Everyone benefits from lesson observation. It is a potent way for teachers to find out what they are doing well and what they could improve. Almost as importantly, observers can learn a great deal about their own practice from watching other people teach and students learn.
It is our practice that formal lesson observations should be followed up in writing. A discussion will take place as well. As the above example suggests, the object of any observation is:
- To support;
- To notice and remark on positive aspects of the lesson;
- To analyse closely the learning taking place;
- To suggest ways in which teaching and learning could improve to enhance the progress of pupils.
Every member of staff can expect to be formally observed twice each year. One will be by the Head of Department and the other by a member of the Senior Management Team. We have replaced the third formal observation with an ungraded observation to be arranged by agreement with the Deputy Head for Teaching and Learning.
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 perform. There is a great fund of expertise within the school on all aspects of the craft of teaching; it is fairly 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)