School planning tool

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Planning Training

When preparing any training experience it is important to plan well. It is the responsibility of the training leaders for the training of the students, whoever they are. This is particularly important in the case of inviting a visiting speaker in: it is one of the least predictable ways to train people as you often have no idea what a speaker will end up delivering. This is particularly difficult for training leaders, as 'theirs is the responsibility'!

This little planning tool has helped this author many times to properly set goals and outcomes for each week of training. With adaption it will work in most training environments, but even as a tool for preaching in churches etc.

It is important to note that you will need to start with a Syllabus! You need to know the general goals and outcomes for the training. A tool to assist with the big picture planning of a school, from initial idea, through training times, to the final goodbyes and evaluations is documented in the article: Planning a DTS (or any school). The tool below is offered to help you with detailed planning!


The basic thrust is that there are 4 main types of outcomes in training:

  • Knowledge learned (e.g. that God really is GOOD)
  • Skills imparted (e.g. How to proclaim scripture in Intercession, How to write a good restitution letter)
  • Experience gained (e.g. Being Baptised in the Holy Spirit)
  • Feeling experienced (e.g. I am useful to God in Evangelism, I feel secure in this training time)

A good trainer will plan each week to produce outcomes that fall into these 4 goal areas. Once agreed as goals, the weeks programme can be creatively arranged around these goals using different and varied techniques to arrive at the outcomes desired.

Once you have clear goals you can write clearly to a visiting speaker and express exactly what you want out of the weeks teaching. You will know quickly during the teaching week if you are on track and you will have a clear way to express your expectation to the speaker. You will be able to work WITH the speaker to achieve your goals. This brings great satisfaction all around especially to the speaker who will know if they achieved what they set out to do! You will also find it much swifter to react in a situation with a visiting speaker who refuses to do what is asked/or realises they would be unable to do what you want.

Using the Tool

There are three broad headings:

  1. Teaching (What happens in the classroom)
  2. Other (What you want to happen in the rest of the schedule)
  3. Leadership Teams (What you want to happen to the leaders: you are training them as you go of course!)

Talking through the goals with the leadership team each week and involving them in the planning is a very useful tool for developing them and passes on transferable skills. It also wins agreement and helps you all measure your progress.

It is also a good idea to have a sense of progression for the schools, especially when planning the Other and Leadership Team goals. There is a sense of progress as you lead the group (see Team Leadership:Phases) and it is good to plan with this in mind as needs change over the time:

  1. Arrival: Ignorance, Insecurity, Excitement, Energy
  2. Normality: New routine, Growing confidence, Growing sense of anticipation
  3. Anticipation: Outreach is coming:Uncertainty, Feeling part of the team, Personal growth and challenge, Energy lower
  4. Departure: Outreach happends, Fears and Excitement, High energy, etc.

The Tool

This is a basic grid: You will want to reproduce this another way so you can expand it. It is here as an example. The grid is small but this is just for display - you will most likely have many goals for each box.

Week No.: _________

Week Date: _________

Subject: _________

Speaker: _________

Verse of the week: _________



Leadership Team





Summary words