The 5 Minute Lesson Review

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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The new5 Minute Lesson Review’ produced by @TeacherToolkit and @Shaun_Allison, supports and encourages teachers to reflect on their own classroom practice. The template can also be used by a coach or mentor to help tease out reflection.

 “Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can get even better.” Dylan Wiliam

The above is a very simple, but very important statement. As professionals, we all want to be the best that we can; but in order to do so, we need to be encouraged and supported to reflect on our own classroom practice – in a focused and time efficient way.  Following this, we then need to commit to action.

#5MinReview First version:

5 Min Review
5 Min Review

Final template:

The new ‘5 Minute Lesson Review’ produced by @Shaun_Allison and @TeacherToolkit supports this process. With a little bit of pimping and further discussions, the final 5 Minute Review Plan is shown below.

The 5 Minute Review Plan by @Shaun_Allison and @TeacherToolkit
Click to enlarge – The 5 Minute Review Plan by @Shaun_Allison and @TeacherToolkit

A guide to using the 5 Minute Lesson Review:

The following context walks you through how to complete each stage.

My Personal Targets:

This section is for the teacher to note down what aspect of their teaching they are looking to develop in the lesson previously.  This could have come out of a mentoring meeting for an NQT, or from an appraisal meeting with a more experienced member of staff.


  • Behaviour management of small group of boys (named students);
  • making sure my questioning involved a wide number of students and developed ‘deep thinking’;
  • Ensuring that the more able students within the class were stretched and challenged.

What Went Well? / Even Better If?

This is the first stage of the reflection process.  The individual teacher thinks about their ‘Personal Targets’ they set for themselves for the lesson and then considers the successes they had within it – including how it could have been further improved.


  • WWW – Boys were focused and on task at the start of the lesson; due to the engaging hook. EBI – this focus was not lost during the activity where they had to work independently on the written task.
  • WWW – using the lollysticks ensured that more students were more involved in the questioning.  Not knowing if they were going to be asked, also kept them focused. EBI – I asked more questions; based on their responses, to further develop their own thinking.
What Went Well? / Even Better If?
What Went Well? / Even Better If?

The Big 4 Reflection:

Having reflected on their own personal targets, teachers are now encouraged to reflect on 4 key aspects of pedagogical excellence – questioning, feedback, independence and challenge.  These aspects are also ‘fundamental’ for good to outstanding teaching.

Again, for each of the four reflections, teachers are encouraged to reflect on what went well for each aspect and what they need to develop further.

There is no reason why different schools couldn’t adjust ‘The Big 4’ to fit in with their specific improvement priorities.

Development Points:

Having now reflected on their own personal targets and ‘The Big 4’, the teacher will now come up with 1 or 2 overall development points that they want to address in their teaching – based on the EBIs from the previous sections.

By identifying just 1 or 2 aspects to develop, this keeps the process of self-improvement realistic, manageable and specific.

CPD Action to Support:

Having identified some specific development points to address, the teacher then needs to consider what CPD they will undertake to support this development.  If the teacher is working with a facilitator e.g. a coach/ appraiser, it is important that the facilitator encourages and teases the solutions out of the teacher themselves. This will hopefully develop self-realisation and reflection more frequently in the future …

For example:

  • Peer observation
  • Coaching
  • Collaborative planning
  • Attend an in school CPD discussion
  • Video lesson
  • Action research project
  • Blog review
  • Trial lesson again with similar key stage/class
  • Lesson Study
"... it is important that the facilitator encourages and teases the solutions out of the teacher ..."
“… it is important that the facilitator encourages and teases the solutions out of the teacher …”

Why ‘The 5 Minute Review Plan’ works?

  • The teacher has ownership over their own personal development.
  • Reviewing practice supports teacher self-reflection.
  • Renewing practice ensures that CPD is targeted towards their own developmental targets.
  • Reflecting on practice, focuses teachers on the key features of good/outstanding teaching – questioning, feedback, independence and challenge.
  • Reviewing practice encourages teachers to think carefully about just 1 or 2 improvement priorities – keeping it manageable and realistic.
  • Recapping on practice, makes appraisal objectives become ‘live’ and relevant.
  • Renewing practice encourages teachers to commit to action.
  • Reflecting on practice, can support the coaching process – by acting as a starting point for a coaching conversation.

We hope that you find the 5MinReview useful. We will add a completed version very soon …

You can download a template here:

The 5 Minute Lesson Review by @TeacherToolkit and @Shaun_Allison

If you have any suggestions, we would of course, in the name of reviewing and reflection, welcome the feedback. Please do share completed examples with us. Good luck and thank you for reading.

@Shaun_Allison and @TeacherToolkit

Only have 5 Minutes?

See more in the 5MinPlan series by clicking here.

Time for teachers
Time for teachers

6 thoughts on “The 5 Minute Lesson Review

  1. Hi, Im fairly new to Twitter but as a primary HT wanting to help my staff become better teachers, I am so impressed with the amount of resorces that teachers are willing to share with each other. We are really trying to work on the ‘everyone a learner’ approach and I include myself in that. Thank you to everyone for sharing.

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