Three things about project planning:

1. Don’t assume schools and community members speak the same language. Spend time clarifying the project remit and expectations of each participant. Be as clear about what is within remit and what is not.

Gantt chart

Click to enlarge

2. Have an action plan. I drew up a Gantt chart so we had clarity about key actions and events and who had responsibility for them. This was important because some seed needed to be vernalised and a bee swarm wasn’t going to wait for us to find a gap in the timetable. Having the Headteacher at the first planning meeting meant decisions could be made on the spot: invaluable.

3. Have clarity about what you want to learn from the project and what you want children to learn. There will be all sorts of incidental outcomes but exploring desired impact at the start helps you plan activities. In hindsight, for example, we realised that this would have been a fantastic opportunity to deliver Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) because the children encountered so many interesting people with fascinating careers. I wish now we had given everyone five minutes to explain how they ended up doing their current job.