The four-phase model, illustrated below, is a flexible framework for planning which allows ‘scrolling’ through the phases more than once in any lesson. The phases need not be sequential or applicable to every lesson. Generally though, it is considered good practice to include 4 phases as this promotes active learning.

The Overview establishes the learning intentions with pupils and shows where the lesson fits into the bigger picture. This is also the phase where teachers can introduce and discuss success criteria (end result of lesson) with pupils.

In the Input phase teachers provide a brief exposition, since the attention span of pupils is short. New information is delivered in a wide variety of ways which take account of pupils’ different learning styles (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic).

In the Processing phase pupils are actively engaged in different learning processes. Various types of tasks are used which motivate and engage pupils. For example, active learning approaches can be used in the delivery of knowledge and understanding, in conjunction with the use of ICT, peer and self-assessment and success criteria to inform pupils’ next steps as they work.

The Review (or ‘plenary’) usually takes place at the end of the lesson. However in some lessons teachers conduct regular reviews throughout. In other areas it may be appropriate to do a formal review after an extended piece of work organised over a number of weeks.

The review is when the success criteria of the lesson may be discussed and pupils’ learning evaluated.

A number of activities can be used to review the lesson, including teacher-led quizzes, question and answer (using a variety of questioning techniques), pupil presentation, pupil feedback, ticket out the door etc.