It is on a Sunday evening that marking and planning and preparation come round. For those teachers googling such terms (and it appears there are a fair number) here are my tips:

1) Have something planned afterwards. I’m going to make a Thai Curry as soon as this is posted!

2) Usually, mark and plan that work which is most rapid first. You’ve got to see easy gains.

3) Mark for a purpose, and record what your class has achieved. Only needs a few notes, but it clarifies where you are going next.

4) Aim to vary the pattern of the lessons: I am experimenting using Kagan Dice so students devise questions for AF analysis prior to a SATs reading paper.

5) Plan the targets for the week ahead. The section of lessons then builds towards that target.

6) Write questions in books, and respond to questions. Not every book, every week. Feel like you’re giving judicious, personalised attention where you can.

7) Have a separate place where you mark. I can retreat from my den/study after marking.

8) Don’t sit for too long. It took me about two hours today to produce the overview for the week, and another hour for my exam class to personalise exam resources. 2-4 hours each Sunday should be an expectation for a teacher for overview planning.

9) Use a timer if necessary if you are taking too long to plan. You are no good to anyone if you have no life!

10) Sometimes you have to plan for content, rather than pedagogy: your management of the activity will come by instinct in time.