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Planning - what do you do and who sees it?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by allenwater, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. What planning do you do each term / each week?

    Who sees it and how often do they see it?

    Head at current school (private rather than LEA) has asked to see all planning for term and whatever weekly plans we have. Very little guidance on what exactly he wants to see and in what layout.
    Just curious as to how it's done elswhere.
  2. 2 weeks in advance! What a stupid, pointless way of planning. I very much doubt your head has been near a classroom in years if he/she thinks handing plans in that far in advance is good teaching. For the record I do lots of pointless box filling... ahem.. sorry... 'planning' that mostly involves cross-referencing the latest APP, IEP, G&T, SEN and *** targets with whichever 'flavour of the month' curriculum is adopted at the time. Most of it is pointless but I'm sure it looks very pretty when the SIP examines it.
  3. cleggy1611

    cleggy1611 New commenter

    I hate planning and try to do it as quickly as possible. I admit that it isn't detailed and has enough for me to teach from. Plans are filed in the ht office but never looked at
  4. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I find that I don't have to make drastic changes. They are usually only small adaptations, maybe because I know my class well and plan to their needs in the first place.

    As for my LSA (TA in my case) I give them a copy of the plans but they know things might need to be altered slightly. I also have the incredible ability to talk to them. It's amazing how much I can get across by using words rather than (as I said before) having to write everything down for them.
  5. I am a student still, but at Uni this is classed as a weekly overview, and then we would have to have more indepth lesson plans for each lesson.
    At my current placement school, there are daily plans for every subject, but planned a week in advance for most subjects, with literacy and maths being modified if need be. If a weakness is found in a maths lesson for example, then this is picked up on by the teacher, and will be revisited the following week in an OMS, or in another full lesson, whichever is more appropriate.
    JSY x
  6. I think for some teachers it isn't that they would be unable to teach the lesson, but it acts as an aidememoire (sp?!) and a guide as to how the lesson should go, especially if it is the first time they have taught that topic or concept. I am a student and find it very useful to have the plans in quite some detail so that I can keep on track and make sure I am covering everything I need to in my starters and inputs.
    In my current placement school, there are two TAs in the class who take a guided group for every literacy and numeracy lesson, and so the plan is also given to them so that they know their activity and the focus for the lesson.
    JSY x
  7. You give them a plan?! What?! Why not just speak to them both at the beginning of every session like some people - that sounds far easier. [​IMG]
    Oh, hang on, playground duty, copying, admin tasks, Wave 3 interventions parents and children to speak to and 1001 more things to get in the way.
    I'm with you - sticking with a written plan will do for me. We also teach with guided groups so your LSA should have that plan so the session goes as you want it to. This would not be the case if the LSA was simply supporting a group based on the whole class teaching but, in the case of differentiated input, they may well need it (and, as you say, may feel far more confident with it).
  8. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I guess I'm just lucky to have a really good TA. It's a shame that communication in some schools seems lacking. Maybe if people were to put in the effort to get to know their TA they might find it easier to talk to them.
  9. Sensible approach then!
    We're an outstanding school and we never have to hand plans in. At the end of a 1/2 term we put our plans onto the school server so anyone can look at them, head, me-SLT, subject leaders etc.
    I plan roughly a week in advance, then adapt after each lesson according to AFL if it's necessary. One of our teachers plans daily. At the end of the day if a teacher is deemed to be good and lessons are taught well when observed, planning must have been adequate. It's far to easy to download plans and pass them off as your own, or to have fantastic planning but the teaching is rubbish.
    If the school is in difficulty or teaching is not good I can see why plans would need to be handed in. But, at the end of the day planning is only supposed to be a tool for the individual teacher.
  10. clangercrazy

    clangercrazy New commenter

    This is all very well and good if there is TIME. I get on with my TA very well, but she doesn't arrive at school until 8:45am (cos thats when she starts being paid!) and we then have 10 mins to discuss the lessons she's doing with me. Yeh, fine, on a good day. What if I'm on duty though? Or she's got intervention groups? Or a parent comes to see me? Then that 10 mins has gone, I can't then delay the start of the lesson, leave the kids on the carpet, and discuss what I want her to do in that lesson there and then. Therefore some form of written idea is rather useful! She can read it while I am teaching. It is not therefore that we are not putting in the effort, thank you very much, but that it just isn't possible in the time constraints!
  11. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    How can you do detailed lesson plans a fortnight in advance? And is this for all subjects?
  12. Glad it's not just me that thinks that advanced deatiled planning is not possible and simply relying on speaking to the LSA to inform them of plans each day is not practical either.
  13. We do a 'theme plan' a fortnight in advance tho this includes 2 art, 2 geag, 2 re etc..lessons so only a 2 lesson plan really. I do the literacy weekly and my colleague does the numeracy weekly (we just adapt each others to suit our class if we need to).
    The plans don't get handed in until the end of the term when all teachers hand in their planning files and work from 3 random children (differeing abilities). Our plans have space for a short evaluation of each lesson so we can say whay/what we have changed.

