Peer Observation Fortnight

Peer Observation Fortnight

Every February we now run a two week peer observation for all staff to be involved in if they wish. We ask staff what year group they would like to observe and what they would like to focus on. For example, they may request a Year 9 lesson with a focus on differentiation. I then approach members of staff to ask if they wouldn’t mind being observed. We try to ensure we use free periods so there are no cover implication. In it's first year we had 32 members of staff taking part and last year we had over 40. This year we had over 20. I was delighted with this number of staff given that the programme is  now running alongside Department Reviews and Learning Reviews, both of which allow further observations of lessons. It is amazing to have all these opportunities to be able to share great teaching.

Below are some of the staff comments over the past few years.

“It was certainly worthwhile. It made me think about a few things, particularly teaching rhythm and the time allocated to tasks in class.”

“I always think it’s a good idea, good to have the opportunity to see what's going on in other depts.”

“Thank you for letting me watch your lesson. I thought it was awesome and gave me some great pointers with my 6th form classes.”

“Loved the timed discussions. I do that but probably allow too much time. I liked the intensity, so there was no time for idle chatter. Very effective.”

“I also liked the visualising aide memoire. That could prove to be very powerful.”

“I wasn’t so sure of the blindfolded writing/drawing, but liked the way it got them to think about it and memorise it. “

“XXXXXX’s lesson that I observed was excellent, all the boys totally involved, none of them had time to get bored because the activities all followed one after the other, and some of them involved moving around the classroom so they weren’t just sitting in one place all the time. “

“I have been meaning to email you to express my thanks for the opportunity to observe Anton Machacek's lesson yesterday. It was an excellent example of how to set high expectations and encourage ambition in 6th Form teaching. Anton's respect for his pupils and his wealth of knowledge on the subject served to create a learning environment which was truly inspirational. I particularly liked the emphasis he had on pupil participation which I feel is severely lacking in my own A-Level teaching. Once again thanks to you and Anton for an excellent opportunity. I can now confidently engage my wife in conversation about the compound and photoelectric effects of x-ray energy!”

“I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed watching Dan teach. It has given me a number of key points to think about, things that I could immediately do better in my lessons, and so it was well, well worth it. If there is any chance to do more observation, I would love to do it. So thank you very much for the opportunity, and thanks to Dan for allowing me in to his lesson.”

“Just a line to say thank you for the opportunity to do a peer observation. I really enjoyed the Latin lesson. The boys had a task that they picked a level to work at depending on their answers to a self-assessment grid they filled in prior to that. I liked the idea that the boys can pick according to their own assessment. It was also interesting to observe the boys in another lesson and has given me a new found respect for their adaptability! They have to go straight from Maths to another subject so quickly.”

“Thank you very much for letting me observe your lesson on Monday. I loved the stopwatch idea for mark a minute. I shall certainly try that idea in my lessons. It was a very productive lesson for the boys as well as enjoyable lesson. It s very helpful to view a different subject being taught.”

“Observing Paul's year 9 English group was a really good opportunity to observe Q&A's along with group and paired discussions, as having discussed this as my focus in advance, Paul very kindly made sure he planned these tasks into his lesson. It was beneficial for me in understanding how I can maintain group discussion through the use of open questions, to keep challenging the boys, and to think about how I can continue to improve my questioning.”

“As promised, just a little message to let you know how helpful my peer observation was. It was great to see the boys in a different environment and to watch Sam keep them so focussed. She did some nifty self-selecting differentiation at the end too which can easily be transferred to a language lesson so am going to give it a go at some point.”

“Thanks for organising for me to observe Ruth's Y13 lesson last week. It was great to see the year 13s engaging with literary criticism and applying it to a variety of sources. It has given me a few ideas for encouraging my Latin set to engage with secondary literature and to apply it to their set texts. It honestly made me jealous, too - wish I was a student again!”

“I really enjoyed the peer observation. I had Tom Hollyer come in and observe a lesson and the feeling was completely different to that of a department observation. That seems obvious but there was such a focus (for me) on making Tom realise why English is fun and getting the boys into Literature that I forgot about lots of other things which I really stress about. Put me in a right good mood for the rest of the day and I think he enjoyed the lesson too. The kids reacted differently too because he was so unobtrusive. They knew they didn't have to 'perform' and therefore the lesson was far more natural and enjoyable!”

“It was really useful to see you run the market game, and I really liked your starter activity. I will definitely use that.”

“Thanks for all your hard work with the peer observations. They were really useful - both observing and being observed. ARY was amazing and planned a lesson according to my request which was massively appreciated.”

“Sian’s was excellent and great use of resources. She was great with kids and the boys clearly really liked her lessons. She got loads done in just a single lesson with a hard activity included that asked the boys to summarise the characters in a Shakespeare play. I loved it and will definitely be using the starter activity of sticking words on the board and then defining them.”