Have you tried this?


The 5 Minute Lesson Plan is an online tool developed by Angel Solutions and Ross Morrison McGill of @TeacherToolkit.

Here’s what they have say about it…

Why was The 5 Minute Lesson Plan developed?

The 5 Minute Lesson Plan format was designed by @TeacherToolkit (Ross Morrison McGill) in 2012 with the specific aim of helping teachers plan their lessons quickly and effectively. We hope this new digital version of The 5 Minute Lesson Plan will help make life easier for hundreds more teachers as they start to build up online portfolios full of amazing lesson plans that they can continue to adapt over time.

Is The 5 Minute Lesson Plan designed for Ofsted inspections?

No, the 5 Minute Lesson Plan was never designed for Ofsted inspections and is not meant to belittle the cognitive process used in lesson planning. It was originally designed to help formalise the process needed to improve practice in the classroom, placing the focus on learning rather than the activity. It also aims to help teachers reduce planning time, particularly new teachers who so often report lesson planning as a burden.

Do Ofsted accept its use?

Yes! But remember, it was never designed for this purpose and Ofsted do not expect to see a lesson plan. “Do not focus on the lesson structure at the expense of its content or the wide range of other evidence about how well children are learning in the school.”

Will The 5 Minute Lesson Plan help me achieve ‘Outstanding’ teaching?

Not necessarily. A lesson plan is only a tiny part of the enormous range of components needed to become a ‘good’ teacher. It is also not our place to define what is a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ teacher.

Leave a comment and let us know if you’ve tried it…

The Sutton Trust Report: What Makes Great Teaching?

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A new report from the Sutton Trust has reviewed the evidence around successful teaching practices. Here is their summary of the report, some ‘take away’ key points and various links to its reception in the media and blogosphere.

The Sutton Trust’s Summary

“This report reviews over 200 pieces of research to identify the elements of teaching with the strongest evidence of improving attainment. It finds some common practices can be harmful to learning and have no grounding in research. Specific practices which are supported by good evidence of their effectiveness are also examined and six key factors that contribute to great teaching are identified. The report also analyses different methods of evaluating teaching including: using ‘value-added’ results from student test scores; observing classroom teaching; and getting students to rate the quality of their teaching.”

Quick Take Aways

Deemed Effective

  • (Pedagogical) content knowledge
  • Quality of instruction
  • Classroom climate
  • Classroom management
  • Teacher beliefs
  • Professional behaviours

Deemed Less Effective

  • Using praise lavishly
  • Grouping students by ability
  • Addressing low aspirations and confidence before teaching content
  • Presenting information to students in their preferred learning style
  • Allowing students to discover key ideas for themselves
  • Encouraging re-reading and highlighting to memorise key ideas

 Links to its Reception

Certainly, the report both challenges many of our everyday practices as teachers and offers some serious thinking points.  We’d love to know what you think so please remember to leave a comment below!

Teachers’ Toolkit

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A few quick and simple activities to get students thinking!

Caption Competition

Display an image from which speech or thought bubbles could be generated.  You could relate these to a specific topic you are studying or source these from newspapers, the internet or magazines.  Get students to come up with a caption and justify their comments.

Degrees of Separation

A quick and easy starter or plenary: link two items together in five steps. Here’s a real life example from A2 Chemistry in which students were asked to link pH to a bag of flour.  Here’s what they came up with:

1.  pH = – log[H+] equation

2. Vinegar is acidic so has a low pH

3.  Vinegar goes on chips

4.  Chips go with pie and mushy peas

5.   Pies contain flour!

The more obscure the task the better!

What’s the Question?

Provide students with a possible answer or series of answers relating to the topic being studied (you may wish to throw in the odd random one too).  Sit back and wait for them to provide you with the questions!

Beat the Teacher

The students get the chance to pit their wits against the teacher.  The questions that the students face should be based around the topic studied, whilst the students get to design a series of modern culture based questions that they hope will lead them to victory.  The teacher and challengers can sit out front facing the rest of the class… let the games begin!