‘Awesomeness’ is my new word (it is a real word). According to the dictionary it is “the quality of being extremely impressive or daunting”, it seems to fit with how my world feels just now. Like many others I have found myself feeling daunted over these past few weeks, fuelled mainly by uncertainty, huge change and concern for others. SO …………………
I have needed to dig deep and actively find ways to nourish positivity to help to retain my awesomeness balance and ensure ‘my ship’, the bits I can control, stay steady. So, fuelled by a book I bought for my god daughter for her birthday entitled “You are so Awesome” I have taken to actively noticing and encouraging ‘Positive Awesomeness’ around me, that is actively noticing the extremely impressive, which is usually a collection of small steps or small things. I have been listing and thinking about 3 examples of ‘Positive Awesomeness’ at the end of each day and sharing them with my family, friends and colleagues, who in turn are finding their own examples to inspire and encourage them.
Reflecting on ‘Positive Awesomeness’ has been a good way of reminding myself of some of the impressive things that are happening around me, helping me to be calm and mindful and enabling me to feed courage, possibility, creativity and positivity, all good fuel when things are daunting. I thought I would share the idea to see if it works for you too.
‘Positive Awesomeness’ – Reflections
I subscribe to The Happy News by Emily Cox – it is full of positive stories from around the world – thanks Emily - spreading good news is ‘Positive Awesomeness’ personified!
Having read Issue 17 of the Happy News for March 2020 here are 3 examples of ‘Positive Awesomeness’ I have taken from the paper “Year 4 children at Manor Leas Academy in Lincoln took a different approach to advent calendars and created kindness calendars instead” (p5). An additional act of kindness each day, brilliant. Human kindness is ‘Positive Awesomeness’ all wrapped up in each single act
“Night Rainbows are a real thing, they’re called “MoonBows” they only really happen when the moon is very full, and the sky is clear with no other light around” (p28). I love the idea of special rainbows at night. Nature holds so many great examples of ‘Positive Awesomeness’ to drawn on in being mindful
“Ten-year-old Willow Woolhouse is one of the first girl scouts in the UK to earn all her Beaver and Cub Scout Badges, she has 57 badges sewn onto her uniform” (p9). Learning to do something you have never done before is exhilarating and exciting. Make a list of all the key things you have learnt about or learnt to do since you were 10 – a huge and extremely impressive list I am sure and a great reminder that you already have an amazing set of skills in place. Try to couple your current skill set with the ability to continue to learn and work in new ways and remember you too are a great example of ‘POSITIVE AWESOMENESS’
Some simple coaching tools for you to use wrapped up in finding ‘Positive Awesomeness’ in the everyday. If you like the concept of ‘Positive Awesomeness’, then let me know.
This short article aims to give an overview of ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’, which is one of the new key judgements in the 2019 Education Inspection Framework (EIF). Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare (PDBW) from the old CIF has gone. It has been replaced by two new key judgements in the Further Education & Skills Inspection Handbook (July 2019). There is one new Key Judgement on behaviour and attitudes and one Key Judgement on personal development. Teasing PD & BW apart seems to make reporting on them in the SAR clearer with what appears to be less overlap between the two new key judgements.
Behaviour and attitudes as we would expect will form part of observations, in classroom and workshops, with employers and in the wider learning environment. The use of registers to record and monitor attendance remains a key feature.
This short article on the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) aims to provide a flavour of what the Further Education & Skills Inspection Handbook (July 2019) says about the new key Judgement on Personal Development. The personal development criteria seem to me to be wholly student centred.
The Key Judgement of Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare (PDBW) has gone. PDBW has been teased out into two new Key Judgements, one around Behaviour & Attitudes and one focused on Personal Development. These two new key judgements support the more student-centred approach of the new EIF and the inspection process itself.
I have shown a comparison of the changes to all the key judgement from the CIF to the EIF in table 1 below which may help to show the shift in direction of the new FE inspection process.
Ofsted say that Personal development as a key judgement “focuses on the most significant dimensions of the personal development of learners” (p55). It appears to be about how ‘the college’ helps each learner develop their character, defined as “a set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues which inform their motivation and guides their conduct so that they can reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others” (p55).
The provision of unbiased effective careers programmes and contact with employers along with support for transition to next steps is also included in the PD key judgement.
For me measuring quality impacts and actions is an intrinsic part of providing great education. Not only for Ofsted to ensure everyone is inspection ready, but more importantly to ensure leaders and staff are securing the best possible experience for every student and member of staff that make up the college community.
We know from the plethora of leadership research available that people are the College’s greatest asset. You can have state of the art building and the latest technology, but it is the people that make a students’ experience the best it can be. Buildings alone cannot be aspirational for others, guide and support others or provide access to the latest knowledge needed for skills development. It is the people.
It is people who make a culture, it is people who provide excellence in learning, assessment and achievement. My experiences teach me that a great college is about its people, staff and students alike. I welcome a quality assessment framework that focuses not only on high quality student experience but also has a key focus on the wellbeing of staff.
Students experience of College life is at the centre of the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) published this summer. There is a shift for leaders and managers away from data to the 3 I’s of curriculum structure and delivery. Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact are now at the core of the new EIF. There is also a strong focus for leaders and managers on staff well-being, “realistic and constructive management” of workloads (p63) and the creation of a positive learning culture born out in “strong shared values, policies and practice” (p63).
Much of what the EIF describes in the key judgement on leadership and management are the softer skills of leadership and management which when used highly effectively develop and sustain a positive and impactful learning culture. My experience as a quality reviewer teaches me that success in terms of culture can be ‘felt’ when you walk into a College. You can almost feel it and touch it. You can sense it and you can see if mutual trust, fairness and respect are intrinsically evident for all. An effective learning culture is about how everyone treats each other embedded into a shared sense of social responsibility within the learning community. Staff and students who collective own a clear sense of purpose with a strong sense of belonging feel safe and speak highly of the collaborative efforts made by staff at a college to secure their life and career ambitions. Ask yourself, do your staff and students buy into the organisations vision, do they feel a strong sense of identity and belonging and a commitment to contributing to the success of both themselves, others and the College itself?
This article looks at the overall effectiveness criteria and how types of provision will be inspected. The information on overall effectiveness and types of provision is found in Part 2 of the FE & Skills Inspection Handbook and guidance includes the Education Inspection Framework (EIF). Part 2 of the handbook clearly explains the evaluation schedule for inspection, that is the assessment criteria against which Colleges will be judged.
I feel the whole framework is now more student centred and overall effectiveness is focused on ‘What it’s like to be a learner at your College’, data is taking a back seat. Although good to remember data monitoring and analysis is still critical when looking at types of provision as it is one aspect of the evidence used to inform Ofsted’s risk assessment, that is when and why they decide to schedule a visit. Prudent and targeted monitoring of in year data is also useful in ensuring there are no gaps and that students are on track to reach or exceed their individual targets.
I hope you find the article a useful read, I have aimed to give you a flavour of the new framework and the shift in focus, hoping it saves you some time until you can find a moment to read the full Handbook in place for September 2019. This is the first in a series of 7 short articles which provide an overview of the different aspects of the FE Inspection Handbook and the Education and Inspection Framework (EIF).
The new Further Education and Skills Inspection Handbook is based on the Education Inspection Framework (EIF). It has quickly become known as the EIF as we all love an acronym in FE. We have changed from the CIF to the EIF. One of the hardest things I found when I joined FE was the extensive use of acronyms, the sector has created its own unique language.