I’ve not known many people who relish those cycles of observations that schools have every term. As a Middle Leader, it is your job to try and demystify the process and create a non confrontational environment that promotes learning and development. You obviously need to observe your staff to know their strengths and weaknesses, and hopefully improve your department’s teaching (and learning). Ofsted will surely ask where they can see very good teaching in your area. But instead of telling your staff you are popping in, or doing an observation for a particular purpose (say, to look at assessment), why not ask them to come and observe you first. You’ll get some useful feedback (hopefully) but it also creates an opportunity to reciprocate. By role modelling the process, you disarm your staff through a ‘carrot approach’, rather than creating a coercive culture which makes people nervous, and therefore less effective.