Outstanding lessons can be very different, from flipped classrooms and cooperative learning, all the way through to command style lessons. However, they all have the same underlying ‘DAPPER’ aspects that make them Outstanding.
DAPPER Dapper isn’t just meant by its definition relating to how a teacher presents themselves…but six components that address the OfSTED requirements for an Outstanding lesson.
These six aspects should be a code that you follow when planning, these are Differentiation, Assessment, Progress, Pace and engagement, Environment and Routines
D – Differentiation You must ensure all pupils in your lesson have the opportunity to progress from their individual starting points. This can be through many different ways, but you need to ensure that the resources are there to support the HAPs, MAPs and LAPs.
A – Assessment Allow time in your lesson for assessment, this could be teacher/self/peer, but make sure that you use this to impact on the learning in the remainder of the lesson. You can do this by having different tasks based on the outcomes of their assessment, or by allowing them to reflect on the marking.
P – Progress Use the assessment above to highlight pupils progress. You can also allow pupils to track their own progress throughout the lesson by ticking off and timing the learning objectives.
P – Pace and engagement To allow for ‘rapid and sustained progress’ in your lessons, you must ensure that you have pace and engagement to grasp pupils attention. There are many ways of doing this, such as videos, music, games, competition etc. but at the end of the day, you know what makes your pupils tick more than anyone else.
E – Environment To ensure that you can get the pace and engagement in your lessons, create a purposeful learning environment in which pupils feel comfortable to take risks and share ideas. This can start at the door as soon as they walk in, and is maintained through your behaviour management and classroom circulation for the remainder of the lesson.
R – Routines Pupils work really well when they are working with ingrained routines. These can be simple, from the way in which they enter the classroom, to complex, with the pupils having working groups that they move to at certain points in the lesson.
Each of the above aspects could have a blog of its own blog written about it, and I’m sure that I will do so in time. However, this blog has been written as a signpost to hone your lesson planning towards the important aspects and ensure that you address each of these in some way during the lessons that you deliver.
This article was originally published in 2014 by @MrDGrindrodNFGS, but updated in 2019 by the UKEd Editorial team