Four points to consider when planning
Key point 1
long term balance of skills and concepts. At the long term planning stage you must plot where you will be developing the key concepts and skills. Not all topics lend themselves to developing the same ideas so someone needs to make informed choices at a whole-key stage level. This will then help you to determine progression within each concept because you know the context in which it will be taking place (see progression section for details). It will also help with assessment, so this needs to be inked in at the long term planning stage.
Key point 2
Medium term planning is the centre-piece. For each medium term plan there needs to be key questions which drive the topic and give it its emphasis. These questions need to have their own learning objectives which have been carefully pitched using your knowledge of progression. As there are particular activities that help children reach the objectives, these should be identified and staff encouraged to use them. The resources for these activities need to be made available. So overall, the medium term plan should be strong enough to inform most teachers’ lessons, making the need for lengthy short-term plans redundant.
Key point 3
Keep short-term planning short. Most lesson plans should be cross-referenced to the detailed medium term plans. They ought not to rewrite them. The short-term plans must focus on differentiation, and issues to do with grouping, lesson transitions etc.
Key point 4
Achieving consistency without cramping initiative. Most teachers need and welcome thoughtful medium term planning to guide them. Some will need as much detail as they can get. But for most others the price you pay for prescription is the dulling of imagination. Teachers keeping close to the script can, if you are not too careful, stop taking risks. We need plans that unleash others’ potential, not curb it. We also need new ideas fed into the planning cycle.
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Examples of effective use of...
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