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A series of schemes of work, resources and advice pages for teaching the new specs will appear here whilst material is migrated from the legacy page...

Some ideas, inspiration and moral support:

If you can't find what you're looking for on the site, then please contact me and I'll source something and place it on the site.  Alternatively if you have something you'd like to share and want full creditation, then also let me know.  I will be authoring material for here and also for TES.

Assessment for learning applies to Media Studies as much as any other subject.  Below are some criteria to be thinking about when creating and executing a good to outstanding Media Studies lesson.  With OFSTED always lurking, and SLT performing learning walks instead of formal observations, a quick review of the following could keep your performance management record looking healthy.


Obviously, it's good to have a starter but that depends on what unit you're covering and at what stage in the SOW you are covering.  See STARTERS for ideas.  However, a learning walk is not particularly interested in what activity you do, but more:

  • Are there clear, valuable learning intentions for students that are clearly displayed?  If creating a PowerPoint, I suggest you have the Learning Objective present on every slide, to remind the students about what it is they're doing and so if someone did pop in, it is clear what the aim for the lesson is.

  • Is the success criteria written in plain English and understood by all students.  Go for the less is more approach, one or two lines outlining the outcome of the lesson for all students (think MUST, SHOULD, COULD).  If an inspector or SLT member of staff enters a lesson, they will not speak to you but talk to your students about WHAT it is that they are learning.

  • When you're asking for feedback, asking questions or looking for students to discuss their findings from a starter activity, then make sure that candidates are chosen at random.  Don't go for the brightest spark, keep students on their toes and you'll also get a more varied and diverse response which could create a more productive classroom.

  • Are the questions that you are asking making the students think?  Remember, you're trying to engage and connect at the start of a lesson.  If you're questions are very quick fire, are you're students really thinking or just responding to very simple questioning?



If you've set up clear expectations and the students understand the learning objective, then your role as teacher should now become more as a facilitator (context of lesson permitting) where student discussion should dominate.  The middle of a lesson is also a good time to start using hinge questioning, where you try to catch the students out through your use of questioning to check that everyone is at the same stage.  This is particularly useful to avoid 'reteaching' later in the term when you realise, through assessment, that students have not understood a key term. 

  • At least 80% of students should be involved in answering questions (in a class of thirty, that's 24!)  So you need to look at ways of coaxing responses out of the least confident - again, be selective in how you address the questions (differentiated questioning).

  • An all student response system should be used or applied.  This could be through hands up system, traffic light system (some school journals have this) or use of whiteboards.

  • Thinking time...Again, this is important for the less confident.  Avoid hands up if you can, direct your questions specifically to students and if it really looks like they won't be able to give a response, allow a peer to suggest how they could answer it, or model the response that you are after and come back to that student with a similar question later.

  • Encourage students to support each others learning, either during the learning activity or through peer assessment.

  • Allow students to work independently and take responsibility for their own learning.  This is tough, but done right can demonstrate exemplary practice.




Pleanaries are handy and don't have to take much time, for a list of the best you can click here

  • It is important for the teacher to give formative oral feedback on the outcomes of the  main learning activity and the lesson overall.

  • Use comments that advance learning, that show that you are consolidating the objectives of the lesson and moving EVERY student forward.

  • Teacher finds out what the students have learned - don't be afraid to say it: "So, what have you learnt today?" or "What have WE learnt today?"

  • Based on the results of the lesson, there is recognition by yourself about how you will adjust your teaching and the content of future lessons.


Plenaries don't have to be extensive.  They provide an opportunity to draw together ideas, summarise the outcomes of a lesson and direct future learning.  They have a function in that they give pupils a focus on what is important, highlight what they have learnt, demonstrate the progress that they have made and help them identify the next steps. And in a cycle of learning, the starter reconnects students with previous learning that was consolidated in a plenary from a previous lesson.

Lets also remember that plenaries don't have to occur just at the end of a lesson, but be used part way through to consolidate knowledge. 


Plenaries are a debrief with three main intentions (Fisher 2002):


  • Pupils are asked to give answers and explain how they arrived at them and the skills they needed to use;

  • In the process of explaining, pupils have to develop and use appropriate language;

  • They can then be encouraged to see how these processes can be used in other areas.


A plenary is a bridge.  Bridging allows a teacher to make a link between the learning in a lesson and learning in another, or to the everyday real world (which in these times is essential and widely encouraged).

The following list is by no means comprehensive, but particularly useful and effective in Media Studies:

  1. List three things you found out today

  2. summarise the topic/character/scene in five bullet points

  3. compose a text message, summarising what you've learnt today in lesson

  4. Identify/summarise the key points of the lesson

  5. Pupils talk about most important thing a peer has said in the lesson and give reasons why

  6. Give students a post it note, get them to write the main thing they learnt from lesson and what they most enjoyed.  Students then come up to the front and post on the board - teacher picks out some and re-emphasises them.

  7. students create a mnemonic to help them remember the concepts/content of the lesson

  8. Give students a passage of text with key words missing - they must fill in the blanks (variation: some have different texts and must read out to class once complete).

  9. A word search of main terms (you can create wordsearches easily using this site)

  10. If the lesson aim was set as a question, pupils use their whiteboards to answer  (you could impose a word limit or encourage subject specific terminology to challenge)

  11. Take one minute to compose one or two statements in your head to explain what has been learnt and how you learnt it (good for A-level)

  12. Ask students where they can apply their newly acquired skills - either in homework, other subject or real world.

  13. Create a list of statements on the board (five is good) and ask students to choose their top one (or three) and explain their reasoning.

  14. Prediction - get students to say what will happen next and explain why (could be good for showing a video clip)

  15. Ask class to reflect and resolve any difficulties which prohibited effective learning (yes, it can happen)

  16. Students pair up and look at each others work - they then set each other targets

  17. Teacher shows/gives students an extract from a piece of work.  Pupils must identify strengths and weaknesses and feedback for redrafting.

  18. Answer teacher's questions without saying yes or no.

  19. True of False - students given a range of true and false statements (try to pick random students for this)

  20. Write the epitaph for a character/institution you have been studying

  21. Jigsaw Feedback - class put into groups to sort task, then must reform as a class to share their findings

  22. Roleplay reversal - students as teacher asking rest of the class questions and explain why you want to know.

  23. Quick fire oral quiz to review/revisit learning

  24. Label a diagram, illustration or screenshot/storyboard - using appropriate terminology

  25. Brainstorm or mindmap what has been learnt during the lesson

  26. Show a graphic summary of lesson to demonstrate how students have learnt

  27. Choose an image/cartoon that best summarises the learning of the lesson

  28. In role, hot seating activity.

Bloom's Taxonomy


This is most useful in both planning learning objectives and posing challenging questions.  Bloom's taxonomy classifies educational objectives into groups according the their level of cognitive complexity and the amount and kind of thinking needed to meet objectives.  The model suggests that students need knowledge before they can understand knowledge.  The following chart can be used to help plan objectives that consolidate knowledge and learning, and help you implement a range of cognitive objectives over the term.



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