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Primary Forward Planning

Discussion in 'Scotland - curriculum' started by mydoll, May 9, 2011.

  1. Is your forward planning folder getting heavier or lighter? More/less meaningful/useful?
    What is biggest influence on shaping your forward planning documentation? Did it evolve to suit what staff/school felt was important or have there been other influences, whether positive/negative?
  2. coaltown1

    coaltown1 New commenter

    My folder is bigger, heavier and full of wondrous things - most of which I can't understand!!! (and I wrote it.)
    Thank you Cfe!
  3. I work in secondary and find it really hard to understand how you can plan that much detail in advance. What happens if they kids don't understand a particular concept or find something much easier than you expected? Do you re-write the plans or stick to them?
    Who checks you've done the plans?
    I really don't envy you guys having to do this, I quite often have no idea what any of my classes are doing the next day.
  4. You are right- we can't stick to plans if we are being reflective teachers. I think it is a cultural difference between primary and secondary.
    Believe it or not ,our plans are handed in to HT and checked (assessed?) each term. (a bit like your student teacher "school experience file")
    The plans are so meaninglessly beaurocratic in nature that thatHT is probably the only person to bother to read them (if, indeed ,they do). The meaningful planning , including resource design ,is squashed in after the useless paperwork has been submitted&approved.
    I would be really interested to know what others think.

  5. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Is it not the case that HMIE still expect written feedback to staff from HTs on forward plans?
    Ironic, really, given that HMIE's own record keeping is limited and sometimes even non-existent. That's bureaucrats for you - do as we say, not as we do.
    As has been suggested, very detailed lesson planning makes a nonsense of formative assessment which implies that a teacher is prepared to adapt their teaching based on feedback from the learner.
    We often hear on these forums that teachers are working every evening, and at weekends, sometimes staying up till the early hours, preparing lesson plans because that, apparently, is what they are expected to do.
    Do GPs, for example, spend every evening preparing for their surgery the next day? No, of course not because they don't know precisely what the next day is going to bring. Their skill as a doctor is to keep themself up-to-date with good medical practice and deal with patients, and their symtoms, as they find them based on their experience and, preferably, within a 10 minute slot.
    Whilst there is clearly a place for detailed lesson planning during teacher training, is it really necessary for teachers to be producing such detailed lesson plans for the next 10, 20, 30 or 40 years? What about the very important skill of being able to react, and adapt, to the needs of the learner based on experience.
    Of course, perhaps the real reason for imposing such unnecessary bureaucracy on teachers is to prevent them from focusing on teaching and learning and ensure they never get on top of the job and can always be found wanting by the bureaucrats who ultimately crack the whip.
    What matters, it would seem, is no longer education but rather 'control of education' for political purposes.
    How much more successful could our education system be if teachers were freed from the tyranny of politicians and their bureaucrats?
  6. coaltown1

    coaltown1 New commenter

    Precisely! Paperwork for the sake of it. It doesn't make us better teachers.
    Cfe is supposed to give us the freedom to go with the flow of lessons and what the children want to learn yet we still have to plan - a contradiction.
    If I wanted to be a pen pusher I would have chosen another job.
  7. I think that we should keep a retrospective record of what we have done and then when planning for each term, only be planning what we hope to cover in the first few weeks until we see where we are taken by children's needs and interests.
  8. Just 2 years ago I was on a course about floorbooks, which meant the children planned what they wanted to find out about a topic and the teacher then helped them discover the answers. HMIE loved the idea, but my HT didn't.
    I totally agree. I used to have an A4 ringbinder for a year, now I need one per term for my forward plans and two per year for my daily plans. From 1 folder to 6 and CfE frees us up to teach?
    My HT checks my forward plans and hands them back with notes on how to improve them. She also checks my daily plans and evaluations every month with comments on how to improve my learning intentions or success criteria (but never on what I'm actually doing with the kids). My daily plans take an average of 12 pages of A4. I don't know how she can be bothered quite frankly!
  9. heldon

    heldon Occasional commenter

    do you ever ask why?
  10. that about sums up what is happening just now.
    Our forward planning is ridiculous. You find yourself wasting your weekend writing meaningless drivel. Parts of the plan are good and useful- perhaps about 25%.
    Then wall displays- why do I have to put up LI and SC for everything? Who actually reads it apart from the member of SMT who loves it all? What about doing a piece of art just to have some fun?
    Now we are doing weekly plans. So- do we have to rigidly stick to them? What happens if, for instance, children cope with maths better than anticipated or struggle more? Or something happens outwith the class which holds your pupils' attention and you want to run with that? It doesn't make sense to me. We seem to be more tied up now than before CFE- and wasn't it meant to be the opposite?
  11. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    No, it doesn't make sense.
    For effective learning to take place, teachers need to be able to adapt their teaching to the needs of the learner.
    A CfE was supposed to free teachers from an over-prescribed curriculum but, in reality, they now have to create the curriculum, justify why it's relevant through detailed planning and then deliver it.
    For the life of me, I can't understand how that is an appropriate way for teachers to teach, or pupils to learn. It is time-consuming, unfocused and an illogical mix of 'freedom' and 'compliance'.
    When the curriculum planners were trawling the educational world for a possible replacement for 5-14, they picked up on the 'New Basics' programme that was being trialed in some Queensland schools, Australia, from 1999 to 2004.
    That, and the debatable underpinning reseach, would appear to be the basis for rolling out a Curriculum for Excellence in all Scottish schools in 2004.
    Little account appears to have been taken of the strengths, and weaknesses, identified in the 'New Basics' Report published at the end of the 5 year trial.
    Unfortunately, when politicians and bureaucrats meddle in education, you tend to end up with a mishmash of political agendas and a great deal of bureaucracy just for the sake of it.
    Education is of secondary importance.
  12. heldon

    heldon Occasional commenter

    When the curriculum planners were trawling the educational world for a possible replacement for 5-14, they picked up on the 'New Basics' programme that was being trialed in some Queensland schools, Australia, from 1999 to 2004.

    what were the results of this programme?

  13. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Here is one brief summary of the findings:
    Quality of student work
    Development of an assessment system
    Changes in approaches to teaching
    No difference
    Performance on standardised tests
    Congruence with other aspects of the school system and its context
    Differential impact between year levels
    From my reading of the report, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions because the studies carried out under the trial were different in nature and approach. Also, it is not clear how many schools chose to continue with, or adopt, the New Basics programme. However, given its clear links to CfE, it would be interesting to find out.

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