Some time in the summer of 2012 Michael Wilshaw gave a speech to the RSA about ‘good teachers’ (see here). In it, he spoke about good teachers not being bound by rigid and overly detailed lesson plans. Around this time, there was also much talk of OFSTED wanting to see ‘well planned lessons, but necessarily lesson plans’. This also reminded me of a conversation I had with an HMI many years ago. He told me that the the only time he looked at lesson plan in any detail during an observation was if the lesson was going wrong – to see if the problem stemmed from the planning stage. According to the HMI if the lesson was good and the students were learning well and making progress, then however the lesson had been planned, it must have been effective.
So, inspired by @TeacherToolkit’s ‘5 minute lesson plan’ we looked at producing an alternative, more efficient lesson plan. One that would:
- Sharply focus the teacher on the key aspects of outstanding teaching.
- Be meaningful and useful for the teacher – and not overly detailed.
- Not take an age to produce.
- Allow more time for the production of quality learning resources.
The result was the ‘Plan on a Page’…..or POP:
Flexibility and creativity is a key feature of great teaching. So whilst there are spaces for 3 learning episodes, there is no need to artificially use them all – it’s whatever fits for that lesson. There is an expectation that whatever learning activities are carried out during an episode, progress will be somehow assessed and differentiation will be considered – to ensure support and challenge for all.
We have also stressed the importance of a learning hook at the start of the lesson – to get students engaged and interested. But again how teachers choose to do this, is up to them.
A more detailed exploration of how the POP can be used can be viewed on the powerpoint here.
A copy of the POP can be downloaded here.
A small group of staff at DHS have been trialling the POP and the feedback so far has been really positive – it will be used more widely with staff next half term. If you give it a go, feel free to leave a comment and let me know how it goes.