Input-Activity-Review- the best cycle to get the most from your pupils!

Stuck with an effective way to teach and plan your lessons? Look no further. By splitting your lessons into 3 parts: Input; Activity; Review, you will allow greater structure and clarity in your lessons for you and students.

In today’s CPD we used Table tennis as a way of using Input, Activity, Review.



This stage is about introducing the lesson and giving the students the knowledge to apply to the tasks that you set them. This begins by the teacher sharing and specifying the learning objectives and outcomes, so that the lesson direction is clear again to you and your students. Following onwards pupils should be engaged with the ‘Hook’ which is a settling activity to engage students as they enter the classroom.




Set the task for the students and give them time to get on with the task set. Sometimes as teachers we struggle to let go of the reigns, and allow the pupils the time and the space necessary to engage and grow through independent work. By allowing pupils the time to engage with the activity and refer back to learning outcomes, pupils are able to develop more autonomous learning skills. In practical subjects it is easier perhaps to allow fight or flight attitude towards students learning as it is important for pupils to know that it is OK to get things wrong. This develops perseverance which is an important life skill for students.



In this part of the lesson pupils would be led back to the learning objectives and outcomes and given the opportunity to reflect on their learning and the work completed also. At this point questioning can be used effectively to gauge the level of understanding of students. Questioning methods such as random name generators; quiz with Kahoot; Pose, Pause, Pounce, Bounce; or questions on a beach ball, are simple ideas of ways to identify learners needs for future lessons. An alternative review method could be whole class engagement activities where the learning is reviewed through a series of games. These could be hot seat, head bands, pass the chicken, socrative. (Ideas on There is also good ideas of review activities on the TES including this template which has been adapted to reflect ICT review activities we offer in the school.


You can complete this cycle between 1-3 times, depending on the suit and ability of your class. With a more able class, you may find that you have to add extension tasks, or quicken the pace in which they complete the cycles. Or alternatively, you may set them more challenging concepts and therefore they will require longer to do the activity, to create independence.

Why plan and each this way?

It is easy, stress free and more importantly allows progress to be ascertained very quickly. The review sections of your cycle are crucial. It is imperative you are checking constantly and asking questions and AFl tools to gauge where your learners are at, and how you can help them reach their end goal.

It is an expectation that all teachers at Westfield Academy teach this way- to ensure our pupils are getting the best possible education and teachers have high expectations which cater for every student in our school.

children schools.jpgClick here for a model lesson on Input-activity-review



Importance of starters and the big’ picture’ within a lesson

So you have planned the contents of your lesson- you know exactly what you want them to know and understand by the end, you are proud of yourself… next… how do you get them interested and engaged from the minute they enter your room? How do you get them to understand how and why this lesson is important? How do you get them to understand where this knowledge will lead?

The Big Picture


What is it?

The ‘Big Picture’ is a snapshot for the students to see at a glance, where on their learning journey they have been, where they are now and where they are going.

This can be done in different ways:

1.You could have a long term big picture where the students get to see each term/half term what their learning journey will look like

2.Each lesson, a slide on the powerpoint shows them at a glance on a lesson by lesson basis what their learning journey is.

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So what is the rational behind the ‘big picture?’

*By providing students with a ‘Big Picture’ they are able to see what they are working towards and what their plan for the lessons and school terms will be.

*You can expand upon this with students by adding in assessments etc. as well.

Another important and effective way of getting pupils involved in their earning and their own big picture- is by printing Long term plans and placing them into the front of their workbooks. This is a great way to instil independence, forward planning and keeping parents in the loop.

Starters- they should be quick, easy and engaging. 

The best thing is- once you have taken the time to design your PPt slide once/ or your active inspire flip-chart… they can be reused and recycled.

  1. Four pictures- One word

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2. Spot the difference

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3. Pass the parcel

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4. Bananagrams




Attached is a fantastic little resource from: 

Which contains lots of quick, easy and engaging activities.


Another amazing resource included is the lesson starter generator- ppt slides which are made ready and waiting for your use! Simple!









Tell them how to be successful and watch them grow!

Flowers, plants, animals, children, adults- we all require food, energy and water to grow and thrive. Think of your opening 5mins of the lesson.


This is your moment to ensure your pupils are getting the sustenance they require to grow and to bloom in those 60mins. They need the core essential ingredients of learning to help achieve and make progress.


At Westfield Academy we have core ‘Westfield Ways’ to ensure our pupils are taught consistent steps to help guide and ensure they make the best progress they possibly can.

In the classroom, at Westfield Academy, teachers must ensure:

  • Learning objectives and outcomes are visible on the Promethean Board and or whiteboard, at the start of the lesson.
  • Outcomes must stage the skills pupils will use (blooms) and be linked to levels/ grades
  • Pupils write down the Learning Objectives and Outcomes into their books, underneath their Hook activity/ Title and Date.


This will enable pupils to be part of their learning cycle and most importantly, take responsibility for their learning.

When the teacher makes the Objectives and outcomes clear and broken down in steps- it acts like an ingredients list- a checking point for pupils to ensure they are on track.


Jen and Sam made sure that all staff at Butterfly knew the difference between Objectives, Outcomes and Success Criteria:

Objectives: What the pupils will be learning in your lesson

Outcomes: The skills (tasks) the pupils will use during that learning cycle (BLOOMS)

Success Criteria: Providing the pupils with tips/ advice on how they can achieve the above. E.g: listen carefully, use a ruler, use high level vocab using a thesaurus etc…..


Sam provided the staff with a challenge: create a LO for making a cake-easier than it sounds! It really  made the staff think and highlighted the importance of planning and really thinking about what you want your pupils to have learned in 60 mins.

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The next task was to illustrate the importance of success criteria:

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Sam explained the vital importance of success criteria, especially in a subject like Art. the staff were asked to draw a Key without any success criteria or instructions- the results were varying and highlighted limited artists!

After the inclusion of success criteria- the results drastically improved! SUCCESS!!

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So there you have it: a short and easy guide to how and why we need to use Learning Objectives, outcomes and where necessary- success criteria in every lesson.

As Benjamin Franklin once rightly said:

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”