Short-term planning in history at Key Stage 3

My view about short-term planning at Key Stage 3 is simple; keep it short. If you are following a detailed medium-term plan, as you should be, then most of the planning has already been done. All that needs attention now is:

a. differentiation
b. pace and timings
c. structure
d. transitions
e. groupings.

To my mind these are not quite ‘back of the envelope’ notes but they are for a limited audience and need not be typed out in detail. Clearly when a planned observation is taking place, you will need to have a detailed plan to help the observer make the most of the time. Schools that have gone down the route of insisting on detailed short-term lesson plans in my experience produce a higher proportion of lessons that are satisfactory or good but far less that are outstanding. We need to have a certain flexibility as even the best laid lesson plans ‘seldom survive the first encounter with the enemy’!  We also need to encourage our colleagues to be innovative and experimental.

This is not just my view. OFSTED Chief Inspector’s Annual Report for 2012/13, published in December 2013 identified over-complicated planning as one of five factors inhibiting

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