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Primary Education News
News How do you spend your planning, preparation and assessment time? – open thread
Do you focus on marking during your PPA time? Perhaps you prefer to plan collaboratively with colleagues? Share your tips on staying focused by posting in the comment thread
It can send teachers running into cupboards, wedging in their ear plugs and grasping for the kettle. Planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time is sacred. No one wants to fritter it away.
All teachers are entitled to spend a minimum of 10% of their teaching time reflecting on what has worked well in the classroom – and planning what to do next. In secondary schools, this is normally allotted through free periods.
PPA time is essential to teachers because it gives them space to think about how they can help children develop, says Kris Stutchbury, director of the PGCE course at the Open University. "As a teacher you get so many stimuli all the time and you learn so much every lesson, but you rarely get a chance to record or think critically about it all."
Debbie Simpson, PGCE primary programme leader at Cumbria University recommends teachers brush aside admin tasks and use the time to focus on their long-term goals: "You shouldn't be using your PPA to do your photocopying – it's a real enhancement time so that you can be more innovative and think about the bigger picture."
But this, she admits, is easier said than done. Teachers are permanently saddled with a long list of duties and it can be tough to block out distractions – as readers told us on Twitter.
Faced with a mountain of tasks to complete, how do you ensure you stay on track during your free periods? Do you prioritise assessment, or focus on planning? Is planning alongside other teachers a good idea? Or do you prefer to beaver away in isolation?
Share your tips and comments by posting in the comment thread below.