The Importance of Planning: Ownership or Delivery

How do you approach your planning?

For me, if I know a subject well, like maths or science, then I look at the objectives the children need to learn in the year and lessons start coming to me – lessons that I’ve taught before, or new ones inspired by things I’ve heard about or read about. Then I thread those lessons together into a journey and have a unit of work to teach the children.

When things work like this, I have ownership over the planning. It’s mine. I know what I’m doing and feel secure.

For subjects I know less well, I often rely on others planning. Maybe it’s paid-for – I often use Hamilton Trust or Rising Stars schemes. Sometimes, it might be a colleague’s plans.

For these lessons, I feel like I’m delivering somebody else’s property. The plans aren’t mine. I don’t own them and I feel less prepared to make spontaneous changes that might benefit the children.

It’s inevitable that some planning is like this second model, especially in the Primary sector where you can’t be good at everything, especially when you’re starting out. What I’ve learnt this year, since my school’s not-brilliant-Ofsted is the the importance of moving from the ‘delivery’ model to the ‘ownership’ model.

CPD should be around giving teachers the subject knowledge so they can ‘own’ all their lessons, and that’s how we’ve tried to gear things at my school, particularly in maths which has been one of the main areas of development.

Tomorrow I’ll write more about how we’ve changed things in maths to encourage ownership over delivery.

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