If your school has a strong PESSPA programme, your headteacher might put it forward for a ‘deep dive’ as part of the inspection visit. While this may cause a sharp intake of breath, you don’t need to be afraid.
We have spent many years helping PE leads, teaching staff and head teachers prepare for Ofsted visits and reviewing PE in schools. Here are our top tips to make sure your PE, school sport and physical activity is Ofsted-ready whenever the phone call comes.
Have a long-term plan
Set out your long-term vision for PE, school sport and physical activity within your school. This is a helpful tool to share with an Ofsted inspector and can help guide your discussions.
Your plan is also extremely useful within your day-to-day work. It should be a working document, not something gathering dust on the shelf. Review it regularly and track your progress; make amendments as challenges or opportunities arise. This will show inspectors how you are actively monitoring your PESSPA and ensuring it is on track to achieve your vision.
When putting together your long-term plan make sure you involve all stakeholders – staff, children, parents, and governors. Be ready to talk about how you consulted and involved these groups and incorporated their suggestions and ideas.
Some questions to answer when putting your plan together:
- Why you have designed your curriculum in the way you have (what is it based on)?
- How are you ensuring a broad and balanced curriculum?
- How have you used the National Curriculum aims in planning your curriculum?
- How does your curriculum meet the needs of different pupils – SEND, most able, disadvantaged?
- What do you want children to know, understand and be able to do by the time they leave in Year 6 and why?
- How does your curriculum link with your school’s values?
This vision will demonstrate clear ‘Intent’ and allow you to discuss this in a way that is bespoke to your individual school setting and your children’s needs. Being able to discuss how you construct your curriculum and why, what works well, how adaptable it is will show the “implementation” of your vision.
Chronicle staff development
Keeping your skills and knowledge up to date is important in ensuring your pupils enjoy high-quality progressive PE, as is making sure your colleagues are confident to deliver sessions independently.
A staff and self-development plan is useful evidence for Ofsted and will mean your PESSPA continues to progress and improve.
- Undertake a skills audit of teaching staff in your school, identify what could be improved and how
- Keep a record of what CPD you and your colleagues have received – this includes INSET training sessions, externally-led CPD, membership of organisations such as AfPE and reading their magazine.
- Capture what difference training has made – both to teaching staff and to pupils.
Monitor the impact
You have a plan but how do you know if it is working? Regular reviews and assessments, formal and informal, will help you understand the impact your plan (and PESSPA) is having on your pupils.
You need to know where you are starting from and where you would like to get to. Don’t just collect data for the sake of it. Make sure it connects with your vision and will give you meaningful information on which you can base decisions.
- Set a base, benchmarks for progression and a goal
- How are lessons differentiated? Is this effective?
- How do you monitor progression? When do you know that children are ready to move on?
- How do your results compare to national averages?
Being able to discuss the ‘Impact’ of the curriculum and wider offer in place and evidence this is key.
We run bespoke training to help schools prepare for a deep dive into PE. Our PE specialists spend half a day working with the subject leader, either virtually or in school, to build confidence and prepare for PE to be an inspection focus. This support ranges from ensuring all paperwork is in place, analysing statistics, a mock Q&A following the trail of a child’s development within the subject or looking at how your PESSPA is impacting other curriculum areas.
We also offer a supportive visit to audit your PESSPA and identify areas for development. This service includes a one-day visit to your school from one of our Education Team who will talk with your subject leader, Head Teacher and children regarding PE and observe PE taking place. You’ll receive a report detailing the strengths of PE and areas for further development. Our PE Health Check can be used as evidence of Sport Premium impact.