Session title: Transformational lesson observation

Helping observers to judge impact rather than audit content


Full- or half-day session.

Information for event organisers

The effectiveness of a lesson observation system should be judged by just one indicator: the extent to which it has improved the impact of teaching on the quality of learning. All too often, however, the quality of the observation system is simply linked to any observable trends in the annual profile of lesson observation grades – data which, when challenged, most managers agree is fundamentally flawed.

So how do you judge the impact of a lesson observation system? Or perhaps more importantly, how clearly have you articulated the impact you intend your system to have?

In this session, delegates go back to first base and careful define the components of their observation system and the precise impact they want it to have. They create a ‘rubric’ for an outstanding lesson that enables observers to articulate the impact a teacher has on learning, rather than the often meaningless audit of teacher and learner activities. With these essential fundamentals in place, delegates then consider any implications for how teachers should prepare for an observation, how observers should conduct themselves, and how best to structure an evaluation conversation to produce the impacts required. The session also includes observation practice*, a writing critique, and an examination of model observation text.

* Filmed lessons can be tailored to either a college or work-based audience.

Every system has an impact. Do you know the impact your system is having? Is it the impact you want?

Publicity information for potential delegates

Observing other teachers at work is a privilege, but all too often observers are regarded publicly or privately as judge and jury. For many teachers, observations are at best to be tolerated and at worst feared, but what is it about some systems that promotes these feelings, and are they indicators that the system may not be achieving its objectives?

In this session, we will examine each step of the observation system then define exactly what it is we want the process to achieve. We’ll look at the criteria for evaluating an outstanding lesson and then consider any implications this might have for your own observation system. For many providers it is the system itself that denies the impact they seek. Is your system fit for purpose?

This session will enable delegates to:

  • detail the components of an effective observation system
  • define the intended impact of an observation system
  • produce a rubric with which to judge a lesson
  • use their understanding of how an observer’s actions can undermine their system’s objectives, and, where necessary, adjust their approach as a result
  • use discussions on the legacy of an effective system to question, challenge and design an alternative
  • use the ‘rubric for an outstanding lesson’ to judge the quality of teaching and learning
  • write impact-focused observation text.

What the delegates say

  • ‘I felt like a rocket launching into space.’  Northern Regional College
  • ‘The cage door is open.’  Birmingham Metropolitan College
  • ‘This helped immediately calm my concerns about observing lessons.’  Nescot
  • ‘(We need a) cultural shift to support move to outstanding.’  Grimsby Institute
  • ‘I will approach giving feedback to staff in a whole new light.’  Hertford Regional College
  • ‘I’ve been observing for many years and have been involved in double observations as part of Ofsted inspections. Having a significant rethink now re my impact judgements.’  North Hertfordshire College

Have a look at what other providers said about this training. Click here, then ‘Filter by session’, and select the title for an overview of providers’ feedback. You may then wish to ‘Filter by provider’ to see further details of the impact it has had on individual staff. These comments can be invaluable when generating curiosity about forthcoming training.


Full- or half-day session.


To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.