Effective Lesson Planning: Making every lesson count towards pupil achievement

Effective Lesson Planning: Making every lesson count towards pupil achievement

Primary, Secondary
Nov 2012


Raise achievement with lesson planning that puts learning at the centre of every lesson

Effective Lesson Planning is a training programme designed to help schools and teachers to understand what makes planning effective and gain the knowledge and understanding of the learning process they need to make their planning, teaching and assessment successful.


This practical course develops teachers’ understanding of learning theory and links this to the key components of planning a lesson well, including being clear about what a successful learning objective looks like and how to use success criteria.  Teachers who take this course will be able to match expected learning outcomes to the needs and abilities of their pupils, making a key contribution to the school’s effective differentiation.

People who take this course will be able to:

  • Structure lessons in ways that support pupils’ learning by knowing the neuroscience behind learning
  • Write clear and successful learning objectives rooted in the learning, not the activity
  • Produce teaching that meets the needs of all learners, ensuring that both the learning and the activity are differentiated
  • Use success criteria to underpin learning and shape them to support learning and challenge
  • Enable effective assessment that is driven by being clear about the learning through understanding of the learning theory
  • Develop suitable learning challenges using strategies that support learning, such as effective questioning and lesson summaries.

Why buy an Optimus Education DIY Training resource?

Effective Lesson Planning: Making every lesson count towards pupil achievement is part of the Optimus Education D-I-Y (deliver it yourself) training portfolio. Our D-I-Y training packages provide:

  • value for money – training sessions can be delivered multiple times to different groups of staff
  • comprehensive training materials – detailed training plans, presentations, handouts and a variety of practical activities to engage participants are all provided in the package
  • flexibility – training sessions can be customised with case studies, questions or exercises which are specific to your school’s needs
  • excellent quality – the training materials have been written by experienced trainers with expertise in the topic area; you benefit from their knowledge and guidance
  • measurable outcomes – each package includes ways to monitor effectiveness and learning outcomes.


Summary of contents

Effective Lesson Planning consists of 4 training sessions focused on the key knowledge needed to understand learning and how to use this to produce effective plans that meet the needs of all pupils. 

  • Create successful learning objectives
  • Differentiate the learning objectives and the activity
  • Use success criteria to support learning and differentiation
  • Use effective planning to run lessons that support learning

Session Breakdown

Session 1 - Good learning and what makes for a good learning objective

Learning Outcomes:

  • See how effective planning leads to effective teaching
  • Understand the centrality of learning to the teaching process
  • Understand something of the neurological process of learning
  • Know how to set a detailed and appropriate learning objective
  • Know how you can use key vocabulary to support the learning
  • Identify some non-negotiables of lesson planning

Session 2 - Differentiation

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the need to differentiate the learning outcomes as well as the activity
  • Understand how to differentiate the learning objective to challenge all pupils’ thinking
  • Understand how to ensure the work meets the needs of the learners
  • Have a method for differentiation that can be applied when planning lessons

Session 3 – Success Criteria

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how to shape success criteria to underpin and support the planned learning
  • Understand the difference between learning outcomes and steps to success
  • Know how to use the ‘road map’ principle for successful criteria
  • Know how success criteria support the differentiation in the lesson
  • Understand where success criteria fit in the assessment tools available for a lesson

Session 4 – Putting it together

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how to ask effective questions
  • Understand the importance of a lesson summary (plenary) to anchor the lesson
  • See how the elements of effective planning fit around a well-structured lesson
  • Appreciate the difference between lesson pace and speed
  • Be aware of the importance of your input before pupils’ expected output

Session 5 – Effective lesson planning – review and next steps

Learning Outcomes:

  • Revisit the key points of the four training sessions about effective lesson planning
  • Reflect on how your practice has changed as a result
  • Identify future training needs and opportunities to share good practice
  • See the training in the context of the school’s development plan and self-evaluation

About the expert

John Viner was a headteacher for 20 years and is now an additional inspector and education consultant.


  • A4 Ringbinder, c. 80 pages
  • CD-ROM containing PowerPoint presentations and accompanying resources


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