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Struggling with observation by management

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I'm a Nursery teacher in an Infant school and I've been struggling when observed by management of the school this year. Previously I have been achieving good with outstanding/outstanding but this year I have been getting requires improvement. I understand that the Ofsted grid that I'm graded against is for staff working with 3 - 18 yr olds but no matter how hard I try I can't seem to get into the 'good' level. I'm working so hard and taking on board all the areas for development and working on them but beginning to doubt my ability to teach. Any one else finding this is their early years setting? Wondering if its my school that has high expectations or this is just the way that education is going at the moment. Either way, I'm starting to think that I'm not cut out to be a teacher anymore. Any advice/help will be gratefully received.

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Hi Minty

I too teach in a nursery as part of an infant school and so far this academic year I have had one obs in maths and I'm about to have one in literacy with a focus on writing. I am not sure how many we are supposed to be subjected to (I'm sure someone out there knows) but it should not be so many that it becomes a burden - I think the teaching unions have guidelines on being observed.


The Ofsted criteria have changed considerably - have you been given the new criteria? Have you asked management specifically what it is about your practice that has led to the change in your grade? If you can it always is better to talk to the leadership team who have observed you so that they can help you build upon your practice - it is after all part of their role to support and provide training/guidance as to where next for you.


Don't give up - I know it is a bit of a kick in the teeth when you have been doing well in previous obs but see it as a learning opportunity, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and take it as the chance to ask for more support/ideas/training.

After all if there is something in particular on you feedback that you need to improve e.g. questioning skills then ask to be sent on a course to address the issue/s. Virtual hug coming your way!

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I would talk to them about the new criteria (it is much tougher now) and see what they say and what they are expecting from you, don't be too hard on yourself - I think most settings are going to struggle to keep there grades up under the new framework. :blink:

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Thanks for your responses (never posted on a forum before!) I think unions advise that you shouldn't have more than three hours of observations each academic year but I'm willing to have more if it will support my development and ability to reach the new Ofsted criteria. Yes, I've been given the criteria but I was told this week during a focus on writing that a "buzz about writing" was lacking in the classroom. I'm having a chat with my deputy after half term to clarify exactly what this means and what I can do. Its just soul destroying when I'm trying so hard and making the changes required but still not improving enough. Good luck for your observation Apple and thanks to you both for your replies/virtual hugs!

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Hmmm 'buzz about writing' well that is a bit vague but there are things that you could add to what I am sure you are already doing simple things like different writing resources....clipboards or bumbags/pouches with pads and pens in so chilkdren can write on the go


Here are a few other topics that might offer some ideas too














I hope some of these will be useful reads, some have links to other resources that might give you some ideas too.


I do think if you have a lot of boys then it is hard to get them excited in writing which iws why some of the moveable resources work well for them as they don't sit still :D


Good luck with it all


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