Driving Lessons
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Was the agreed lesson structure appropriate for the pupil’s experience and ability?

What Does The ADI 1 Say

“The lesson structure should allow the pupil to progress at a manageable rate; stretching
them without overwhelming them. For example, a pupil who is concerned about entering roundabouts should not be asked to tackle a fast-flowing multi-lane, multi-exit junction as their first attempt. Neither should they be restricted to very quiet junctions, unless the PDI identifies a potential risk issue that they want to check out first.”

Positives the examiner is looking for in this competency.

Ensuring the pupil understands what they plan to do and agrees with that plan.

A lesson that reflects the information given by the pupil and the learning goals they want to tackle.

(Listen to the pupil and dig deeper for more information if needed. Rather than “I want to practice roundabouts.” What is it about roundabouts they would like to work on.)

Building in opportunities to check the statements made by the pupil before moving to more challenging situations.

(Allow the pupil to practice the skills they will need before moving on. For example, if going off to practice roundabouts, we can check their MSPSL routine at junctions on the way or ask the pupil about their observations and judgment at junctions and then link that to the roundabouts. This is much easier to do if you focus on the skills needed rather than just the topics practiced.)

Checking theoretical understanding.

(Check the pupil’s knowledge of the subject with open questions. If good progress is being made dig deeper get your pupil thinking. For example, “how would this be different at night, with friends in the car, at rush hour?” “what factors are you taking into account when making that decision?” “nice mirror check, what would do if you saw a car? How would you know the car was a problem? Show me how you’d deal with it.”)

What to Avoid


Delivering a pre-planned, standard lesson that doesn’t take into account the pupil’s expressed needs or concerns.

(Pre-planned lessons don’t address the pupil’s need and you will be blinkered to any new needs that arise during the lesson. Also, watch out for not listening to specifics about your learner’s needs. For example, if you’re practicing parallel parking and the pupil has mentioned not understanding where or why to look around. There’s no need to go in-depth about the whole manoeuver, focus on the observations.”)

Failing to build in a suitable balance of practice and theory.

(There is often confusion around this statement and can get instructors worried about sitting at the side of the road to discuss issues and knowledge with their learners. Problems often occur when instructors are giving a pre-planned lecture or “old-style briefing”. If the conversation is focused on the pupil’s particular needs at that moment then, one they are learning, and two it won’t take as long, leaving time for practice.)

learning sweet spot
Learning Sweet Spot

This competency covers the bottom bar for finding the learning sweet spot. If the lesson is beyond your learner’s needs then they will struggle to learn as they will just be coping all the time. If the lesson is too easy they will become bored and learning stops.

Increasing the challenge doesn’t always mean harder roads, more traffic, bigger roundabouts. It can sometimes mean the same roads but with more in-depth knowledge.

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