BlueSky Learning Presents: Instructional Coaching in theory and practice with Jon Hutchinson

Instructional Coaching is an approach to teacher development based on defining on small steps to incrementally improve performance in the classroom. This session will set out the principles of effective professional development, as set out by the Educational Endowment Foundation, and how instructional coaching utilises each of the key mechanisms suggested within it.

We’ll then explore some practical examples of how you can drop in to a lesson with purpose, provide clarity around the action step, and set up an effective deliberate practice session based on shared goals and success criteria.

This session will be useful for anyone involved in Professional Learning and Development in schools, instructional coaches, senior leaders and middle leaders.

Key takeaways:

  • To understand the active ingredients of instructional coaching
  • To have a clear plan for how to drop into a lesson and gather data on teaching and learning.
  • To use a clear framework to structure preparation for a deliberate practice session.
Instructional Coaching

Jon Hutchinson is Director of Training and Development at the Reach Foundation, which supports schools and MATs to develop cradle to career approaches. Since 2015, Jon has been an instructional coach and was a Visiting Fellow with Ambition Institute, working as a tutor on the Master’s in Expert Teaching degree programme. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Jon led the primary humanities curriculum for Oak National Academy. He has acted as an expert adviser to the DfE, including as a member of the core group which developed the Early Career Framework.

Over the last few years instructional coaching has gained popularity in a huge number of schools. The general approach to coaching is now pretty well known, at least in theory: every week or two a coach drops into a teacher’s lesson for around 15 minutes, they then give the teacher an ‘action step’, and finally they practise together how they will implement this new approach. However, it can be devilishly difficult to get the action step right. In this blog, Jon explains how to identify, frame and articulate a great action step.

Jon’s module for BlueSky Learning ‘An Introduction to Instructional Coaching’ is available now.

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