Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, skills and children’s services. They inspect and evaluate services that care for young people and those which provide skills and education for learners of all ages.
There are two main types of inspection Ofsted carry out for schools, section 5 and section 8 inspections. A section 5 inspection leads to a full report and rates the school’s quality from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’ whereas a section 8 is used if an inspector has specific issues or concerns which leads to a shorter report.
As of September 2017, Ofsted will visit ‘good’ schools and further education facilities once every three years, and will include PE and sports sessions in their evaluation.
In order to ensure you gain the best Ofsted rating possible, we have put together some key points to help your school excel in your PE and Sports services.
Key Points to Help PE Planning and Evaluation
There are four key areas which will help you plan and evaluate your PE and sports sessions to the standard Ofsted look for:
1. Effective Leadership and Management
Safeguarding is of utmost importance, especially in terms of Ofsted inspection and a school’s own self evaluation. Leaders of PE must, therefore, make sure all safeguarding arrangements are in place. Safeguarding in PE is particularly important due to the physical nature of the subject, lessons taking place outside of the school environment and the regular employment of external expertise and services.
There is also substantial focus on the academic achievement of certain pupils, especially those who are disadvantaged and require support from the School’s Sports Premium funding.
In order to support those pupils, PE leaders and sports coaches must be able to identify who those students are and try to maximise the premium to support additional opportunities and outcomes, where appropriate.
2. Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment
In regards to the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, there is no particular method Ofsted look out for. Schools must determine their practices and ensure their leadership team can justify them.
There is less emphasis on long visits to lessons when it comes to observing teaching, learning and assessment as inspectors now make short visits to talk to students and observe activities. They then base their decisions on student’s attitudes towards learning, accessibility to the curriculum and behaviour. In PE lessons it is essential that the subject offers a broad experience that is inclusive for each and every student.
Students should be able to confidently explain new experiences and learning they have gained throughout the school which indicate a positive, engaging and progressive curriculum.
With this in mind, schools must show that students skills, knowledge and understanding have improved. For PE, it is important to make sure there is enough evidence to support this and students must be able to identify what they have done, where they are now and how they can improve, stating the steps they must take to make process.
3. Personal Development
High quality leadership in PE will raise awareness of the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, informing students on the negative effects of eating unhealthy foods.
Ofsted inspectors evaluate the experience of certain individuals and groups, including those with medical and mental health needs. They also look out for sample case studies, so it is important for PE leaders to collate evidence for students with medical conditions. This will identify how they are fully included in sports sessions, just like the other students, and the actions the leader or coach has implemented to help those students make progress in sport.
4. Outcomes for Students
Ofsted inspectors will look at students current levels, progress and evaluate the extent of which all pupils attain qualification so they can progress to the next stage in education. Qualifications in sport should be offered and primary school students must be aware that they can take PE at GCSE level, alongside the standard lessons of PE in secondary schools.
When thinking about the overall effectiveness of your school PE and self evaluation, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the overall quality of teaching, learning and assessment throughout the school, especially in PE?
- Are safeguarding requirements in place?
- Does what we teach meet the needs of a range of pupils?
- What is it like to be a student in PE? Do we add value to their PE Sessions?