OFSTED Inspection with a ‘Deep Dive’ in PE

Notes & Advice following OFSTED Inspection with a ‘Deep Dive’ in PE from Noel Mitchell, PE Coordinator at St Edward's Primary School

St Edward’s Primary School in Eggbuckland had a 2 day OFSTED inspection on 3rd and 4th March 2020. The inspection included a deep dive in PE. We had the official report back on Friday 13th March 2020, which confirmed our welcomed ‘Good’ status.

Below are some notes on the inspection along with some advice.  Any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at St Edward’s, or via Anna or even on the PE What's-App group.

The phone call with the Head the day before the inspection sets the agenda for the inspection and where they’ll ‘deep dive’ into. Maths and English will be always be priority. The Head is then asked to order the other subjects in order of strengths. They selected PE from the list. It was hardly a surprise; with all the sports premium money injected into it in recent years, PE was always going to feature higher up than normal in most lists.

I was required for a 1:1, 20-minute chat with one of the inspectors during lunchtime on the first day of the inspection. It actually turned out to be around 40-minutes, I did lose track of time.  It was a very laid back interview. I had asked the inspector what the session would look like; is it just question after question or did I have the opportunity to talk and go from there?  The inspector said it was up to me and I chose to talk!

I had a few things with me and laid them all out across the table, having no idea on what was or wasn’t needed.

Since the PSSP PE Conference in September, I had been making my own notes in response to the questions on the OFSTED sheet we were all handed (the one that included the 3 ‘I’s’).  I had made my own A4 sheet entitled: ‘Strengths’ / ‘Areas of development’. I had the opportunity to talk my way through this sheet, with the inspector occasionally chipping in to ask questions.  I also had a copy of our PE curriculum progression map, which she asked for. I had a plastic wallet with staff PE planning overviews from 2018/19, which she asked for (we hadn’t completed a 19/20 as of yet).

I had our Gold School Games Mark certificate lurking around for show. (The inspector was interested in this, despite what the speaker said at the PSSP PE Conference!).  I also had our ‘active register’ with all SEND, PP, EAL groups etc highlighted…she was keen on all of these too.  I also had a simple grid with all staff names on along with their skills/qualifications regarding PE and any training they’ve had in the past or require; (when we had a mock inspection in January, this was the one requirement our advisor had asked me to do for PE.)

As I talked, the inspector typed and kept asking questions.

The outright focus was Curriculum PE, what it looks like across the school and how we cater for progression in skills from Foundation to Year 6.  She asked about curriculum coverage. She asked for an example on how throwing and catching is catered for in e.g. Foundation/Year 1 and how it is progressed in Year 3…Year 5 etc.  She took in my wallet of staff planning. Fortunately I ask staff in my once a year PE INSET to complete a simple planning grid for the whole year’s PE. Expanding on just noting Games, Gym, Dance etc. I ask them to add brief notes linking the specific skills for each year group. The inspector was happy with this.

She then went on to assessment and monitoring. I said currently, I occasionally do ‘drop-ins’ and take the occasional photo. I said at present I don’t do formal observations. I showed the inspector an A4 grid that is under development for assessment. It is a simple assessment for PE tool. I had liaised with Claire Cormack from PSSP to work on some ideas. The inspector did like this idea, I had told her it was a work in progress. My aim is to introduce it to staff at our next INSET hoping to start using it in the summer term or next year.

The inspector asked how I keep track of Pupil Premium children; this was evidenced in my ‘Active Tracker’.  SEND was discussed. I was able to say how we enter a number of SEND/Boccia/Inclusion events throughout the year. I was able to say we’ve bought a Boccia and New Age Kurling set, which all staff are encouraged to use at points during the year.

I then remembered my Sports Leaders/Bronze Ambassadors and was able to include all the things they do throughout the year.  I had chance to big up any PSSP involvement along with all the events/competitions that we attend throughout the year. 

I was asked about the PE Budget and action plan, I spoke about it a little, but she was happy for me to hand her a printed copy of it that I also had with me.

I went on to talk about the website, but she remarked that she had already looked at it in depth, so had no reason to talk about it further (make sure your PE funding reports are up to date on your website.  I know Claire Cormack has offered to review anyone’s website if they requested).

The 40 minutes flew by and the whole experience wasn’t that bad, far better than I was expecting. I also pointed the inspector in the direction of my PE Boards around the school…one in the hall, which is just collage of a range of PE photos from PE lessons and sports clubs across the school, one is a photo board of all the events we attend and one is our Sports Leaders board.

However, please remember they have further PE things to follow up once your meeting is finished. They observed a year 5 and 6 PE lesson. They stayed in for most of the lessons. (I was not required to observe with them). They also speak to other staff about PE. They also talk to the children about PE! This is the clincher…If what you say is backed up by staff and the children you should be ok!

A massive anti-climax on the final report when it comes through. The only reference to PE on ours was: “Leaders help pupils to stay physically healthy through physical education lessons (PE). Pupils also skip, play football and run at break times.”

Either way, they’ve been and gone and not back for 4 years!  They’ve ‘deep dived’ in PE and were happy with what they heard/saw!

Hope this helps.  Cheers, Noel Mitchell


Anna Clooke

Anna Clooke
Partnership Leader

Telephone: 07731471023
Mobile: 07731 471023
Email: [email protected]

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