Standards Site

Schemes of Work

Planning guidance


The schemes of work are a non-statutory resource that schools can use flexibly to support their planning. As they make decisions about the design of the curriculum and continue to review and develop their planning to take into account new opportunities, resources and changing pupil needs, many schools successfully select from and adapt the schemes.

When planning, many schools work from the following key points to help them plan efficiently and effectively:

  • successful planning enables teachers to provide a coherent, relevant and engaging curriculum that promotes continuity in pupils' learning
  • effective plans take many forms, but show clear objectives and how these will be achieved
  • adapting existing plans and using high-quality published resources as starting points can save on planning time and support schools' ongoing review of the curriculum
  • using ICT can make it much easier to share, re-use, copy and amend plans.

Many schools work with three levels of planning:

  • long-term plans
  • medium-term plans
  • short-term plans.

This section describes how the schemes of work can help you with each of these stages of planning and provides examples of plans used successfully by schools.