Looking at our School 2016- A Quality Framework - A Practical Guide for Teachers







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The Looking at our School 2016 guide (available here ), is an essential tool to help you gauge your effectiveness as a teacher. In this blog post, I aim to give you a brief run down of what an effective or highly effective teacher looks, sounds and acts like. I have added some of the statements below with the key information on what makes for a highly effective outcome.

Learner outcomes

  • Motivation: If pupils enjoy their learning, are motivated to learn, and expect to achieve as learners as they work their way through the curriculum with you – then this is a clear sign that a teacher if doing a great job.

  • Skills Development: Pupils ideally will also obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to understand themselves and their relationships through an engaging and effective classroom environment.

  • Transfer of Knowledge: An effective teacher has transmitted knowledge to the pupil, who can now demonstrate the knowledge, skills and understanding required by the primary curriculum and will achieve the stated learning objectives for the term and year.

  • Making Progress: Pupils will be able to engage purposefully in meaningful learning activities, and grow as learners through respectful interactions and experiences that are challenging and supportive and can reflect on their progress as learners and develop a sense of ownership of and responsibility for their learning also.

  • Nurture: This nurturing of the pupil will foster in them the means to develop the skills and attitudes necessary for lifelong learning.

Learning: Some of the standards set and proof of high-effectiveness

  • Attitude: Pupils enjoy their learning, are motivated to learn and expect to achieve as learners: Enjoyment of the work and of the progress that they are making creates a sense of achievement.

  • Making Connections: Pupils have the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes required to understand themselves and their relationships: Pupils show a level of knowledge appropriate to their age and can apply this knowledge to situations that arise. They possess the skills to modify and adapt their behaviour when required. They are enquiring and open-minded about themselves and others.

  • Attainment: Pupils demonstrate the knowledge, skills and understanding required by the primary curriculum: Development of pupils’ subject-specific skills and attitudes meet the requirements of the Primary School Curriculum. Knowledge and skills are at a very good standard in accordance with the objectives, skills and concepts of the Primary School Curriculum.

  • Standards: Overall attainment is improving or is at a very good standard. Pupils achieve the stated learning objectives for the term and year: Pupils achieve, and perhaps surpass, learning objectives lessons. (Appropriately differentiated where necessary).

  • Hitting Targets: Pupils demonstrate that they have achieved, and at times surpassed, the learning objectives for the term and year. (Appropriately differentiated where necessary).

  • Assessments: Pupils’ achievement in assessments, including standardised tests, is in line with or above realistic expectations.

  • Purposeful Learning: Pupils engage purposefully in meaningful learning activities: Pupils will show a high level of interest in participation, can work independently and with others, has an understanding of the task at hand and can explain its purpose.

  • Competency: The pupil can report on and explain the process and outcome of activities at a highly competent level.

Teachers’ individual, collective and collaborative practice

  • Knowledge Base: The teacher has the requisite subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and classroom management skills to teach the curriculum effectively.

  • Planning: The teacher selects and uses planning, preparation and assessment practices that progress pupils’ learning.

  • Methodologies and Differentiation: The teacher selects and uses teaching approaches appropriate to the learning objectives and to pupils’ learning needs and responds to individual learning needs and differentiates teaching and learning activities as necessary

  • CPD is valued: Teachers’ collective /collaborative practice will involve placing great value on professional development and professional collaboration, working together to devise learning opportunities for pupils across and beyond the curriculum, and will collectively develop and implement consistent and dependable formative and summative assessment practices.

  • Contribution and Teamwork: It is also of utmost importance for teachers to contribute to building whole-staff capacity by sharing their expertise with each other to strengthen the teaching efficacy of the staff as a whole in order to produce the best possible learning outcomes for pupils.

Teaching: Some of the standards set and proof of high-effectiveness

  • Skill and Experience Proficiency: The teacher has the requisite subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and classroom management skills: Teachers have the required qualifications, continuing engagement in professional development (CPD), create an inclusive, orderly, pupil-centred learning environment based on mutual respect, affirmation and trust, in which pupils know how to interact appropriately. Teachers have high expectations of pupils’ work and their behaviour, communicate these expectations and are capable of communicating these expectations effectively to pupils, and help children to internalise them. Teachers demonstrate proficiency and competence in the skills and knowledge of subjects of the Primary School Curriculum and in the pedagogical skills required.

  • Creating a Positive Environment: Teachers model enthusiasm and enjoyment of learning thereby create an engaging environment.

  • Careful Scaffolding and Differentiation: The teacher selects and uses planning, preparation and assessment practices that progress pupils’ learning: The teacher plans identify clear learning objectives and designs lessons in advance, that are tailored to match the individual pupil’s learning needs and also allows for emerging learning opportunities.

  • CPD: Teachers value and engage in professional development and professional collaboration: Teachers recognise the importance of CPD, that collaboration is key and that working together to improve teaching and learning to produce the best possible outcomes for pupils.

This framework document is a great source of information for teachers, especially NQTs who are still finding their feet but want to know what they can do to strive for the highest level of success for their pupils but also for themselves as an education professional. This piece is a snapshot of the information available in the document and I do think that is essential reading and a great self-assessment tool also.

If you enjoyed this piece and found that it provided you with some very useful information, you may want to check out my other leadership blog posts.:

If you want to learn more about the ‘Looking at Our School 2016: A Quality Framework for Primary Schools’ document - Check out my blogs on the 4 domains here:

The 4 domains are something we focus on inside the Teachers’ Promotion Club - If you would like to join us click here to find out more.

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