Introducing the St Emlyn’s Lesson Plans

We are delighted to introduce you to the “St Emlyn’s Lesson Plans“, which we hope will help structure some of your education sessions over coming months.

We currently have many of sessions that you might need for an Induction programme ready to go and we are adding more plans every day.


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to think about how we can deliver medical education in the era of social distancing.

We have all, even the most technophobe amongst us, been forced to adapt to new ways of working, including the use of web based tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom.

At St Emlyn’s we have long been proponents of “blended learning”, “asynchronous learning” and the “flipped classroom”. These lesson plans aim to encompass all of these.

Miller’s Pyramid is an educational theory that takes the learner from knowledge, to demonstration, to practise: from novice to expert. In the five tasks of the lesson plan we hope to take the participant as far up the pyramid as possible.

The Lesson Plan

Each lesson plan starts with a descrete learning outcome, to set the scene, as well as details of the RCEM curriculum item(s) that will be covered.

The first tasks are aimed at aquiring some background knowledge and can either be done as part of the session, or beforehand. These utilise the vast “FOAMed” resources (including, but not exclusively, those of St Emlyn’s).

Our experience is that time constraints often mean that “background reading” isn’t achieved before the session, so would encourage allowing time within it to complete these. They are designed to take about 30 minutes and occupy the first half of the session.

Everything you need for each lesson is included in the plan. We would recommend that each learner has an internet enabled device available (with headphones) to read and listen to the background material at their own pace.

The second half of the session should be facilitated by an expert. This can happen in person, but also online, via any of the interfaces that are now so familiar.

In many plans we have given some case examples, but it would be even better if learners can bring cases of their own for discussion. This element is very much within the control of the facilitator (who should been fully cogniscent of the contents of the knowledge section).

The session finishes off with a summary, this should emphasise again the most important learning points. To really embed the knowledge and skills the particiapants should be encouraged to reflect on what they have learned, and to even talk to thse who were unable to attend about what they missed.

For learners this also gives an opportunity to easily link teaching sessions to their portfolio.

You may want to record the “face-to-face” elements, so that those who were not present are able to access them when they can (and those that did can rewatch to refresh their learning).

Setting the scene…

A brief scenario to put the session into context for the learner

Learning Objective

A single statement about what will be learned in the session.

RCEM Curriculum

Curriculum Code

The Curriculum Item

Task 1 – Read/Listen/Watch

Task 2 – Read/Listen/Watch

Task 3 – Discuss

Task 4 – Summary

Task 5 – Reflect

The Podcast

Iain and Simon discuss the vision for the Lesson Plans and how you might use them in more detail on this podcast.

The Future

Although these plans are designed for delivery in a single centre, there is absolutely no reason why regional (or even national) teaching could take place in this way. The recent COVID19 Journal Clubs have demonstrated beautifully how a group of learners can engage with an online panel.

We would be very happy to receive lessons plans to add to the collection. This is very much a collaborative effort.

Please let us know what you think of these lesson plans and if you are using them in your Department. We’d love to hear your ideas about how we can take medical education forward.

All best


St Emlyn’s Lesson Plan Lead

Cite this article as: Iain Beardsell, "Introducing the St Emlyn’s Lesson Plans," in St.Emlyn's, June 25, 2020,

Cite this article as: Iain Beardsell, "Introducing the St Emlyn’s Lesson Plans," in St.Emlyn's, June 25, 2020,

Thanks so much for following. Viva la #FOAMed

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