Scheme of Work – Unecessary?

There is currently a small discussion going on in the Twitter-sphere, if you hyphenate the spell checker does not object, about the value of a scheme of work. Is it valuable or not? The poster, twitterer, asserts that because he has a rather fluid lesson delivery, impacted on and moulded by such factors as AfL, student responses to questions etc the SoW becomes a redundant piece of documentation.

There is some merit in this view, I think. If we see a SoW as an unbending prescription for identifying that we will follow regardless of what happens in a classroom then it is clearly a little too constraining, like whale-bone corsets – or so I am told, for most teachers.

But if instead of a scheme of work we have a scheme of learning does this change our view about what the document would contain and how valuable it might be? If we define learning paths, note the plural, for typical learners than is the value enhanced?

What would a scheme of learning look like compared to a scheme of work? Needs some more time and some more thinking – or perhaps you have some ideas…?

I used to write SoW so that I knew we had written lesson plans that covered the whole syllabus – specification in the new examination board language. we used the SoW to check the timing of lessons. We would rather not do electrostatics in the winter. Heat experiments were good when the weather was likely to be cold.

Also we had to manage the resources so that the limited number of whatever science bits and pieces, bunsen burners or dynamics trolleys etc were not required by the whole of year 7 at one time. We also then had to check the logic of the order we taught things in. Concept development was guided by our SoW.

Perhaps they have some use, still…

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