Author Blog

When Ruby met Ofsted

When Ruby met Ofsted

Ofsted's new emphasis on intent, implementation and impact provides an opportunity for schools to be explicit about the value of Ruby's 7Cs

It’s four years and many reprints since we published Educating Ruby. The world is moving on in many ways with national curricula increasingly, according to the Brookings Institution, incorporating some or all of Ruby’s 7Cs. PISA 2021 will even test one of these Cs, creativity (creative thinking) in 2021.

In England a surprise opportunity has arisen with our accountability body, Ofsted, requiring schools to focus more on offering a breadth of curriculum and describe their Intent, Implementation and Impact of what they plan.

Helen Martin, headteacher of Graffham and Duncton Schools in West Sussex, has developed an engaging and imaginative graphic to express her Intent to build a curriculum around the 7Cs as the attached image shows. The inner ring shows Ruby’s 7Cs and the outer describes the vision within which these are cultivated - learning rigour, high aspirations and cultural capital, courageous advocacy, children as global climate ambassadors, Leadership as child level and child-led.

And if schools are looking for ideas as to how they might track the development of Ruby’s important dispositions, then here are some ideas Ellen Spencer and I have developed in Teaching Creative Thinking.


Real-time feedback


Self-report questionnaires


Peer review

Group critique




Criterion-referenced grading

Rating of products and processes

Structured interviews

Performance tasks

Capstone projects


Expert reviews

Gallery critique

Authentic tests, e.g. displays, presentations, interviews, podcasts, films



Reliable, validated online tests

Digital badges