Skateboarding and the idea of OUTSTANDING lessons and teachers

With massive pressure on schools to deliver an outstanding and creative curriculum, here’s why I think skateboarding is definitely up there with the best of outstanding lessons and how it checks all the creativity boxes you can throw at it!

If OFSTED requires inspired, engaged and motivated students then one quick look around any skateboard session would find that. Students inspired just as much by their peers, as they are by watching those videos from The Berrics, Thrasher or Braille Skate. Everyone skating is completely engaged and motivated; they are ‘in the moment’, working on ollies and shuvits, pushing or riding down ramps.

Then there is challenge. OFSTED wants to see challenge. In skateboarding just stepping onto the board is a challenge, but as one of my recent students said, ‘I love skateboarding you just can’t finish it!’ There is no end to the challenge. There is always something more to learn, master and perfect. As a skater, you have autonomy over your learning and the opportunity to be creative; set your own SMART goals.

Making progress, number three on our OFSTED list, is always possible in skateboarding. No matter how small or insignificant that progress might seem to the outside observer, every skate session equals progress, as time on the board is time for practice, feedback, repetition and self-assessment. Working towards those individual SMART goals.

What outstanding learning looks like in a skateboard session

Knowing what you want to learn, what you find difficult, where you want to go next. Discussing your progress and the progress and achievements of your peers, all contribute to a keeness and enthusiasm for the subject. When the skateboarding bug gets you , you become a dork of the coolest order. You eat, drink, sleep skateboarding and want nothing more than to be on the board or talking about it, or watching it. That is an enthusiasm for the subject and learning!

As a member of the skateboarding community, you are stoked for everyone and their achievements. Just look at the reaction at the women’s park finals at the Tokyo Olympics, when Misugu Okamoto fell and knew she had lost her medal place. The other skater’s hugged her and lifted her onto their shoulders. Celebrating what she had achieved, not commiserating what she hadn’t! Skateboarders support each other and interact positively and productively with each other. Another outstanding OFSTED quality.

Because of this supportive culture, skateboarders naturally teach each other and give each other tips and tricks. Showing that, like OFSTED wants to see, they can explain what they are doing and why.

Finally, OFSTED wants to see students who are proud of their achievements. I’ll use an example from this summer’s holiday skate club. Picture this, a boy who had spent most of the session terrified, rolling around, both feet on the board shouting, ‘I’m doing it! I’m doing it!’ with an enormous grin on his face.