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Plaistow Primary School

Continuing Professional Development

At Plaistow Primary School, we ensure that every adult who interacts with children sees themselves as a leader of learning. We aim to make every conversation we have to be centred around children’s learning outcomes.

To do this effectively we prioritise the professional development of our staff team, supporting and empowering them to make the very best possible decisions to positivity impact pupil learning.

In his work ‘The Thinking School’ Kulvarn Atwal discusses the development of the quality of self-reflection and evidence-based thinking that directly informs a practitioner’s decision making (Atwal, 2019).

We plan and implement our staff professional development with care.  We take into account the context and needs of our school and ensure our CPD links with our improvement priorities.  

We follow the Education Endowment Foundation's recommendations that CPD focuses on the following mechanisms:

  • building teacher knowledge
  • motivating practitioners
  • developing teaching techniques
  • embedding practice


One form of our career professional development cycle is rooted in Lesson Study.

What is Lesson Study?

Lesson Study is a model of teacher-led action research in which a group of teachers work together to improve an identified area for development in children’s learning.

There is strong evidence supporting the benefits of Lesson Study and as powerful tool to help teachers examine their practices and enhance pupil learning (Does Lesson Study Work? Wai Ming Cheung, 2014).


Lesson Study follows the following structure:

Set Goals: Identify the focus of the cycle and research ways of improving practice

Plan: Teaching triads plan a lesson or sequence of learning together linked to the focus for improvement/ research area

Implement: The lesson is taught by one practitioner with the others observing

Debrief: Practitioners engage in a dialogue about the strengths and next steps of the learning observed.