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…

Teachers’ Toolkit

thinking capPicture

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!

Kagan in the Classroom


Resident Kagan expert Vicky Littler shares a selection of co-operative learning structures that can easily be used in the classroom.

What is Kagan?

Kagan activities are any tasks in which students work both independently and collaboratively with others in order to further their learning. This learning process is simultaneous; students are learning together and there can be no ‘passengers’ or ‘opt outs’.

Why should teachers engage with Kagan?

The activities facilitate interaction between students and gives them a chance to be active learners in your lessons (quite literally – they’ll be out of their seats!)

Did you know? The oxygen supply to the brain is increased by approximately 15% just by standing up?

Kagan also gives you a chance to take a back seat so you can observe errors or misconceptions about a subject or topic and address them. The activities can be modified, tweaked and differentiated to meet the needs of all students in your classroom. They’re also a great way of making ‘boring’ topics like punctuation more palatable.

Top three Kagan Structures:

Quiz – quiz – trade:

quiz quiz trade

Each student is given a card with a question, coaching tip and answer on it. Pupils put their hands up and find a partner (hand up again when free!) Specify which person is to ask their question first (e.g. shortest hair). If they each get the answers right students can swap cards.

Differentiation: split class in two: higher and lower order questions; the pupils must circulate within their ‘half’. Alternatively, high ability students can write the QQT cards themselves to consolidate learning.


Each student is given a card with a name/ figure/ fact on it… Students will be given a specified amount of time to ‘cluster’ their information into groups of some significance – e.g. characters from a particular Shakespearean play

Differentiation: higher ability can create cluster activities for you; you can tell students how many groups there are in total before they try to make links between their pieces of information or give them a clue!

Show down:

Students get into groups of four – each group has a set of questions (these can be printed or shown on a white board). Each person attempts the questions individually (I use whiteboards – one minute limit – the buzzer works well as students know when the time is up)

When 1 minute is up students share answers – they then have another minute to reach a consensus and write the agreed answer down

Example cards:Example Cards

Wilmslow’s New Lesson Plan: The Learning Journey

  • Here is Wilmlsow’s new design for our lesson plan template .  It is titled the ‘learning journey’ and is based on the TEEP lesson framework. I have completed a quick example lesson for GCSE PE based on the functions of the skeleton
  • Any feedback/edits are welcome.  Is the document too ‘busy’? Is it user friendly?
  • Everything is explained below.  Big nods go to Zoe Elder (SO THAT concept) and David Didau (arrow and learning journey concept)

Please feel free to adapt and share our learning journey document above!

Learning Objective (LObj)

  • The LObj is written within an arrow to represent a clear sense of progress and direction for the lesson: this knowledge is going somewhere; this skill can be developed to different levels of expertise
  • Important to highlight the SO THAT of learning to help students ‘own their learning ambition’ and their learning is both meaningful and purposeful.  For more in depth information check out Zoe Elder’s blog
  • Students need to know where they are supposed to be headed if they’re going to have a chance of getting there

LObjs are important for two reasons:

  • Firstly, they ensure that teachers are clear about the purpose of the lesson before they begin thinking about all the active learning they want to pack into them.
  • Secondly, they provide a very useful signpost against which progress can be checked
  • Simply writing your learning intention on the board is not good practice. There are many more creative ways of introducing objectives which can be found here (via David Didau):

The Learning Journey

The idea is that the LObj for a lesson should be viewed as a journey. Students can achieve outcomes that meet the LObj at different levels:

  • Isn’t this just differentiated outcomes (all, most, some)? The difference here is that the emphasis is placed on students continuing on through the learning journey over the course of the lesson and not finding a way to opt out of learning once the bare minimum has been achieved (i.e. once the student has reached the ALL stage of differentiated outcomes)
  • Therefore the ‘Learning Journey’ is aspirational and ongoing when compared to the differentiated outcome model
  • If your LObj is to understand the different functions of the bones in the body, then the three outcome boxes provide a useful checklist for you to monitor your progress in meeting the LObj
  • The first box could be viewed as a baseline or starting point; as the ALL part of a differentiated outcome; or as the first check-point at which learning is reviewed
  • The outcome boxes are used as review check-points to attempt to show students the progress they have made so far with the expectation being that students should try to reach the final box by the end of the lesson = aspirational expectations!

