Supporting Teacher Workload

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5 Minute Lesson Plan Digital


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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In a busy working week, how can teachers improve their cognitive thinking?

Teacher workload will never go away, but how a teacher approaches lesson planning can be streamlined so that a more cognitive approach improves teacher impact. Get access to my new digital planning tool.

A thought process …

Lesson planning; for teachers new and experienced will always be required. Sadly, detailed plans is one of those education fads that have little or no impact on learning and is still required in many institutions. With a welcomed focus on curriculum planning that considers, intent, implementation and impact, how teachers manage to do this and reduce their workload will always be a difficult balance.

Over the past 12 months, I have been working with Angel Solutions to redesign my digital lesson plan for teachers.


Don’t stop thinking!

Although, the original 5 Minute Lesson Plan was shared (~2011) when detailed lesson plans were required for formal observations and inspections, thankfully, this dialogue has changed. However, this does not mean that teachers do not need to stop lesson planning and by this, I mean recording details on a piece of paper – even Ofsted no longer require detailed plans of any teacher, even a trainee!

Why use the 5 Minute Lesson Plan?

For me? If teachers can be ‘clear and precise about the learning, not the doing’, this should help support lesson planning as a thought process, rather than recording lots of details on a piece of paper – particularly to benefit an observer. Academic John Hattie and his research on effect sizes on student outcomes define this process as ‘teacher clarity’.

What does the research suggest?

“Fendick (1990) as “organization, explanation, examples and guided practice, and assessment of student learning — such that clarity of speech was a prerequisite of teacher clarity.” (Hattie 2009, 126) – the importance to clearly communicate the intentions of the lessons and the success criteria. Clear learning intentions describe the skills, knowledge, attitudes and values that the student needs to learn.”

On the original 5 Minute Lesson Plan, this was called ‘Stickability.’ in 2007 when it was first created. Listen to this short video of me explaining its importance on the plan. For more details about what each stage means, you can download this short guide or listen to a video demonstration inside the new software.


Create a digital lesson plan?

Sign up to my new digital template at  (limited users) and follow on all the social media channels at @5MinLessonPlan with the hashtag, 

You can find all of my original 5 Minute Lesson Plan resources here, with templates and frequently asked questions. If you work in an Initial Teacher Training organisation, there is a training programme available to support you and your work with newly qualified teachers.

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