Research School Network: Making plans: how to apply the EEF implementation plan as a classroom teacher ELE Adam Robbins explores why the EEF implementation guide is useful for classroom teachers.

Making plans: how to apply the EEF implementation plan as a classroom teacher

ELE Adam Robbins explores why the EEF implementation guide is useful for classroom teachers.

Yay gained time! After the meat grinder that was Teacher Assessed Grades, it is time for secondary teachers across the land to reflect, review and plan for next year. Gained time is a mythical time where the skies are always blue and all things are possible. This can often result in a laundry list of incredibly vital and important things being generated by classroom teachers and leaders alike.

So how do we make the best of a gained time? Quite simply it is all about prioritisation. There will be tasks that must be done and will take up some time, for example KS3 assessment marking. The rest of the time will need to be divided up in a way that makes the most sense for your priorities.

For a classroom teacher one of the most important things they can spend time on is developing their pedagogical content knowledge of teaching their subject. The challenge arises when we try to bring these new developments into the classroom as a permanent feature of our practice.

We can look to the EEF implementation plan for guidance in how best to plan for a change in our teaching so it will stick.

While the EEF implementation plan is securely situated within the realm of school leadership we can take its themes and adapt them to a classroom teachers’ perspective. This creates a cycle that we can follow for any change we want to embed.

The EEF cycle for implementation looks like this


It has the four sections of explore, prepare, deliver and sustain. We are going to keep those and the essence of each part as we convert it to a teacher’s perspective.

This section is all about information gathering. Where can a teacher go to find a range of solutions to common problems in education? Well, the Durrington research school blog of course! However other sources of information are available. There are many books, blogs and of course twitter that can give you access to a range of different solutions. The important thing here is to look widely and broadly; seek ideas that might not be your initial thoughts and then review the evidence base to support them. No point in working hard on something that wont work in your context.

This is where the strategy is chosen, and plans are made. What work can you do now that will make it easy to use the new strategy in the thralls of October? Are there resources you can build or adapt now that will pay off over time? If so, get cracking on those and do future you a favour!

This is where the rubber meets the road. Trial your new idea with one class now. Work out the bugs before your go all in and adapt as needed. No plan survives contact with the enemy, so be willing to change and adapt. The plan might need to completely change. One of the best ways of checking this is to speak to a colleague as a sounding board or ideally receive some coaching.

You have your new strategy in place, how will you keep it there? What routine maintenance is needed? Do you need to have some small deadlines for resources or planning to ensure you can keep up your momentum. Teachers are creatures of habit, so its vital we grease the wheels on our new habit until it is a permanent feature of the way we think or behave. One of the best ways to sustain is to bring others on board. This makes the change scalable as more people can build resources etc. If you are finding positive changes early on, try to get other on board, as they say a to-do list shared is a to-do list halved”.

Putting this all together we get a new cycle that looks like this:


Happy gained time everyone!

Adam Robbins

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