Plan and teach well structured lessons
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.
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.
Click below for advice and tips from NTA’s Quality Assurance Officers on writing ECT assessments.
Where do I get evidence from to show that the ECT is meeting TS4?
Evidence needs to demonstrate that the Early Career Teacher (ECT) is able to plan and teach well-structured lessons. Examples of where this evidence can be found include:
For more advice on how to get evidence for ECT assessments, watch NTA's short presentation below.
Points to consider when writing evaluative statements for Teachers’ Standard 4
Does the ECT:
Example evaluative statements
‘X has shown an aptitude for planning lessons that are engaging, time-effective and well-sequenced. His developing subject and pedagogical knowledge and willingness to reflect on how to improve his teaching and seek advice from more experienced colleagues means that the quality of his lessons is improving as the school year progresses. This has been observed in his self-reflections, discussions in mentor meeting and book looks on 23rd November and 10th January.’
‘Y’s planning is logical and connected; her lessons start with review and retrieval; she models new content with clarity, making steps memorable and narrating her thought process. She often checks for understanding through mini-whiteboard tasks, which allow students to apply their knowledge and for her to assess their learning – any necessary re-teaching or further explanation then occurs. Finally, as students grow in confidence and application, the problems become incrementally more difficult, ensuring students are challenged. This has been observed through learning walks and lesson observations on 20th January, 14th February and 22nd May.’
How to write an evaluative statement
E = Evaluation
S = Subject
Ext = Extent
Exa = Example
Areas to consider when setting targets for Teachers’ Standard 4
Does the ECT:
‘Use a visualiser during teacher exposition and when modelling answers and expert thinking with your KS5 class, allowing you to combine verbal explanations with graphical representations’.
‘Develop extended learning tasks for year 10 students that require students to prepare for the content of the following lesson’s retrieval practice or application of skills, by providing them with activities to consolidate the knowledge they learnt in the last lesson’.
How to write an area for development…
When designing areas for development there should be a clear line of sight with the evaluative statement.
|Focussed||Is the afd focussed on the specific standard?|
|Practical||Does the afd provide a practical action?|
|Developmental||Is the afd likely to develop knowledge, skill, understanding?|
|Achievable||Is the afd realistic?|
|Measurable||Will the afd be able to measure this quantitatively or qualitatively?|
For more detailed guidance on writing a good assessment, read the following guide.
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.
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.
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.
Plan effective lessons, by:
Make good use of expositions, by:
Model effectively, by:
Stimulate pupil thinking and check for understanding, by: