Preparing for your first tutorial – The Lesson Plan

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

Lesson plans give structure and purpose to your tutorials. They lay out clear goals, actionable steps to reach those goals, and the resources you will need for those steps. A good tutor will have a lesson plan for each tutorial – even if it’s just a few bullet points. As you gain more experience and get to know your students better, the lesson plans becomes easier and quicker to pull together.

How to write your first lesson Plan

The first tutorial, as we’ve discussed, is where you start to build a strong relationship with your student and layout a clear plan of action for working together. The lesson plan will help you achieve this by synthesising all the information you’ve gathered about your student in one place. As a tutor, it will help you approach that first session with confidence.

We recommend the following steps:

- TEMPLATE: Use a template to help you focus your ideas. We’ve put an example below and a template you can download here:

Example Lesson Plan
Download PDF • 206KB

- MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES: Identify the objectives for the lesson. This is the most crucial step – everything else flows out from your objectives. Keep these simple, measurable and few in number. 2-3 is plenty for an hour-long session. The content will depend on the subject and level you’re teaching and of course, the student’s specific needs and goals. You need to make clear what your criteria are for having met the objectives, so you can determine how successful your lesson was.

- TIMED ACTIVITIES: Identify the activities you want to carry out, along with the amount of time you’ll need for each. Make sure you’ve identified how each step or activity helps you meet the objectives you’ve outlined.

- DELIVERABLES: What are you/ the student going to produce at the end of the lesson? This might be a completed past paper, set of maths exercises, or a well-rehearsed speech. But know what you want to deliver by the end of the lesson. Again, these should relate to your objectives.

- RESOURCES: Write down what materials or resources you’ll need to bring or prepare.

Remember your first lesson should focus on getting to know your student rather than imparting huge amounts of knowledge. Use this time to better understand their strengths and weaknesses and work out a learning plan together. All subsequent lesson plans can cascade out from there.

Example First Lesson Plan:

Student Profile

Subject(s): English Language and English Literature

Level: GCSE/ Key Stage 4

Learning Objectives: Achieve Grade 7 or above. Currently predicted Grade 5.

Strengths/ weaknesses: Struggles particularly with structuring essays and poetry analysis. Vocab and grammar are very strong.

Other details: WJEC exam board


1. Objective: Begin building a strong rapport with student, including identifying their strengths and weaknesses

Measure of success: Student shows increased level of comfort with tutor. Tutor is able to list student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Deliverables: N/A

2. Objective: Agree learning goals and methods

Measure of Success: Student and tutor have discussed learning goals for the student over tutoring period.

Deliverables: Written set of learning goals agreed by tutor and student. Goals are tailored to the student’s needs and have clear methodologies attached to them.

3. Objective: Practice Contemporary and modern poetry comparison.

Measure of success: Time spent reviewing two poems from student’s anthology followed by review of mark scheme, highlighting correct answers and areas for improvement.

Deliverables: Draft comparison produced independently by student. Draft is marked by student and tutor together, with reference to mark scheme.


At the end, you may want to assign homework, depending on what you’ve agreed with the student and their parents.

If you’re nervous about the first lesson, it’s fine to plan a few extra activities to make sure you’ve got plenty to fill the time. You can always transfer anything you don’t get to the next lesson.

Remember, the lesson plan is there to help you. The better prepared you are, the better the tutorial will go!

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