    We get feedback (though we didnt last term which annoyed me no end) and suggestions of how to improve planning/different activites etc. This all coincides with a termly observation.
    At my last school we had to hand in plans for the coming week and the previous weeks evaluated plans. I don't mind either way...my plans are always done and I don't feel Im planning to far in advance. Plans can change (and they do). the head doesnt mind pans to be scribbled all over, highlighted, annotated as long as there is a clear objective and childrn are achieving.

    We are an outstanding school.
  14. We plan at the end of a term for the next topic and link as much of other subjects in as possible. I end up doing a giant mind map with my central theme in the middle and all my subject ideas coming off of it. My head doesn't want any extra details planning for non core subjects, but I still plan for these as much as possible more for my own understanding than for anyone else. Any planning, in whatever format for these subjects, gets put into the folder at the end of the term, annotated. Stapled on the front of the plan is the NC criteria for that subject, and anything that has been covered is highlighted.
    Literacy and numeracy are expected to be handed in at the end of a unit, with annotations on. They are filed away and the coordinators (me for writing) look at them, comment on them, advice were necessary, assure consistency, AfL etc.
    We plan lit and numeracy Mon til Wednesday, fairly solidly, although of course there is movement that is often needed. By tuesday I can reassess wed onwards. I then write this in my plans. So often my planning sees Monday through to wednesday in type face and then the rest hand written!!
    Books are looked at, to ensure the differentiation as indicated on plans is happening in lessons. That the annotations are fitting of what the children are capable of. We have to highlight descriptor grids for maths and so often books and planning are looking at alongside these - to see if we are meeting the needs of the child in our planning and that we are providing formative and helpful feedback.
    All planning is annotated and scribbled over. My head very happy with this and has justified it to Ofsted who were happy.
    Planning should be done - in my opinion as you go, with some eye on the horizon, thinking about where you intend to go and the pit stops on the way. But the approach and route changes constantly and so it should. Plans should never be rigid.
    But then again, it changes wherever you go and from my experience, despite your background and what you know to work, you need to fall alongside the school's policy regardless of whether you disagree with it or not. If you do, speak up, ask questions, listen and suggest your own ideas, but don't disregard what has been set in place. Ofsted pick up on those not following the leadership of the school.

  15. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Who just speaks to their TA? I haven't seen anyone on this thread that does that.

    I do talk to the TA (usually takes a grand total of about a minute) to make sure they understand what we are doing. It's funny how those that plan day to day actually seem to be the most inflexible.
  16. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    We plan weekly and in by Friday for lit and num
    Just recently they have upped the antis and asked for far more detail and then on friday dropped the bombshell they want detailed day plans for all foundation subjects in each week on the friday...previously they wanted an over view of the term with the areas covered in each week.
    Plus they now want full app for all kids in guided reading,maths and english, I think some heads assume we have nothing else to do in our lives!
  17. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    ME! I agree takes a minute or two (I often do it while the kids are doing a setler task or indpendent starter) I think its much more effective to speak to them anyway! I know we are lucky as we have great TAs who also specialise in their subject areas to a point as well.
  18. I write a weekly plan which has everything on with the exception of PE and PSHE. I have no separate English or Maths plans. Planning is a tool only to help the teacher (and their TAs or whoever works with the children in question). SMT looking at people's planning is a waste of time, with the exception of any notes made on what has actually happened in the lesson. I am the deputy head and when I am monitoring standards I (a) talk to the teacher (b) look at the children's work (c) talk a small selection of children about their learning. Excessive planning requirements discourage teachers from teaching things at the right level for their class, instead they just regurgitate the same old lessons, year to year.
    I teach yr. 1 by the way.
  19. SleighBelle

    SleighBelle Occasional commenter

    We do:
    Literacy and Numeracy weekly plans (a landscape a4 page per day, with objectives, starter, main activity, differentiation, plenary, teacher's guided group focus, LSA group focus, Success Criteria and any special groupings each day)
    A timetable for each week (one or two words per lesson)
    Theme planning (lesson by lesson starter, main section, plenary) for a half-term, usually about four or so pages for 6 weeks.
    R.E, P.E and ICT planning as separate subjects, same format as Theme.
    Theme overview with curriculum links and termly overview detailing the week's focus in each subject.

    Lit, Num and Theme planning for the week is in poly-wallets on display in each classroom, annotated, photocopied and then filed into a central file at the end of each week, as well as our folders. The Numeracy and Literacy co-ordinators check them once a half-term and give us feedback. Weekly timetables are given to the Head at the start of each week but don't get checked.
  20. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter


    Don't tell anyone that. You will get told off for not having your plans printed out in triplicate with highlighted areas for AfL opportunities. Communication isn't allowed as it takes at least 10 minutes to discuss what you are going to do in the lesson. Your teaching must be terrible if you haven't printed your plans out [​IMG]

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