Planning “To do or not to do” that is the question.

plannin 1

Planning is is the curse of my life or is does it have purpose ? Do students benefit from hours of endless planning? Do we have the time in which to write plans that as Tummons (2009) purposes The planning process: who is it for? p50 suggesting the importance of planning documents are for quality assurance and to demonstrate or provide evidence of your teaching for management and bodies such as OFsted. This leads to me another question why is that the mere mention of the word “O F S T E D”  promotes a genuine fear amongst  managers and teachers. I witnessed precious time being wasted with generic planning that had been delivered weeks ago, should we focus our attentions on looking back or forward thinking?  Back to my inquiry into planning documents David Didau blog compares and contrast peoples opinions on the usefulness of these blogs, which only did increase more questions, although a few are answered.  He used the analogy  “does a good cook book make you a good cook?” What must be considered are SOW indiviualised, do they promote effective learning, provide context not just content, do they allow for pace and level ,quality not quantity. pupil progress, evaluations.  The Nut suggest that excessive time spent on planning is not necessary , however “must be fit for purpose”

I believe that SOW need to be individualised  not generic a “working document” that focuses you to holistically look at the what is needed for you to effectively deliver the curriculum, to break it down into manageable parts and embedding skills such as: Functional, employability, independent learning strategies and diversity rather than as “bolt on”  strategy.  rather than : planning

a scribble that leaves you unprepared and even worse negatively impacting upon your students.

Mind mapping is  method that I approach a new subject so I am able to see the holistic picture of learning required then that is broken down into aims and objectives that meet the criteria of assessment for the individual diploma units. Activities are selected that provide a multi sensory approach and also enable students to practice and master embedded skills.  For example how to prepare for an interview, the teaching method is role -play students engage in being the interviewee and interviewer asking and answering questions this develops communication skills, recall of experience and to enhance the activity students have to research a job and work out how much it will cost, determine the time of the journey what time students will need to leave home at arrive on time, E&D explores discrimination, appearance for interviews and then writing CV promotes English skills. The SOW works shows a picture and shows progression. I don’t add Initial assessments because the activity can be adapted to include students varying levels and pace.  I have set up folders that are mostly arranged and organised with worksheets and resources required for the delivery of the unit. However Lesson plans I do find do not work especially in my education establishment. I work with disengaged students and attainment is a constant challenge. Lesson plans contain information for specific students and when they do not turn up this has to be repeated. I find that an exercise book that details students targets, including maths and English targets enables me to be more student-centered.

The question is what impact does this have on the student?

  • Being organised, worksheets and activities
  • providing a variety of teaching methods engages students
  • Promotes effective classroom management because the tutor is organised and have clear aims and objective
  • Students are able to work at their own pace, however need to be aware that assessments need to be completed by a specific date.
  • If a tutor is ill, another tutor is able to see what is needed. My book is like a diary and Students initials are at the side of  the task a student is required to achieve.
  • I provide alternative resources, such as U-tube videos that I can draw upon if I feel that the activity I have chosen students are not progressing or understanding
  • References
  • Tummons, J.  (2009) Curriculum studies in the lifelong learning sector. Exeter. Learning matters LTD.
  • Didau, D. Blog The Learning Spy;  Brain food for the thinking teacher .


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