Mentor Training Support Pages
You are here >> Mentoring Home >> Unit 2
Unit 2 - Observation of, and feedback to, students

Aims to underline the purpose of carrying out focused observations – i.e. to raise questions for the trainee which will encourage them to discuss their teaching and the students’ learning in a way which encourages the trainee to analyse their practice critically. It should also emphasise the importance of effective dialogue which can provide opportunities to raise the awareness of all professionals on how to improve their practice.

This unit will also explore effective communication exploring the essential skill of communication in more depth. Communication helps us better understand a person or situation and enables us to resolve differences, build trust and respect, and create environments where creative ideas and problem solving can thrive.

This will also include looking at the trainees portfolio aims to give mentors the chance to explore what kinds of evidence their trainees should be collecting to provide evidence against the Q standards – starting them as early as possible, guiding them towards quality rather than quantity and preventing vast amounts of photocopying. This will include ways of using technology to do so.

When undertaking observations you should reflect upon:
  • What models of of observation do you use?
  • Should observations be formal and/or informal - what does this mean?
  • Who should be observing?
  • What can (or should) be recorded?
  • Should I observe 'everything' or just 'somethings'? (what should I focus on?)

When feeding back to the student you should reflect upon:

  • How do you communicating with the student - tone / language and modelling practice
  • Is what you are saying what they are hearing? (

  • When should I feedback?
  • Ways of communicating with the student - orally (when), written (including electronic), formal / informal
  • The nature and structure of the lesson / session observation and when feedback takes place

  • The student's evidence portfolio - what should be in this and how should they keep it?


  • Analysis of video snippets,
  • Production of an observation feedback form,
  • Analysis of an existing observation form,
  • Look at forms of evidence and where they will fit into the evidence files,
  • Exploration of some technology for gathering evidence.

M level assessment

Core Q: What are the elements of, and process of, good feedback?

Support Resources

Trainee Teacher Feedback
Teachers TV: How I Use Teachers TV - Group Mentoring for Trainees

Wider Literature

  • Mullen, C, A. (Ed) (2009) Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning.Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group
  • O'Leary, M (2014) Classroom Observation: A guide to the effective observation of teaching and learning. London: Routledge.
  • Pask, R. & Joy, B. (2007) Mentoring-Coaching: A Handbook for Education Professionals. Buckingham: Open University Press
  • Robins, A. (ed.) (2006) Mentoring in the Early Years. London: Paul Chapman
  • Tomlinson, P. (2001) Understanding Mentoring: Reflective Strategies for School-based Teacher Preparation. Buckingham: Open University Press
  • Wright, T (2010) How to be a brilliant mentor, London: Routledge
Questions? Contact the office on 01482 466698 or
Unit_4Unit_3Unit_2 Unit_1