The information above, including the use of the learning objective ‘arrow’ and the learning journey, have been taken from David Didau’s  brilliant blog posts.

Rationale behind the pedagogy?

Why are you using that specific pedagogical practice in your lesson?  What evidence is there to suggest using such a practice will increase the students’ learning, progress and achievement?

  • Did you base your choices on the research of John Hattie & Geoff Petty?
  • Effect size of 1 = 2 grade leap @ GCSE or advancing achievement by 1 year
  • Examples: cooperative jigsaw learning = 0.75, visual representations = 1.2 etc…
  • Or, are the reasons more informal? Continual student feedback on previous learning experiences in your lessons = you and they know what accelerates their learning

TEEP Prompts

  • To help our teachers familiarize themselves with the 6 stage TEEP framework.  This is nothing new to our school – we all plan for these opportunities in our lessons, we just don’t use this specific TEEP language at the moment
  • This only needs to be in brief, bullet point format to act as a guide for the teacher for the lesson. It is not to be over prescriptive
  • Should only take 10 minutes max to plan

Examples from ‘Prepare for Learning’ phase:

  • Entry work for students
  • A BIG, open ended question to stimulate thought.  Prepare the brain for learningGive the ‘BIG’ picture
  • Pre-thinking about work to come
  • Link to previous lesson
  • Prompt start
  • What opportunities have you provided for students to be CHALLENGED, to work as INDIVIDUALS or COLLABORATIVELY and have you provided them with CHOICE in the learning activities?
  • According to Jackie Beere’s ‘The Perfect Ofsted Lesson’ we must present opportunities for all four in a lesson to deliver an ‘outstanding’ lesson


  • A chance for the teacher to reflect on the successes of their lesson and any areas of improvement or small adjustments
  • Simply, ‘what went well’ followed by ‘even better if’

David Didau’s ‘Perfect’ Lesson Checklist

In this guest post, adapted from his book, ‘The Perfect Ofsted English Lesson’, David provides some little question prompts for when you are designing an outstanding learning experience for our students.

I visited David a few months ago way back in June at his new school, Clevedon Community School.  Upon leaving it was clear that he left an impressionable mark on my teaching and learning philosophies and practises, including upskilling me in the ways of SOLO taxonomy, the Learning Loop and Triple Impact Marking.

David’s approach when working with teachers is that they not only leave with an armful of exciting new ideas to try out in their classrooms combined with an understanding of what underpins those ideas but also a sound understanding of why they should use them.

David is also an Independent Thinking associate, where he is described as a ‘Thinking Teacher’s Teacher’.  Here is his perfect lesson checklist…

The Perfect Lesson Checklist

  • Does the lesson plan relate to the sequence of teaching?
  • Does the planning demonstrate high expectations and challenge?
  • Is the plan appropriate for the learning needs of all groups of students?
  • Is there a safe learning environment?

Start of the lesson:

  • Does the lesson get off to a flying start?
  • Is there a recap of previous learning
  • Are the learning objectives (LO) clear and appropriate in number?
  • Are the LO shared?
  • Are the success criteria clear?
  • Is the learning real?

During the lesson:

  • Is the teaching well paced?
  • Does the teaching hold the learner’s interests?
  • Does the teaching meet a range of learning styles?
  • Does the teaching meet a range of abilities?
  • Does the teaching actively engage learners in the learning process?
  • Are the learners given clear information and guidance throughout?
  • Is there paired or collaborative work?
  • Is questioning used effectively?
  • Are all learners actively involved?
  • Is ther clear feedback given on progress?
  • Is student knowledge and understanding increased?
  • Is there an opportunity for students to demonstrate increased knowledge and understanding?
  • Are reading and writing skills developed?

End of lesson:

  • Are the LO reviewed?
  • Are questions used to check what learning has taken place?
  • Is there feedback? 1. teacher to students, 2. Self assessment, 3. peer assessment
  • Is the next lesson previewed?
  • Is the lesson brought to a clear close?