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. However, the demands in terms of level of detail and complexity of these plans seem to be ever increasing, and preparing a set of long-term plans for the year can be daunting for both new and experienced teachers alike. The following article will provide you with some information to help you get started.
The National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT) has provided detailed guidance regarding layout and content for long term plans. Click here to be brought to their website where you will find a wealth of information relating to long term planning including templates, guidelines and examples. Furthermore, in 2015 when the Primary Language Curriculum was published, the NCCA produced its own sample template for long term planning which you can access here.
While the above websites provide very useful guidance, the sheer quantity of information available is overwhelming. On teachingplans.ie I have long term plans for all class levels available to save you the hassle! I have put a huge amount of time and effort into the plans and they have been downloaded and positively reviewed by hundreds of other teachers. My plans contain all of the sections recommended in the NIPT and NCCA templates and are suitable for teachers undergoing probation. All of my English and Irish plans are based on the 2019 version of the Primary Language Curriculum, are extremely detailed and took me weeks to complete.
If you do decide you would like to do your own long-terms, the following is some 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 in this section 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).
- 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.
- Resources – Outline the specific resources that you will need for teaching the subject for the year.
- 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.
Best of luck for the new school year!