Join us on our journey to outstanding teaching

We launched the GTA England Journey to Grade One group last April, with an event hosted by Ofsted, which left us in no doubt about what inspectors were looking for with the launch of the new Common Inspection Framework. We invited attendees to form a network of teaching practitioners, to explore how we might support each other to achieve a sustainable good performance, and work towards achieving an outstanding grade at inspection

  • Around half the GTAs in the network are involved in the Journey to Grade One group, which has elected to meet three times a year. Some of the topics covered in the first meetings have been:
  • A review of factors that contribute to excellence in teaching, learning and assessment
  • Identification of common challenges that organisations encounter
  • Achieving a grade 1 for teaching, learning and assessment – presentation
  • Using technology in learning – presentation
  • Individualising learning – planning learning that meets individual needs and offers appropriate stretch, challenge and support Improving English and mathematics, expectations and how to work towards best practice: presentation
  • Collaborative working/exchange visits and future plans: feedback on what works
  • Developing observation of teaching, learning and assessment (OTLA) for taught sessions, reviews, and information, advice and guidance sessions; moderation of judgments, staff development following observation

As promised, Ofsted returned in September, collaborating with us in a session looking at how to use observation to generate sustainable improvements in teaching, learning and assessment practice. This session was very well-received by the network, and led to some ideas for collaboration among teaching practitioners.

As a result, several GTAs have arranged ‘exchange’ visits to compare practice in OTLA, and to work on staff development. Some of us were inspired by the potential of video as a development tool for teachers and trainers, alongside its potential as a learning tool. Two GTAs so far are pioneering this work, and have some good results to report back at the next meeting. We hope more will follow.

Next time we meet, on 30 April at MGTS (more information to come on the website on this), we plan to do some further group moderation and work on evaluation and feedback, and we hope to have at least one video to observe together. We will also be reporting on some of the detailed findings of peer review, including how we went about our first ‘focused peer review’ purely on teaching, learning and assessment, and how we think this could help in the journey to grade one.

We would love to see you there … please get in touch if you want to find out more.


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