The requirement for written notes for primary teachers has been in place for a long time. Rule 126 of the 1965 Rules for National Schools states that teachers are required at the beginning of the school year to prepare a definite and detailed scheme of work in each subject suited to the needs of their pupils.
The National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT) provides detailed guidance regarding layout and content for long term plans including templates, guidelines and examples.
New guidelines on Preparation for Teaching and Learning were published by the DoES during 2021 (you can read a summary of these guidelines in our blog post here), further adding to the confusion over planning documentation.
While the above websites provide very useful guidance, the sheer quantity of information available is overwhelming and preparing long-term plans for the year can be daunting for both new and experienced teachers alike. That is why teachingplans.ie provides high quality, fully editable sample long term planning which you can quickly and easily tailor to your own class, so that you can dedicate more time to teaching and less to written planning. The Primary Language Curriculum sample long term and short term sample plans and templates available on teachingplans.ie contain ALL of the sections recommended in the NIPT guidelines and NCCA templates. All English and Gaeilge long term plans on teachingplans.ie are based on the most recent 2019 version of the Primary Language Curriculum.
If you do decide you want to do your long-term planning from scratch, the following will provide you with some information to help you get started. Using the free long term planning template which you have downloaded, the following is guidance on the various sections that you should include:
- Aims – These can be taken from the curriculum books and tied in with the needs of your class and your school’s whole school curricular plans.
- Content – here you include the Strands and Strand Units and the relevant curricular objectives (or learning outcomes from the PLC) that you will be covering during the year. You can also include some sample learning activities here, or you may wish to include a separate table with a monthly breakdown of the content that you expect to cover during the year. For subjects that have skills and concept development as part of their curriculum e.g. history, you will need to include these too.
- Methodologies – Include details of the approaches and methodologies you intend to use throughout the year. The NIPT has a helpful document outlining methodologies here (document 8.7).
- Resources – Outline the specific resources that you will need for teaching the subject for the year.
- Differentiation – Include details of the differentiation strategies related to the content included in the plans. The NIPT has a document outlining strategies here (document 8.8)
- Assessment – Include details of the assessment strategies you will use. The Assessment in the Primary School – Guidelines for Schools (NCCA
2009) will provide helpful guidance here and the NIPT has a document outlining strategies here (document 8.9)
- Linkage and Integration – Provide details of how you intend to link the children’s learning across strands and subjects when relevant and appropriate. You can also leave this section out of individual subject long-term plans, and complete a separate linkage and integration plan for the year which outlines how you will do this across the different subjects each term or month.
- Optional – Include a table with a monthly breakdown of the specific content that you wish to cover. This is optional, but most teachers like to included it as they find it quite helpful to know in advance how they will aim to spread the learning out over the year.