Open Door Week | Epsom College
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Open Door Week

Teachers took part in Open Door Week, a new initiative at the College which involved colleagues dropping into each other’s lessons to pick up strategies which might improve their own teaching practice. Over 90% of staff took part, with 60% of participants seeing three or more lessons throughout the week. They saw colleagues in their own department, in contrasting subjects and in different year groups. Some HMMs took the opportunity to see how their charges learnt in a variety of different lessons.

Here, Oliver Fernie, Director of Innovation and Learning, shares his thoughts on the initiative:

“We have a hugely talented group of teachers at Epsom to learn from and be inspired by and it is easy to forget that when we are all consumed with our daily responsibilities. I strongly believe that watching someone else teach can be one of the most beneficial CPD practices a teacher can do, but often time is a limiting factor in being able to do so. Almost every teacher I speak to would love more of an opportunity to go and watch and learn from their colleagues. By having a specific focus for a week, this enables teachers to prioritise it and get out there, even if it is just for 20 minutes. The feedback from colleagues has been very positive. In light of the positive response from colleagues, we plan on scheduling in more regular Open Door Weeks throughout the academic year.”

Here is just a sample of the teachers’ feedback on Open Door Week:

“I got so much out of the week. I found it useful on so many levels. Observing effective teaching methods and teaching styles, seeing the students in a different context. It was hugely beneficial and inspiring.”

“Every lesson prompted me to think about my own teaching practice in some way. Either things I observed others doing which I thought would be successful for me, or moments which made me reflect on the way I approach a particular part of teaching. I thought having the whole week (rather than a single day) was very helpful.”

“Great to see different subjects and nice to have feedback about my lessons. I saw some really good structured feedback of a block test which I may replicate.”

“After one English lesson I went straight to the Library as it reignited my love of classical literature & poetry. It is a great initiative. So much to be gained from it. Thank you.”

“It was an opportunity to see some excellent questioning employed along with creating high-challenge environment. It also reminded me about my own approach in terms of delivery of content and use of IT to support learning (and teaching).”