TRIADS suggested guidelines

Suggested guidelines for the UCGS triad project in Winter 2013.

TRIAD thinking: UCGS 2013

I thought it might be helpful to outline some suggested guidelines for the TRIAD activity this term:


The key to success in a project like this is reflection – in the car,on your bike, in the bath or wherever you can find a few minutes for self-reflection. Without it there will be little chance of genuine alteration of practice and consequent improvement.
The first part of the reflective process should be based around the area you want to develop. This should be something that your colleagues can see and respond to, rather than an undertaking to improve specific subject knowledge!
Why do you want to work on this area? Has it been suggested by your line manager or are you perceiving it as an area of weakness? Maybe you are simply seeking to develop your practice.
What will success look like for you? How will you recognise any improvement?
Try to keep a journal/blog of your experience through the process. It will be vital for you to be able to assess your progress as the term continues.

Arrange an initial ice-breaking meeting at which you can discuss in general terms your hopes and fears ( we all have them) for the the coming term. Take this time to settle on foci for the observations.
Arrange to visit each others’ classrooms – 2 observers to 1 teacher each time. I know this will be difficult to achieve and that we have little enough “free time”, but aim for this to happen in the first couple of weeks of term. Remember that the focus has been defined before the lessons.
The next meeting should be a feedback meeting at which the observers should share their thoughts and suggestions. It may well be that further follow up observations can be arranged at this point, or that it is felt more useful to have a period of reflection and implementation. Whatever happens, please try to keep in touch to support each other through this phase.
A second series of observations should be arranged in the run up to half term.
Aim for meetings to be informal, but focused. I suggest that you make use of time before school or at the end of the day. This should all count towards CPD hours.

No one likes critical feedback, but it may well be vital…
Don’t patronise and try to avoid the “but” framework: “that was really exciting, BUT…”
I suggest that the observed colleague offers comment about the lesson as a means of introducing discussion.
Once the observers are offering thoughts, it can be a good idea to form questions which ensure discussion and reflection rather than offering the “I would…” or “you did XYZ which didn’t work” form of feedback.
Try to encourage the observed colleague to really understand why they were acting in a certain way and to consider the possible impact of alteration of practice.
Work through any issues so that the Triad remains united at the end of the meeting.
Do not end until some form of action plan has been considered.
At the end of the meeting, all 3 members should write a brief reflection on the process. This can be written as a blog or simply in a word document which can be sent to me. There documents will be vital in ascertaining the effect of the process and should be honest and frank!

You might like to use these proforma grids in your observations – Note the absence of OFSTED/UCGS criteria. This is not a judgemental process but one offering support towards personal development.

triad observation sheet