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progress during a lesson


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We are about to undergo a new round of lesson observations by Headteacher and she has told us that she will be looking for progress made by children by the end of the lesson. The focus is writing. I was going to read' Dear Santa, Get well soon' and develop the story during the week then by the day of the observation I was going to tell the children that Santa is still not better and get them to write to him with a suggestion of what he could do, putting this into a card that they had made earlier in the week. The children in my class are able to write with support ( having just completed Phase 2 Letters and Sounds). However, I am worried that the progress in one lesson will not be evident. If she looks in their books, there is clear progress since the beginning of September, as they were just doing emergent writing , consisting mainly of making marks/ squiggles on the page. However, in one single lesson I am not sure she will see the progress she is looking for. The Head teacher has just recently attended training about what Ofsted will be looking for. How do I show this in one single lesson? Any suggestions are most welcome.

Thank you.

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I can't remember where I read this but I think that progress in a lesson in YR doesn't look the same as it would in say Y3 etc where all children would be doing similar work but at their own level. If you are working with a group then yes, you'd want all of the children in that group to have learned something new by the end of the activity, but you can't expect every child to have made progress in writing by the end of your observation, they won't all be doing the same thing will they? Progress can be in whatever they are doing in child initiated learning too, so, if you are working with a group on a focused writing activity, how is your TA supporting the rest of the class? How engaged are the children? Is the TA intervening in their play, moving them on, modelling, pushing their learning on to the next step? Often you can move a child onto new learning in just a couple of minutes if you get the intervention right, and at the right time. That's my understanding of it though, I've no idea if I'm right, and I'd dearly love to know as we are expecting 'the call' any time now and I have yet to have my lesson ob for my PM.

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Thank you for your answer. I am going to target the use of spaces between words as the group I will be working with can segment to spell very simple words but tend to forget to leave spaces ! I thought of reading a letter from the elves saying Santa is so unwell he needs some advice as to what to do about getting better or he won't be able to deliver presents. He is struggling to read anything as he has lost his glasses so if they reply they must make sure they leave spaces as he won't be able to read their letters etc. I will model using an enlarged finger (they will have small ones on the table to use). The TA is going to take a less able group out to do a much simplified activity while I am doing the carpet session then return to support the rest of the children in their play while I am busy. Hopefully the progression they show will be to use finger spaces between words! Any suggestions will be gratefully received! By the way the HT observed the Y3 teacher today and really criticised her for lack of engaging all pupils (one was fiddling with a whiteboard rubber) and she also said there was no progression in the lesson, although she later changed her mind when she returned to see what the children had produced! The head has only ever taught KS2 so has little knowledge of how young children learn. She seems to think that if you tell a child something once they should be able to do it!!!

Thanks for your help.

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I'd make sure that you share the Early Years outcomes book with the head and get them to see that the developmental milestones are across almost a year of a child's life, not simply in a lesson. Progress is measured over time and whilst you need to be looking at new learning each time you work with children, it may not be embedded yet. This is where you will need to demonstrate that your continuous provision is providing open ended opps for embedding those emergent writing skills across time so progress is evidenced in their independent activities.

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