Teachers' Standard 4

Plan and teach well structured lessons

  • impart knowledge and develop understanding through effective use of lesson time
  • promote a love of learning and children’s intellectual curiosity
  • set homework and plan other out-of-class activities to consolidate and extend the knowledge and understanding pupils have acquired
  • reflect systematically on the effectiveness of lessons and approaches to teaching
  • contribute to the design and provision of an engaging curriculum within the relevant subject area(s).

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 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 Louise Powell talks about what helped her pass her induction.

1.How did you develop your lesson planning and what advice would you give to an ECT trying to develop theirs?

When developing my lesson planning, I started by using the guidance from my PGCE. Once I was settled at my school in my NQT year, it was really important to understand what the expectations were from my school. For example, how does your school structure its learning objectives and outcomes? Are there other elements of the school’s ethos that need to be included in your planning? These are all things to consider and check with your mentor as an ECT.

2. What would be your top tip on planning lessons that impart knowledge and develop deep understanding?

It is important to plan sequentially for your unit of work and to build on the prior knowledge that your pupils have. At the end of lessons, I always finish with a plenary activity to check pupil understanding, and can build future lesson plans around this.

3.Is there anything you think is a must read to help ECTs to develop their lesson planning?

A book that really helped me get ideas for initial planning was 100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers: Outstanding Lessons by Ross Morrison McGill. It has some excellent tips about how to plan your lessons and what you could be including, alongside assessment and progress-check ideas.

4.What challenges did you face when trying to plan effective lessons and how did you overcome this?

The main challenge when lesson planning is when you start the year with your new classes. It will take some time to learn about the class and understand the differentiation that you will need to use to be able to stretch and challenge each pupil. A good way to overcome this is to be very adaptable when you are teaching, and do not be worried if you need to deviate from your lesson plan. Evaluate your lessons at the end of the day, and use this to plan for your next lesson with that class.

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

Planning lessons with your mentor is an invaluable part of understanding the expectations within your school. Do not be afraid to ask for guidance and use your NQT year as a chance to observe lots of staff members, not only from your own department but from across your school, to develop ideas and techniques that you can use in your lessons.

6.How did you evidence this for your assessment?

Most of my evidence was directly from my lesson plans, but I also used research, plenary activities, lesson observations and lesson evaluations.

 Louise Powell

Louise Powell

Opening quoteIt will take some time to learn about the class and understand the differentiation that you will need to use to be able to stretch and challenge each pupil.Closing quote

Get more ideas on lesson planning by watching our short video

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.