things went. Having evidence is good, but they ask the kids a lot too and if you pull something "out of the hat" that you wouldn't normally do, it'll inevitably come out in pupil questioning. Try not to let anxiety get the better of you and be prepared to take on constructive criticism. Be confident, be professional and do your best.

Posted by SaintED

This is my first permanent job after long years of struggle on supply and I don't want to rock the boat. I am going to stick to my usual plans but geared more toward CfE and hope for the best.

www.tes.co.uk, click on Scotland and opinion.

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