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  • Bradley Grice

Teacher Coaching – Using video analysis to improve teaching and learning in schools

In December 2019, we attended a seminar at the highly rated Torquay Academy with Vice Principal, Harrison Littler. The seminar invited teachers from schools across the South West to learn more about the processes that Harrison has introduced when it comes to teacher coaching; specifically the use of video analysis.

Harrison began by underpinning the very essence of coaching with references to Matthew Syed and his book ‘Black Box Thinking’. Harrison drew the analogy of a golf driving range when adjusting technique as an example of deliberate practice and trial and error.

He continued with Syed’s comparisons to chess players and nursing:

The intuitions of nurses and chess players are constantly checked and challenged by their errors. They are forced to adapt, to improve, to restructure their judgement. This is a hallmark of what is called deliberate practice. Matthew Syed, Black Box Thinking.

In relating this back to the classroom, he described teachers, working alone in classrooms as being like golfers hitting balls on a driving range in the dark. The question then is: how do we illuminate the driving range? How do teachers get feedback on the effectiveness of their practice?

Apart from reviewing assessment data teachers have few and infrequent opportunities to evaluate their efficacy. Harrison sees teacher coaching as a way of ‘filling in the gaps’.

Coaching helps us to break the isolation of the classroom and helps to illuminate our metaphorical driving range. Harrison Littler, Vice Principal, Torquay Academy.

Harrison then revealed the one-to-one teacher coaching structure used at Torquay Academy, as shown in the image below.

Every member of staff is coached each week – around 38 times a year. Thousands of context specific, incremental changes in practice are taking place across the school each year and having a lasting impact. Harrison Littler, Vice Principal, Torquay Academy.

Harrison then went on to answer the big question…

Why does he use video analysis for teacher coaching?

With an insightful section on cognitive bias, Harrison confirmed that the camera will show what actually happened so that the reality can be reviewed, alongside both the teacher’s and coach’s perspectives.

Attendees saw some interviews from Davina Schwarz (Teacher of Maths) and Natalie Jones (Lead Practitioner) about their experiences of video coaching and using Codimg View. We’ve put those together for you to review here:

So, how do coaches at Torquay Academy actually capture the video they use for enhancing their teacher coaching?

Well, it’s an iPad app called Codimg View and it looks like this:

Codimg View will enable you to create and customise a buttons template to register key moments, based on your teaching principles.

Once you have created this, you can start an event, using the iPad camera to film. You then press the appropriate button on the template to clip the key moments that correspond to your teaching principles.

All clips are then ready to review in the teacher coaching session.

When you have finished, you can simply delete from the iPad, or, opt to archive them to the PC software, Codimg. Here, you have further tools to explore such as a timeline, interactive statistical dashboards, presentation tools, drawing tools and even live capture tools if you wanted to use an actual camera, rather than an iPad.

Coaches at Torquay Academy use techniques from Doug Lemov’s ‘Teach Like A Champion’ and have created his template based on a set of Key Perfomance Indicators (KPIs) that relate directly to the model. Here is an example of a template that they use. These can be fully customised to any school’s teaching principles or priorities.

So, back to the seminar.

The best way to learn about video analysis is to go out and capture some video yourself. Attendees split into groups equipped with their iPad and started using the Torquay Academy template live, firstly practising with pre-recorded lessons that were played on-screen and then, live in lessons taking place around the academy.

This allowed the teachers to get hands-on and provoked thoughts on how their own template would look, with some even designing their own templates towards the end of the seminar.

To finish, we then moved on to how Torquay Academy coaches use the video for feedback in the coaching sessions. We saw examples of how coaches use video clips to encourage teachers to reflect on their lesson.

Harrison concluded that whatever approach to coaching and feedback is used in a school, it can be easily adapted to accommodate video analysis to support teacher reflection and the setting of action steps.

The next seminar is taking place on Wednesday 6th May at Torquay Academy. If you are interested in attending, please contact (July 2020 edit) – This wasn’t possible due to the Covid-19 crisis, but check the link below to see an online version we provided instead!

The Codimg View app is free to try, just email who will organise the licence and the support to get you started.

A previous blog detailing more specifics about the Teacher Coaching and video analysis work at Torquay Academy can be read here.

In June 2020, Josh hosted an online webinar with Harrison and teachers from Torquay Academy. By watching this back, you can get further insight to the seminar mentioned above and learn about the video coaching processes used with Codimg!


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