Guide for using the planning documents

The Mantle of the Expert context page on our website is an archive of planning created and used by teachers since the early 2000s. As you can imagine the format for planning an MoE context has changed and developed over that time and the planning on this page reflects that change. The most recent plans are at the top of the list, with the earliest at the bottom so as you move down the page you are, as it were, travelling back into history. As a consequence some of the early documents will seem both incomplete and a little archaic compared to the most recent. This is especially true of the curriculum, which in England has changed considerably since the early plans were created. As Mantle of the Expert has grown around the world we have also become more aware of writing for an international audience.

Please adapt the plans and change them for your own purposes. They are suggestions – a guide if you like – not a recipe you have to follow religiously. They have all been used successfully in the classroom many times by teachers with a range of experience and training in Mantle of the Expert. Some are very intricate and include detailed sequences of steps, others are less elaborate and represent little more than an outline.

We decided many years ago we weren’t going to dictate a formate to contributors but rather allow them to use their own professional judgment. However, there are some key elements in all the planning that represent the foundations of the approach – the responsible team, the client, and the commission, being the most obvious.

Although we refrain from making prescriptions we would recommend the following advice when using these plans:

1. Add your own content – especially curriculum. The knowledge, skills, and understanding listed in these documents are only a fraction of what you might teach while using one of these contexts. The teachers who wrote them were aware of this and only listed the main areas for the purposes of brevity.
2. If you know your students, adapt the plans to meet their interests and needs.
3. The recommended age groups are recommendations only and you might find, with a little adaptation, they work well with children from different age ranges.
4. Once you reach the end of the ‘steps in’ part of the planning you’ll be creating your own scenarios, for this we recommend trying the ‘Events – Activities – Purpose – Learning’ boxes on the MoE Planning Flowchart to support you in this process.
5. Remember tension! – if you find after the initial enthusiasm your mantle begins to lose its vim it is probably because the tension has disappeared. Take a look at the Tension List on the Planning and Teaching Tools page and the blog ‘Tension – making learning exciting’.