Lesson Observation Protocol 2016/17

T. 020 7474 0231




Lesson Observation January 2017 to July 2017



- The principal purpose of lesson observation is the opportunity for professional learning that develops and improves our pedagogy

- We want to develop a culture of improving our pedagogy, through observation and dialogue with each other

- Learning is most effective when there is ownership, engagement and the opportunity to reflect, implement and reflect again on learning

- As a school the Headteacher also has a responsibility to monitor teaching and report to Governors, the LA and other bodies on the quality of teaching across the school. To do this, evidence is triangulated from a number of sources, one of which is seeing teachers teaching and their pupils learning

- To improve teaching we need to ensure Heads of Department are central to the development of pedagogy and teachers in their subject areas

- Lesson observation is only one aspect that informs a departmental and whole school judgement on the quality of teaching

Evidence to inform the quality of teaching

Lesson visits/observations

Whole school and class data progress/trends

Work scrutiny

Pupil voice

Teacher voice

LM conversations



- The school will no longer use grading of observations as these do not support our professional learning model

- Developing a culture of confidence in seeing one another teach to develop practice takes time. The model for the rest of this year and subsequent changes will lead us to developing this culture

- A teacher being placed on capability is a very rare thing within this school. Unless you have had a meeting with the Headteacher in which you are told you are on informal or formal capability, no lesson observations that take place will be used as part of a capability process

- Appraisal includes a teacher development target and so there is clearly a link between appraisal and teaching. However it is clearly stated in the Pay and Conditions document that unless a teacher is part of a formal process with the Headteacher, lesson observations cannot be used to prevent progress up the main scale. Pay Policy 3.1: Reviews will be deemed to be successful unless significant concerns about standards of performance have been raised in writing with the teacher during the annual appraisal cycle and have not been sufficiently addressed through support provided by the school and recorded in the appraisal statement by the conclusion of that process.

- The Headteacher’s decision regarding threshold and other salary increments which are based on Appraisal take in to account all targets, but the numerical pupil progress target is the one that is most comparable across all teachers.



Protocols for all Cumberland formal observations


- Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

- No lesson plans

- No grades

- All teachers will be given 5 days’ notice and informed of the focus of observations

- All observations will be followed by the opportunity to reflect so that professional learning can take place.

- All 3 observations are both developmental for teachers and departments and form part of the evidence base for assessing the quality of teaching across the school

- All observations will use the school observation blue form and will be centrally collated by HOD and/or LG to inform CPD next steps for teachers, departments and the school as a whole

- The observation forms will provide part of the evidence base, along with data analysis, written feedback/marking monitoring and ‘voice’  on the quality of teaching and learning within the school

- Line management observation took place in the Autumn term, HOD subject review observation will take place in the Spring term, Lines of Enquiry will take place once per half term. Therefore maximum observations for anyone is 2 in a half term, but this could only happen once in the year.



In practise for this year:


1) 1 x 45 minute observation LM (Autumn term ) – this observation has already taken place this academic year which helped to inform the discussion each teacher had with their LM about their teaching target for their Teacher Appraisal.


2) 1 x 30 minute subject review observation led by the HOD (large departments might involve 2ic’s). The written feedback from these observations to be collated by HOD and submitted centrally.  HODs will select specific observation focus (informed by their department SEF, RAP and teachers TA teaching target). These observations will, in conjunction with other assessment information (data, work scrutiny, pupil voice) be used by the department to identify subject teaching development areas and strengths and therefore CPD. Conversations with teachers as part of this will be developmental and support their professional learning.


3) 6 x lines of enquiry observations (30 minutes long).  These observations will be led by Leadership. Teachers will only be seen once during the course of these observations. This year, 2 x line of enquiry observations will take place January 17- July 2017 (termly) this year.  Lines of enquiry might focus on a specific year group or a strand like literacy across the curriculum, or boys. This focus would be shared with teachers in advance. The same protocols for LoE apply as for other observations.





• Staff new to the school (will be observed in the first half term)

• NQTs will need to have 6 graded/ ungraded observations to be confirmed

• July 16 data to inform support / monitoring for existing staff

• Subject review- if a subject is placed on action plan as a result of Summer 16 outcomes

• Teachers causing concern will be subject to increased monitoring.  If there is a concern raised from one of the 3 lesson observations, data and written feedback a teacher provides will be reviewed before support is offered in the first instance.  No teacher will be subject to increased monitoring without being informed by the head teacher.



Lesson observation schedule for the rest of this year- January 17 – July 17


Protocol - 5 day’s notice, half an hour observation (section of lesson to be visited specified), verbal feedback given (slot organised within 24 hours of observation)

written feedback/ EF completed within 5 days (copy given to teacher, HOD & Ky). No grading.



  • Cycle 1 Fortnight beginning 30th January - LG complete Line of Enquiry observation. Focus “High Expectations”, year groups to be observed 7&8.


