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Methods to reduce planning time

Lesson planning takes a considerable amount of teachers’ time. While planning is clearly important it mustn’t become disproportionately time-consuming, which is counter-productive.

Lesson planning over daily lesson plans

Subjects, concepts and learning outcomes should be considered over a set of lessons rather than individual, detailed lesson plans which take vast amounts of time to produce.

Detailed daily plans shouldn’t be used as a method of evaluating teachers, whether externally or internally. The focus should be on producing better outcomes for pupils’ learning.

Planning for a set of lessons allows greater flexibility and allows the teacher to be more flexible in the classroom.

Use schemes of work for each term

Teachers should have an idea of the goals and subject areas for each term, designed by middle and phase leasers, on an agreed basis set in advance. It should be clear how much time is allocated to this and who is responsible for producing them.

These can be used a guide for teachers to then workautonomously and creatively.

Make use of high-quality resources

Textbooks have fallen out of favour as the internet offers an endless choice of resources. Highlighting specially chosen, high quality reference books or digital resources however can cut huge amounts of time for individual teachers searching almost infinite content online.

Collaborative planning

Teachers across subject and age ranges should work collaboratively to share lesson ideas and content. This is useful for professional development and spurring creativity.

Review efficacy of time spent planning

Detailed plans are meaningless if they don’t contribute to overall outcomes. The school should review the impact of time spent planning versus student progress.

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