Outstanding Teacher Programme

I forgot I had this blog. This simply wont do, so I thought I’d resurrect it initially as a space for personal reflection on an interesting course, sorry… “programme” I am currently completing, the Outstanding Teacher Programme.

This programme is being facilitated by actual teachers at the school next door to us which has been designated as a Teaching School.

However, my invitation to complete the course is set against much wider series of changes to the educational landscape in England. Relating to the role of Teaching Schools, the future of Initial Teacher Training, The Challenge Partnership and CPD within and beyond my school. All of the above are worthy of further blog posts which I’ll endeavor to complete as I reflect on the course.

To date I have completed one half day session and one full day session on the course.  The main learning points for me have been…

(1) Nobody can “tell” you what an outstanding lesson actually is. They come in too many different shapes and forms and frankly, I consider this reassuring. I resent the idea of a one-size-fits-all approach to pedagogy. Diversity is important in any ecosystem. Actually, I’ve reached the conclusion that the OFSTED criteria for lesson observations is of very limited use when genuinely developing practice.

(2) This is largely, due to the fact that there are many “ingredients” which go in the mix to help create outstanding teaching and learning experiences for students. To attempt to get them all into a lesson, as the criteria might seem to suggest is bonkers.

However, a series of key themes have been floated about on the programme. I suspect these will not go away and have been presented in the mildly irritating acronym, DR ICE.

Deepening Thinking
Role Modelling
Impact on Learning
Challenging expectations
Engagement in Learning

Interestingly these have never been clearly defined on the programme yet, but have been used to frame discussions around pedeagogy. This evening, following a spot of internet research, I came across this website.

Looks like this Outstanding Teacher Programme will be about more than just pedegogy a combination of teaching, leading and coaching. At this point, the way forward for me will be to approach each session with a good dollop of skepticism.



Filed under Learning, OFSTED, Outstanding, Teaching

3 responses to “Outstanding Teacher Programme

  1. Lesley

    The Dr Ice website link is just weird and worrying. A good dollop of skepticism, seems to be a healthy way of approaching lots of things in education at the moment. Wish it wasn’t, I don’t want to turn into a cynical person.

  2. Hi Simon,

    On the off-chance that you are reading / replying to comments, I would love to know what your final thoughts about the OTP and DR ICE were. My school is considering using the programme at a neighbouring school and any feedback would be welcome.

    Many thanks,


    • Hi John, I found it a very positive experience. Thing is though, I was in a trio of very talented teachers and I’d say the delegates from other schools were pretty darn good too. Get any bunch of decent folk in a room together and I’d say your odds on good things will happen. Not 100% sure the resources were all that great but our facilitators were very good.

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