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AO portfolio guidance

AO Home Introduction Summary  Applications The Assessment Teaching Experience Portfolio Guidance

The Portfolio of Evidence for Assessment Only applicants

Your portfolio provides the opportunity for you to show how you meet the Teachers’ Standards. It should contain evidence that you have demonstrated that you meet each of the Teachers’ Standards over a sustained period of time. The portfolio can be either on paper or electronic. It should be arranged according to the Teachers’ Standards, to present the evidence relevant to each element of each individual Standard.

The Teachers’ Standards are available from the Government website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teachers-standards.

As a rough guide, two or more pieces of evidence should show how you each element of each Standard in relevant contexts (such as different age ranges). However, for some elements of some Standards, more pieces of evidence will be appropriate.

There should be clear evidence of how meeting each element of each Standard affects the quality of teaching and learners’ progress. The portfolio should include a good mix of different types of evidence (see below), but there should be sufficient evidence from classroom observation and feedback to demonstrate that teaching meets the required Standards over a sustained period of time. This requires a minimum of 8 lesson observations across the ability range and across the age range. For applicants being assessed for the primary or middle age phases, these should also cover all subjects of the primary curriculum.

Where a piece of evidence meets more than one element of a Standard, it can be cross referenced, highlighting the relevant section for the Standard being evidenced. However, one piece of evidence should not be used for more than three occasions.

The portfolio should include a variety of evidence and show professional practice in different contexts. There should be evidence from across the age phase. The evidence for some Standards should be from teaching in the second school. You may use evidence from teaching in previous schools, if appropriate and available.

The portfolio should not include photocopied/internet documents except where you have worked on them (for example by summarising, highlighting or annotating). Such documents may be referred to, but assessment of the portfolio must consider only the AO applicant’s work.

Evidence should arise from the normal work of a teacher and making the portfolio should not require 'starting from scratch'. Guidance on possible sources of evidence for the portfolio is available online from The Cambridge Partnership website.

The Standards in ‘Part 2’ of the Teachers’ Standards can be evidenced by testimonials from the school.

The portfolio typically includes
  • A range of lesson observations and evaluations of your teaching (minimum of 8 observations across the ability and age range) by experienced teachers
  • Lesson plans and evaluations of lessons you have taught, highlighting aspects linked to specific Teachers’ Standards
  • Copies of samples of students’ work and/or feedback that you provided with an explanation of how the evidence relates to the Teachers’ Standards
  • Assessment records and monitoring of student progress (marked work, reports to parents, trackers and targets, etc) and how these demonstrate meeting specific Standards
  • Witness statements e.g. from the headteacher or a senior colleague
  • Reflections about incidents/own performance related to specific Standards
  • Evidence of involvement in out-of-school learning activities
  • Certificates of attendance and summaries of what was learned from CPD courses and in-school training sessions and how these ideas have been applied (printed handouts from training are not suitable evidence of your work; how you applied what you learnt is suitable evidence)
  • Reflections on how you have used ideas gained from observations of experienced colleagues teaching
  • Evidence demonstrating the use of fundamental English and mathematics through the role of the teacher, including for data analysis and research, and within the classroom
The portfolio of evidence is required at the time of Initial Assessment Visit to show that you already satisfy the Teachers’ Standards. Whilst It is not a requirement that the portfolio will be complete by the date of the Initial Visit, it should be almost complete. There must be evidence relating to each element of each of the Standards. A Portfolio Evidence and Justification document is available from The Cambridge Partnership website to provide a summary of the evidence in your portfolio. This document or an alternative means of indexing and summarising the portfolio and justifying the evidence against the Teachers’ Standards should be available at the Initial Assessment Visit.

Experience shows that the following often help to provide evidence for particular Standards:
  • Lesson plans or observations showing innovative teaching
  • Observations of the AO applicant as a form tutor
  • Copies of pupils’ work with evaluation comments and targets for improvement
  • Evidence of pupils' progress in relation to their target grades e.g. pupil progress tracking spreadsheets
  • Evidence of accurate assessment against relevant criteria for statutory or examination assessment
  • Evidence of participation in standardisation and moderation activities or joint assessment
  • Records of meetings with senior staff e.g.SENCO, pupil data manager and explanations of how these inform classroom practice
  • Personalised lesson plans to take account of individual pupils’ needs
  • Contributions to phase planning or department meetings and staff meetings
  • Letters, memos or records of phone calls made to parents and colleagues about student issues
  • Teaching and Learning development with colleagues, e.g. Peer coaching
  • Resources produced collaboratively with other staff, identifying the contribution of the AO applicant
  • Planning for effective use of additional adults in lessons etc.
  • Reflections on visits to another school and how ideas have been incorporated into their own teaching, e.g. to look at the use of ICT or provision for EAL
Any evidence containing information about identified pupils should be suitably anonymised in order to ensure their privacy.

Evidence of fundamental English proficiencies in classroom practice

All AO applicants must provide evidence of their proficiency in fundamental English as part of their routine work as a class teacher. This evidence is required as part of the portfolio. Details of what is required as part of the portfolio is provided here.