Developing Outstanding Teaching and Learning: Second Edition


Developing Outstanding Teaching and Learning: Second Edition
Primary, Secondary
Nov 2012


Developing Outstanding Teaching and Learning is one of Optimus Education's bestselling resources as it focuses on improving the quality and consistency of classroom teaching. It has now been updated in line with the new Ofsted framework and to reflect the greater emphasis on achieving excellent outcomes for all pupils, whatever their starting points. Outstanding teaching will enable all pupils at your school to make rapid and sustained progress in their learning.


This professional development guide will enable you to:

  • achieve rapid and sustained pupil progress through more effective teaching and use of assessment and feedback throughout your school
  • create an environment where teachers have consistently high expectations of all pupils
  • improve the quality and consistency of classroom teaching with a structured CPD framework and effective development tools, meaning pupils learn well across the curriculum
  • create classroom environments where pupils acquire the skills of independent learning and curiosity
  • scaffold teacher learning within an effective up-to-date CPD framework based on Ofsted's Outstanding Teaching Grade Descriptors
  • foster a highly skilled, reflective teaching community and emphasise the importance of peer support in personal development
  • achieve CPD that promotes reflection, self-assessment and analysis by your staff, providing you with thought-provoking accounts and analysis of teaching practice
  • support and enable those who lead professional learning for others and recognise the importance of time to evaluate and reflect
  • better understand all pupils' learning needs, including those with disabilities, special educational needs and those for whom pupil premium provides support, and ensure they have what they need to learn effectively
  • produce and use evidence that can inform pedagogy and curriculum and raise attainment of all groups of pupils.

Chapter breakdown

Chapter 1: Learning and progress

Examines the relationship between teaching and learning.

Chapter 2: Using data

Explores using data to improve classroom practice, considering different types of data and evidence, ensuring reliability, and the formative, summative and diagnostic purpose of data. Updated for second edition.

Chapter 3: Subject knowledge

Examines the nature of subject knowledge, and how teachers can develop this into effective pedagogic knowledge that enables learners to connect with and make sense of diverse forms of knowledge for themselves. There is a clear link between subject knowledge and fluent teaching and this relationship is explored here – leading to authentic learning outcomes.

Chapter 4: Differentiation

Explores the subtleties and significance of differentiation, paying particular attention to differentiating by cognitive and metacognitive activity, time on task and flow of challenging work. There is an increased emphasis in the second edition on the importance of challenge.

Chapter 5: Talk/feedback

Focuses on written feedback and feedback as talk in lessons as a means of understanding learning and progress, and mediating support for learning. The chapter is underpinned by an understanding of how learning can be constructed in a social environment. There is a new emphasis in the second edition on the importance of independent learning skills, pupils' active participation in lessons and teachers' ability to assess progress during lessons and respond accordingly.

Chapter 6: Resources

This chapter focuses on three key resources available to teachers and learners to support progress; technology as a learning resource, the role that can be played by teaching assistants and the role of homework.

Chapter 7: Leadership of teaching and learning

In the second edition, this chapter includes six updated case studies of schools, ranging from those recently out of special measures to outstanding schools. An examination of these demonstrates the importance of improving the quality of teaching to ensure progress and improvement.

Appendix: Tools for professional development

Each tool is introduced, and then the practical process underpinning it is explained. At their heart are two key dimensions: teacher reflection and the use of practice evidence.

  •     Tool 1: Critical incident analysis
  •     Tool 2: Ecological analysis
  •     Tool 3: An enquiry-based approach to lesson observation
  •     Tool 4: Lesson study
  •     Tool 5: Teacher inquiry and knowledge-building cycle
  •     Tool 6: Video-recording lessons
  •     Tool 7: Coaching

Suitable for teachers, leaders, teacher trainers, local authorities and consultants, each chapter contains five parts:

  1. Setting the scene – an overview of the significance of a particular teaching characteristic.
  2. Evidence – what can we learn from research that may inform our thinking and practice?
  3. Practical strategies, case studies and observed practice – to use for staff development and in classrooms with students, they include teacher feedback, examples and tips about how they work in the classroom.
  4. Approaches to professional development – analytic tools to support teacher learning and reflection with examples of how to use them.
  5. Questions to stimulate thinking and reflection – questions for students, teachers, those with responsibility for professional learning and senior leaders.


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