Everyone benefits from lesson observation. It is a useful way for teachers to find out what they are doing well and what they could improve. Importantly, observers can learn a great deal about their own practice from watching other people teach and pupils learn.
At NTS we have developed a tiered approach to lesson observation. Staff new to the profession (ECTs) are on ‘stage 1’ for the first two years of their career and can expect to receive at least three formal lesson observations by their Head of Department, Induction Tutor and Induction Mentor plus a final observation from the Headmaster. Any staff who are new to the school or have been teaching for less than 3 years are automatically on ‘stage 2’. This involves two formal graded lesson observations (one hour each) with full written feedback and a discussion. These observations are carried out by Heads of Department and members of SMT. All other staff who have demonstrated the ability to consistently teach 3 consecutive ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ lessons qualify for ‘stage 3’, a lighter touch developmental lesson observation. All teachers on ‘stage 3’ will receive one SMT monitoring visit during the academic year which will last for approximately 30 minutes and receive brief written feedback but most importantly, engage in a post-lesson developmental discussion. As part of their CPD, teachers on this stage are also expected to undertake at least one peer-to-peer lesson observation each year with a colleague from their department.
A number of more informal observations also take place. As mentioned at the top of this page, observers can learn a great deal from watching other people teach. There is a wealth of expertise with the school on all aspects of the craft of teaching; it is commonplace for staff to be asked if they can be observed by other colleagues, possibly from different departments, if there is a particular aspect of pedagogy that someone wishes to learn about. (See NTS INSET and Professional Development Room)