Creating a safe space for teacher development

The article discusses how one academy has adopted a low-stakes approach to lesson observations aimed at reducing teacher stress and enhancing the learning experience. Traditional lesson observations can be counterproductive, creating nervousness among teachers and impacting the natural flow of the lesson. The focus is shifted to a more pupil-centered observation, considering how students learn and react to lessons. This involves looking for “small tells” like body language, which can indicate student engagement.


The approach encourages teachers to take an active role in reviewing their lessons, utilising ONVU Learning camera technology. This allows teachers to reflect on their teaching by reviewing footage either alone or with colleagues. For example, a teacher discovered why some students didn’t grasp a complex math problem by reviewing the lesson footage, enabling her to adjust her teaching method.


The article emphasises the importance of support over scrutiny in teaching. Regular informal sessions where teachers discuss challenges, share ideas, and access shared video clips of effective strategies promote a collaborative environment. 


The result is that teachers view lesson observations as an opportunity for professional development rather than a stress-inducing evaluation, fostering a more effective and supportive teaching environment.


To view the article, click the link below and turn to pages 8-9.


Reigniting Teacher Confidence Through Self-Directed CPD

Matt Tiplin, VP Commercial of ONVU Learning, talks about the efficacy of an approach in which leaders relinquish control and let teachers design and deliver their own CPD.


Senior leaders typically set the CPD agenda in response to a requirement that has emerged as a result of factors like the outcomes of external exams or other statutory assessments. It could be that monitoring timelines are agreed at the start of the year, with leaders deciding how they will collate evidence of teacher’s practice. Often lesson observations are the mechanism used.


Matt expresses the anxiety and worry that this method causes in teachers, while also raising concerns about its efficacy and its effects on teacher’s mental health.


He proposes what ONVU Learning customers have come to know as a much more effective approach that also has the dividend of rekindling teacher confidence and delivering better outcomes for pupils too.


See Pages 6-7