What should go into a good medium term plan at key Stage 4?
1. Key questions, not just the overarching question from the Board’s specification, but sub-questions too.
2. Learning objectives. These must identify depth of understanding as well as specific skills that are being taught. These must be differentiated. It is often a weakness of underachieving departments that they do not set high enough expectations, usually pitching the objectives too low or making them too vague so as not to pose a challenge.
3. Recommended teaching and learning activities. These must be varied, appeal to different learning styles and must be fit for purpose. Focus on the activities that you would like everyone to use, leaving space for development of other ideas and scope for colleagues to be creative. This is really important. I have seen too many medium term plans that have simply been a collection of lesson plans for all to ‘deliver’. Whilst this has helped to remove the gap between the best and the least successful teaching, it often has the effect of ‘the good being the enemy of the excellent’. Fewer truly outstanding lessons tend to emerge from such departmental regimes.