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British Schools in the Middle East Teaching and Learning network

Observations and other quality assurance activities

There are numerous activities that help to support Teaching and Learning, and they can all be supported through BlueSky.

Observations, Learning Walks, Learning Visits, Deep Dives, Shallow Paddles, Book Looks, Work Scrutinies, Evaluation… the list goes on.

Through managing these processes in BlueSky, leaders are able to extract information quickly to ascertain areas of need and development, on an individual, group and whole school basis. This can help to evaluate performance and effectiveness of professional development as well as inform CPD provision mapping and offering in future.

Last year we conducted research into how the practice of observation and monitoring in the classroom is changing. The results of the research are found in our Fact File, available to download here: BlueSky Fact File – The Changing Shape of Lesson Observations in Schools

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In order to support schools better and continuously develop our platforms in line with sector practice we regularly conduct research.

Last year we investigated how the practice of observation and monitoring in the classroom is changing. The results of the research are found in our Fact File, available to download here: BlueSky Fact File – The Changing Shape of Lesson Observations in Schools

Here are just two examples of how other schools in the Middle East have trusted BlueSky to bring their processes together in one place, with easy access and information data to align their practice with their strategic aims.

The Emirates International School – Meadows

Andrew Williams, Head of High School said, “BlueSky is used right across the school for every lesson observation, all performance management and professional development, as well as providing space for staff to record their views and reflections.”

The school wanted to make lesson observations an even more positive experience for colleagues. “Morale is important, and we ensured that throughout the observation process good practice was celebrated whilst areas of development were acknowledged and bespoke support was implemented,” said Andrew.

The school plans to raise standards of teaching and learning in all subjects by making good use of lesson observations, helping staff to reflect on their strengths and areas for development whilst devising a programme of relevant and timely professional development.

As a result, the quality of lessons is better than this time last year. Staff constantly look back at the results of previous observations, reflect on areas for development and check to see if they have addressed them in their planning.


“We can provide feedback very quickly after lesson observation. Whereas in the past I would have been entering data into spreadsheet and then making comparisons, the system does it all and the Head of Department can discuss the evidence with the member of staff almost immediately.”

GEMS Wellington Oasis, Dubai

“It helps us to be consistent in our systems and processes across the academy. For example, because all policies, documents and feedback are stored on BlueSky, it enables us to have a uniform approach to target-setting and monitoring performance because we can look across whole cohorts and groups at a glance. It also means objectives for staff and teams can be clearly linked to the school development plan and to the UAE teaching standards. This all then feeds into the termly appraisals between the teacher and their professional coach to guide development.”

BlueSky’s flexibility means the academy has been able to tailor the functions to suit its needs and its existing culture and practice, as well as introduce more transparency into the reporting process. “I like the fact that different staff can access different forms, which has helped encourage our ‘open door observation’ culture. We have also adapted our learning walks form and uploaded them to BlueSky so that it is much faster to complete and this is encouraging more staff to use it for their walks.”


Want to know more about the BSME network? Get in touch with the team. 

Tamsin Denley

Author: Tamsin Denley,
Head of Marketing and Partnerships

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