Teachers' Standard 3

Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge

  • have a secure knowledge of the relevant subject(s) and curriculum areas, foster and maintain pupils’ interest in the subject, and address misunderstandings
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of developments in the subject and curriculum areas, and promote the value of scholarship
  • demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of standard English, whatever the teacher’s specialist subject
  • if teaching early reading, demonstrate a clear understanding of systematic synthetic phonics
  • if teaching early mathematics, demonstrate a clear understanding of appropriate teaching strategies.

Early Career Teachers can find out more by listening to our podcasts

Our short podcasts offer advice and tips from our expert guest speaker, who looks at what ECTs should focus on to meet the different teachers’ standards, what great practice looks like for ECTs, and how they can build evidence and work with their mentor to pass their assessment.

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Pupil misconceptions: A guide for ECTs

Helen McNamara, a secondary tutor, the History Subject Lead and the Programme Lead for planning at Ark Teacher Training talks about the topic of pupil misconceptions, why it is so important for Early Career Teachers and what they need to know for their NQT assessment.

Top Tips for mentors on writing assessments for ECTs

Click below for advice and tips from NTA’s Quality Assurance Officers on writing ECT assessments.

60 seconds with a recently qualified teacher

Recently qualified teacher Conrad talks about what helped him pass his induction.

1.How do you develop your knowledge of the curriculum?

Always start off by looking at the National Curriculum for the specific subject and topic; looking back at what pupils learnt previously and looking forward to the year ahead is also very helpful. Invest time in learning and refreshing your knowledge of topics, whether through (reliable) YouTube videos or reading pupil-facing material. I would also highly recommend speaking to subject leaders for them to guide you to appropriate texts and ensure you’re not going off piste!

2.Is there anything you think is a must read to help you to develop your subject and curriculum knowledge?

Terry Eagleton’s ‘How to read Literature’ and ‘The Writing Revolution A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades’ by Judith Hochman and Natalie Wexler.

3.What advice would you give to an ECT trying to develop their practice of identifying misconceptions and how to address these?

Co-planning sessions are great opportunities to identify pupil misconceptions, especially if other teachers in your team have taught the respective year, as well as younger or older years.

It’s always good to have a moment to reflect on misconceptions you might have if you were a student in the lesson first. Secondly, think about misconceptions you know your class will have, as well as the year group.

Whilst showing misconceptions can be helpful, it must be done in a clear way which does not end up teaching the misconception or confusing pupils; it is always great to model a misconception alongside a correct model.

Good questions to ask your pupils when showing misconceptions in answers might be ‘Why has x made this mistake?’ or ‘Why might x have chosen this answer instead of the correct one?’.

4.What challenges did you face when trying to identify and address misconceptions and how did you overcome this?

It is important to think about misconceptions because of cultural/religious belief and to approach these in a sensitive and inclusive manner. Knowing your class and the community you work in can help this, as well as speaking to other teachers.

5.What did you find useful that your mentor did to help you develop in this area?

Discussing and addressing misconceptions in co-planning sessions and adapting planning during these times to predict and carefully plan for them.

6. What country would you most like to travel to?


7.What is your favourite flavour of crisps?

Worcestershire Sauce (purple Walkers)

Conrad Louis-Marie

Conrad Louis-Marie

Opening quoteCo-planning sessions are great opportunities to identify pupil misconceptions, especially if other teachers in your team have taught the respective year.Closing quote

Resources to develop your subject and curriculum knowledge

We have asked a range of subject specialist to give their recommendations on where Early Career Teachers can go to develop their subject and curriculum knowledge.

Early Career Framework

The Early Career Framework outlines what early career teachers should learn about, as well as what they need to learn how to do. It is based on expert guidance and research evidence. The framework should be central to all ECTs’ development.

Click below to see the “Learn that…” and “Learn how to…” statements.