Applying Ofsted's lesson observation criteria to Dovetail Flight School | PCGamesN

Applying Ofsted's lesson observation criteria to Dovetail Flight School

Dovetail Flight School Ofsted

Flight sims are renowned for their obtuse controls and inaccessibility, negative traits the forthcoming Dovetail Flight School attempts to assuage with a run of missions that aim to teach players the fundamentals of pretend flying around. Who better to properly assess the quality of this fictional flight school than those all-powerful adjudicators who sit at the back of primary school classes marking things on clipboards, Ofsted? I’ll be using their rigorous lesson observation criteria while I sit in on a series of lessons at Dovetail Flight School - School, geddit? - in an effort to determine whether or not Dovetail’s brand of digital education will fly in the British education system. Or something.

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Positive, purposeful atmosphere - Outstanding

Dovetail Flight School smile

Every lesson begins with a clear outline of the learning objectives and the instructor is always ready to provide constructive criticism, even in the midst of a nosedive. Smiles are worn by instructors at all times.

Key vocabulary displayed and used - Good

Dovetail Flight School controls

Trim, VOR’s, ailerons, ATC, P-factor, flaps and of course: forward stick pressure. These are words Dovetail Flight School’s instructors employ freely. If you’re unsure of their meaning then flying just isn’t for you and you should immediately go and do something else with your day.

Learning objectives - Good

Dovetail Flight School lesson objective

Objectives are clearly labelled and can be reviewed at any point. Any student who fails to complete an objective must retake the lesson repeatedly until they are able to complete it: failures are not worthy of assessment or reflection.

Success celebrated - Good

Dovetail Flight School complete

Instructors are quick to offer praise to pupils upon completing a task, always offering a heartfelt “Congratulations: you passed the lesson”. Students even earn a special green badge for success in lessons - it’s got a star on it and everything.

Pupils make good progress - Inadequate

Dovetail Flight School lessons

After several hours and numerous near-fatal errors, no pupil has managed to figure out how to trim their aircraft, or what trimming even is. Similarly, while all students were able to take off with ease, landing remains problematic for some.

Teacher works with a focus group - Outstanding

Dovetail Flight School instructor 
One-to-one learning is practiced at all times at Dovetail Flight School.

Independence encouraged - Inadequate

Dovetail Flight School london

Straying from the instructor’s lesson plan, however creative, is not allowed at Dovetail Flight School. Students who attempt to take off without using the runway, perform unscheduled aerial acrobatics, ignore instructions from the control tower or seek out local landmarks like London's Canary Wharf will fail immediately.

Pupils carry out self assessment - Satisfactory

Dovetail Flight School failed

Self-assessment is the only means of progress at Dovetail Flight School. Students who cannot figure out where they went wrong should pursue other careers or hobbies.


After a mere day spent observing classes at Dovetail’s White Waltham Airfield we witnessed a staggering number of student/teacher fatalities; a factor not listed in our own criteria but something we feel we should point out to prospective students regardless. Students at Dovetail Flight School seemed positive and upbeat about their education, no doubt a result of the outstanding level of involvement pupils had at all stages of their learning. We would also like to congratulate Dovetail Flight School for maintaining impeccable levels of cleanliness throughout their entire fleet of light aircraft - not a single “I h8 skool” carving was found all day. 

Dovetail Flight School teacher

A special mention should also be made for the endless enthusiasm exhibited by Dovetail staff at all times.

Dovetail Flight School is landing - see what we did there? - on PC on May 24, 2016.

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JohnMiles avatar
JohnMiles Avatar
1 Year ago

>> "Flight sims are renowned for their obtuse controls and inaccessibility"

I disagree. People should you use the virtual cockpit of a flight simulator, then they're controlling the plane like they would do in real life. So you don't have to memorize all kind of hotkeys, instead you just turn switches, dials, push buttons and use a simple yoke, joystick or gamepad to control things like rudder, flaps, aileron and elevator.

I've done many flights in FSX during which I didn't touch a single button on the keyboard and mind you, these are flights that include a cold start, communication with air traffic control, control of the plane (including FMC/autopilot), landing, fueling, you name it. All I use is a mouse and gamepad without ever using a single shortcut or opening the menu.

I'm serious, it's really not that hard, the only hard part is to figure out how to use a cockpit. Watch the Youtube video "RealAir Turbine Duke V2 - tutorial with startup", it just shows how easy it us to control a plane. You confuse the difficulty of flying with game controls.

You also don't seem to understand what this product is all about. Their main goal was not develop an easier to use flight simulator, no it's all about schooling, teaching people how to fly, hence the reason they call it "Flight School".