So what DO Ofsted want to see TA's doing?

(20 Posts)
ConsiderablyHolierThanThou Sun 16-Jun-13 20:39:45

Scenario: teaching a third lesson on writing instructions. We've already done the basic principals and practised a whole class text. This lesson is the first one where children are going to write their own set of instructions for a familiar task.

I am giving the input on how to lay the instructions out, recapping on basic principles. What should the TA be doing at this time?

Sitting with lowest ability children and supporting them on the carpet?
Removing a group of children from the carpet and working with them at a table or outside of the classroom (basically doing the input I am doing but to a small group)?

I am mystified.

rosabud Sun 16-Jun-13 23:00:34

I'm not sure but if you are going to teach children writing, it might be an idea to brush up on the apostrophe rule!

schooldidi Sun 16-Jun-13 23:02:54

What would your TA normally be doing?

ConsiderablyHolierThanThou Mon 17-Jun-13 06:00:06

Usually she would be sitting with the lower ability on the carpet and supporting them.
I ask because a friend was recently slated in an observation for using a TA this way but think this is a useful thing for the TA to be doing.

Really helpful rosebud, thanks. I've only used one apostrophe though (we've) and have correctly used it. Maybe if you are going to be sarcastic and unhelpful you should use the right punctuation term. I presume you meant the colon.

LuvMyBoyz Mon 17-Jun-13 06:14:01

The TA could be helping the children with active listening rather than doing what you are doing. TAs should be there to support when needed and not just given a role to keep them busy. Prompting children with focus difficulties or creating a task board for those with SLCN is giving the children help with independence. In my view (secondary SENCO) TAs should focus on improving independence. (Apostrophes look fine to me!)

juneybean Mon 17-Jun-13 07:20:44

I think rosebud was referring to TA's as it is not teaching assistant's

TheFillyjonk Mon 17-Jun-13 07:29:27

The correct plural would be TAs. Inserting an apostrophe to make an acronym plural makes absolutely no sense according to the apostrophe rule. As juneybean pointed out, you would not write Teaching Assistant's (unless talking about something which belongs to a TA!)

overreaction Mon 17-Jun-13 07:33:12

I got slated for not using a TA. They wanted her to look active not just sitting with a pupil to support. Things like small group activities,

ConsiderablyHolierThanThou Mon 17-Jun-13 17:07:06

Oh yes, I hadn't noticed the title. Quite right Rosebud. Still spectacularly unhelpful though.
So small group work is good. So the children miss the whole class input by the teacher?

LuvMyBoyz Mon 17-Jun-13 23:22:02

Yes, the title...missed that. Your TA should have an agreed/directed role each session. But Ofsted are a law unto themselves who sway with the wind. What one says is right, the next says is wrong.

rosabud Mon 17-Jun-13 23:28:31

I'm sorry to be unhelpful - it wasn't meant to be sarcastic, though, just teasing. Sorry.

FullOfChoc Sat 22-Jun-13 22:06:23

I'm a TA and I've just been on a development course. I was told that the TA should have a chair next to the child they are supporting, but should not be sat in it.

To that end I usually work with the table my one to one child sits at, and stray a little further if my one to one is doing ok. I help one child, check my one to one is ok, then drift off a bit further if my table is ok.

I agree about the TA "promoting independence", that seems to be the phrase of the moment!

knittedslippersx3 Sat 22-Jun-13 22:14:22

I was a TA in this situation. I sat on a chair near the children making sure they were listening, sharpened pencils, wrote up notes on a previous group and had the lesson plan in front of me.
I was spoken to by the inspector afterwards and told I should have been marking down who the teacher was asking to answer questions to make sure she was asking mixed abilities and an even boy/girl spread!
We had to tell the head everything they said to us and she complained.

LuvMyBoyz Sun 23-Jun-13 22:07:08

Stupid inspector! My colleagues are trained to only step in to help if pupils need them and to encourage them to use given strategies to help themselves before giving help. I think we need some special Ofsted things to do.

Ruprekt Fri 28-Jun-13 23:10:44

I am a TA and I scribed on sugar paper for my teacher and then as she gave me the instruction I made the object as she told me.

It was a hedgehog made of plasticine with spaghetti spikes!smilesmile

I held her up for the class to see and told them I was calling her Hettie as she was made of spag-hettie!!!smile

The Ofsted lady gave us Outstanding and we were mentioned in the Ofsted report!! gringringrin

Pluto Fri 28-Jun-13 23:19:05

I think they want to see effective communication between the teacher and TA, and TA support which enables students to begin to work independently so that they can make rapid progress in an inclusive context. Outstanding teaching will include strong "deployment" of the TA by the teacher.

LuvMyBoyz Sat 29-Jun-13 07:57:04

And that's the point, Pluto. It's not for the TA to find something to do, it is for the teacher to deploy them so the objectives of the lesson are achieved by all pupils.

BriefcaseOfFacts Sat 29-Jun-13 08:05:06

Pluto you sound like you are quoting from an Ofsted rule book! So what does that actually mean...

I was observed, TA was sitting with a targeted group of children (in plans) who might have difficulty with what we were doing. Children were using small whiteboards and pens during the input and she helped them as we went along. Apparently this was wrong. I couldn't get a straight answer as to what she should have been doing.

Ruprekt - were you demonstrating what the children were going to do in the lesson?

Ruprekt Sat 29-Jun-13 08:20:00

No. I was following instructions (y1) so the children could watch.

They went off and did differentiated work.....I supported Sens.

Ruprekt Wed 03-Jul-13 17:51:27

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