The Effective Practitioner

Setting Relief Lessons

Setting Relief Lessons




  • Unless you are incapacitated, it is your responsibility to prepare lessons in the event of absence.
  • In an emergency, it is acceptable to approach a colleague to assist with this. Otherwise, it is not professional to expect colleagues to prepare your lessons for you, particularly without notice.



  • Relief lessons should be set out on KAMAR which provides a standard layout and a roll automatically for relievers. When working at home, print to an appropriate printer AND print to PDF and attach to an email. Send the lessons to your NZCL, Learning Team colleagues and at least one other colleague.
  • Should you not have access to KAMAR, use the following layout: YEAR LEVEL, CLASS, DAY, TIME, DO NOW, LEARNING ACTIVITIES, HOME LEARNING, RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, ROLL (if possible).
  • Make your instructions clear and simple.




  • Remember that lessons are 90 minutes in length. This can be challenging for a reliever and needs to be taken into account when preparing relief lessons.
  • It is desirable to set at least two activities with the number of minutes each activity should take.
  • Relief lessons MUST be appropriate for the learners and the relief teacher. Activities need to be manageable for someone with limited classroom management experience. Lessons may build on previous learning but even learners who have been absent should be able to attempt the activities. Try to keep it simple.
  • NEVER set assessment as a relief lesson (unless you have your NZCL’s approval and a prior arrangement has been made that an AC Learning Leader from your Curriculum Area is going to administer the assessment).




  • Resources should be easily obtained and should not involve expensive, technical, or ‘messy’ materials.
  • Ideally, learning activities should involve resources available in the learning space.
  • Do not set lessons which require Chromebooks to complete the lesson. It is too risky with regards to the security and availability of the devices.








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Alfriston College

Alfriston College