Creative Learning Teams

Observation Action Learning

Inspection aspiration (Ofsted CIF, page 39)

  • Staff reflect on and debate the way they teach. They feel deeply involved in their own professional development. Leaders have created a climate in which staff are motivated and trusted to take risks and innovate in ways that are right for their learners.

A Creative Learning Team (CLT) can last for just one day, or continue over a full academic year. CLTs can be as small as two staff, though the ideal number is four. The methodology is similar to a critique session used widely in Arts and medic training, and is designed to promote detailed staff-room conversations about impact: ‘in what way are the learners different by the end of the session?’

Creative Learning Teams are most effective when staff do not feel that they have been ‘selected for development’ as a result of a poor observation. All members of the team should feel that they have something to give and something to gain from the experience. In the early stages, the external CLT leader’s role is to ensure the process is supportive, challenging and transformational. Depending on how the host organisation wants the initiative to progress, over time this can lead to a thorough self assessment of teaching and learning, or even the production of a full teaching and learning Quality Standard.

You may wish to precede the formation of Creative Learning Teams with the Transformational Lesson Observation session; helping staff to understand how to evaluate and articulate learning impact. You may also wish to intersperse a programme of Creative Learning Team days with sessions outlined in this directory, helping staff to intrinsically challenge the way they plan lessons and monitor progress.

A typical programme for a day may look something like this:

Introductions, methodology, ground rules.
Observation of teacher A
Post-observation debate (without teacher A)
Evaluative conversation with teacher A.
Completion of ideas plan and break.

Observation of teacher B
Post-observation debate (without teacher B)
Evaluative conversation with teacher B.
Completion of ideas plan and lunch.

Observation of teacher C
Post-observation debate (without teacher C)
Evaluative conversation with teacher C.
Completion of ideas plan and break.

Observation of teacher D
Post-observation debate (without teacher D)
Evaluative conversation with teacher D.
Completion of ideas plan.

Evaluation of the day and implications for the future.

You may wish to precede the formation of Creative Learning Teams with the HoT Learning session; helping staff to understand the difference between good and outstanding. You may also wish to intersperse a programme of Creative Learning Days with sessions that challenge the way teachers plan and monitor their learners, such as HoT2: techniques for engaging learners, Data Springboard, or any of the specific Teaching and Learning sessions.

This session will enable delegates to:

  • set out 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 the ‘rubric for an outstanding lesson’ to judge the quality of teaching and learning
  • write impact-focused observation text
  • run a transformational evaluative conversation with an observee.

What the delegates say

  • For an overview of feedback on this session, please click here.

These comments can be invaluable when generating curiosity about forthcoming training.


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

Further observation services: