We represent the ‘shape’ of a lesson as an hourglass made up of four phases (EIPA). An hourglass shape represents the manner in which the learning begins broad, becomes tighter in its focus to then open up again through practice and application.

We begin with the Engage Phase, activating learning through retrieval ‘Do Now’ activities. We explicitly share the purpose of learning through an enquiry focused objective and outcomes articulated as ‘I Can’ statements linked directly to measurable assessment criteria.  A baseline task enables both learner and teacher to see where students are in their learning at the start of this lesson and provides a mechanism to recognise progress across the session.



Now learners are engaged with the lessons objectives and the desired outcomes we move into the Instruction Phase. Knowledge and/or Skills are explicitly taught through ‘chunked practice’ with students undertaking ongoing practice and the teacher ongoing formative assessment of new learning.


Next, we move into the Practice Phase, facilitating Individual and Collaborative practice which gets progressively more complex (guided by the SOLO Taxonomy).


Finally, we move into the Application Phase, facilitating Individual and Collaborative practice explicitly linked to the Key and related Concepts of our Curriculum. Here also we assess the learning that has taken place.


When we bring this pedagogic approach together it can be represented as,