Visualising Common Components of a Lesson (Need Scraps)

Part of the Visualising Education Blog Series

Within every lesson there are common components which are shaped by the learning environment and organisation expectations. However, within the modern education systems (primary, secondary and further education) and to a large extent higher education there are consist core components within a lesson. For example, Differentiation, Scaffolding, Consolidation, Recall, Assessment, Personalisation.  The critical success factor is how these components are applied within the learning environment. Good and Outstanding teachers have autonomic routines which they use every lesson without thinking, they are for the most part, implicit in their application.

Over the years, I have developed a cognitive tick list (NEED SCRAPS) which I used when planning lessons and when delivering lessons. This checklist ensures that I am embedding core requirements within every lesson and therefore establishing them as normal routine, which increases the likelihood of achieving a lesson grading of Good or Outstanding. At the start of the year I teach these components to my students and how to recognise them within the lesson. I do this by writing NEED SCRAPS vertically on the whiteboard and every time I achieve one of the components I put a little tick next to the associated letter. This ensures that I start the year prepared and it helps the students to understand how to assess their own learning experience.  I also use ‘bingo’ to get the student involved by asking them to shout out the keyword as I use it. An alternative to this is to get the students to write down the keywords and when they have all the keyword, with examples, they shout bingo and win the reward. However, it is important that you create your own acronym (or mnemonic) based on your own specific needs.


Numeracy and Literacy

  • Identify new domain specific keywords
  • Highlight their spelling if they are irregular (E&D – highlight their non-British origins/ different spelling)
  • Ask students to interpret any table or chart (facts and figures)
  • Convert percentage to fraction (25% = 1/4)

Equality and Diversity (British Values)

  • Highlight and discuss bias within data or domain (why are female more likely to be suffers compared to males or why are males more likely to be engineers)
  • What does it mean to be a female in the UK compared to India how does this impact on their access to education/ medication? (e.g. what would X look like in a different location)
  • Get students to vote (agree and disagree) or give choice (complete activity one or two)

Employability Skills

  • Collaborative working and/ or team working
  • Presenting ideas (structured, logical and professional)
  • Analysing and evaluating information within a real-world context
  • Use knowledge and/ or  skills to solve problem
  • Link to job application/ interview


  • How will you make learning different for different learners
  • Often differentiation is linked to learning needs e.g. specific learning needs or development of learning skills such as independent learning or self-assessment.
  • Resources, Assessment, Grouping, Task, Opportunities, Pace (RAGTOP)


  • What steps will you put into place to accelerate learning (move students from A to B)
  • Consider the starting point for each learner as some learners can skip some activities


  • Explain an idea, concept or theory and ask students to explain it on relation to their workplace (also personalisation)
  • Present scenario and ask student(s) to apply knowledge (idea, concept, theory)


  • Ask learners to complete mini-quiz about last week (recap)
  • Ask learners to link prior learning to current learning (e.g. link theory to policy)
  • Use mini-plenary and end of lesson plenary to recall current learning


  • What evidence do you have/ visualise what the student(s) already know at the start of the lesson
  • What evidence do you have/ visualise if the student(s) have acquired the intended skill\ knowledge from the learning event (know when to move on to the next learning event)
  • What evidence do you have/ visualise that the students have achieved the main learning objective(s) of the lesson


  • Give three different examples for the same theory or knowledge which link to the students (e.g. hospital, care home and family)
  • Ask student(s) to explain the theory or knowledge in their own words (also linked to consolidation)

Synchronous Learning

  • Synchronous learning or real-time feedback is two-way discussion or questioning
  • Asynchronous learning or after completion – students complete task then feedback is given.
  • Both approaches are linked to student assessment