Here at Tutorfair, we put the brains of our qualified teachers, tutors and parents together to devise a broadly universal lesson plan that sums up the basic steps that a tutor should take to craft a successful lesson. As subjects and students differ so much, there is of course no one rigid structure that will work for every lesson, but this skeleton plan is really useful to keep in mind as you tailor each lesson to suit your student.

This particular example has been thought-out with a Primary to GCSE-age child in mind, but if this is not appropriate for you then you can still derive the basic principles.

What is the best way to structure any lesson?

  1. Quickly catch-up with the student, both with small talk ("did you watch the last episode of The Great British Bake-Off?! How did your school football match go on Saturday?") and with regard to their learning ("what did you learn in school this week? How did you do in your test?)
  2. Confirm knowledge from previous lesson: recall what you studied last week, and if relevant, check their homework while they do a quick task on this lesson's topic, then look over their homework together.
  3. Set out goals for this lesson: introduce this lesson's topic with a link to last lesson's topic (this should be based on the outcome of the starter task), then begin a new task at the appropriate level. 
  4. Complete some practice questions together.
  5. Go over the answers, then ask them to complete (a five-minute challenge can be a good way to keep the lesson's momentum going)
  6. "Are you with me so far?", "Is this helping you understand better?" Asking these sorts of questions is a good way to break-down the length of the lesson and keep the student's attention. Check that they understand what you have explained, and return to problems if they are struggling.
  7. This week's homework and link back to broader objectives: once you have covered this week's tasks, have a look at the coming week's homework or gauge what the student will be studying until you see them next From this you can mention what you will likely get up to in your next lesson.