  • Cycle 2 Fortnight beginning 20th March 6th March - HOD observations:  , 30 minute observation no grade. HOD obs focus to be informed by their subject review/ RAP/ SEF  possible focus Y10 new GCSE)


  • Cycle 3 Fortnight beginning 15th May - LG line of enquiry focus Yr 10 informed by RAP  Leadership 30 minute observation no grade (only teachers who were not observed in the first LofE in the Spring term)



‘Drop in Question & Answer opportunity’ for HODs re observations with DHT (L&T) on Wednesday 15th March after school.



Feedback opportunities

The review of the lesson observation model needs to be completed by the end of Summer 1 so that there is plenty of time to inform any revisions for September 2017.



Therefore opportunities for feedback are scheduled to take place up until then (please see below)

  • dropping in to one of the drop in sessions with the HT or DHT (times and days below),
  • emailing DHT (T&L) or by using the feedback box in Leadership PA’s office.



Drop in/ feedback options


Tuesday 28th March,18th April & 16th May                8.00am- 8.30am                 Drop in opportunity, Head’s office

                                                                                                                                       with HT

Wednesday 29th March, 19th April & 17th May         3.30pm to 4.30pm             Drop in opportunity in F89 with


Thursday 30th March, 19th April & 18th May             8.00am to 8.30am              Drop in opportunity in F89 with

                                                                                                                                        DHT and HT in Head’s office

Thursday 30th March, 18th May                                   3.00pm to 4.00pm             Drop in opportunity in F89 with

                                                                                                                                        DHT and HT in Head’s office


From 6th March until 20th May                                       ‘Feedback’ box in Sandra’s office, LG PA.

Week ending 20th May 2017                                            Collation of feedback to inform next step.



Sharing Practice Weeks


In addition to the above, there will be ‘subject sharing practice weeks’, one in the first half of the Summer term and one in the second half Summer term, which will replace the current Sharing Practice weeks. HODs will be able to shape these within their teams.  During the week all teachers within a subject will visit other teachers in their department to share and develop knowledge about teaching. HODs will be part of developing this i.e. duration, protocols. The learning taken from these visits will be fed back into the department to further explore and develop teaching.  It will also support HODs evaluation of the quality of teaching, the department’s strengths and its areas of focus, in their termly report. These reports will make no reference to individual teachers.



Sharing Practice Week


Sharing Practice Week is calendared to take place the second week back after Easter.  Week beginning 24th April 2017 which is a “Week 2”.


The aim of the week to enable all teachers to visit at least one other teacher in their department, in a bid to share practice and expertise across the team and support professional development learning (PDL) and discussion.  Some of the PDL opportunities created through SPW are:


• it provides teachers with the opportunity to see how other practitioners’ teach and learn from each other

• enables sharing/ seeing how a particular aspect of subject content is delivered and the teaching strategies used.

• facilitates opportunity to share strategies other teachers in your team use to facilitate/ develop “positive learning behaviours”.

• the potential to expand teachers own pedagogy and practice.

• gives departments the opportunity to share and develop resources and/or ideas: for starters/ plenaries/ questioning/ stretching higher ability pupils / encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their learning / other.



In larger departments it may be that that teams are divided into triads to make the carousel more straightforward but you will discuss/ organise this at your department meeting on Monday 20th March (as the Monday after is Middle Leaders and then it is the Easter holidays!).



Protocol for visits during “sharing practice” week


As this is the first time we have run “sharing practice” week in departments we have pulled together an outline of “do’s and don’ts” for people who  visit others’ lessons  to ensure that the pupil learning taking place is not compromised or hindered.  No lesson plans are required and no observation forms/ notes should be written during the course of the visit.  Please also be sure to turn mobiles off if you have them with you!


• Sign up to visit and be visited in at least one lesson

• Put the date and time in your calendar and send an email to remind the teacher of the lesson you will be visiting.

• No visits should be “impromptu”

• When you sign up to visit a lesson please check how many “visitors” are already intending to go to that room.  There should be no more than 3 in a mainstream lesson and 2 in a nurture/ SEND lesson.

• Make sure that you arrive to the lesson at the time agreed and that you stay for 20-30mins

• No matter how engaging the lesson is, don’t intervene /distract the teacher or talk to other adults in the room whilst they are teaching (fellow observers/ AOTTs).

• Please do look at pupils work at opportune moments if you want to, but try not to interrupt / distract them from what they are doing- help them if appropriate!

• Do speak to the teacher after the lesson and feedback anything you feel they would find helpful.

• Be ready to share the strategies/ positive aspects of lessons you visited at the beginning of the next

        department meeting (4th May 2017)



Feedback from SPW will be used solely to inform subject development / improvement and professional development learning and will not be centrally monitored or collated in anyway.  Information from observations will not inform Teacher Appraisal or monitoring of any kind.  If you have any questions please speak to either your line manager or Christina.





Cumberland School

Oban Close, London, E13 8SJ



T. 020 7474 0231

F. 020 7511 2510




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