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If you are just starting your teaching career, you’ll find guidance from PGCE and SCITT tutors, along with advice and support from experienced teachers and mentors on how to survive and thrive in your training and NQT years.


Andy Sammons is Head of Department for a large secondary school in the north of England, and author of 'The Compassionate Teacher'. Here he highlights the importance of planning for training and newly qualified teachers.

by Andy Sammons
20th August 2020



Unfortunately, many teacher training or induction programmes are stuffed full of lots of useful bits and pieces of information that help us fill up our lessons. Lesson planning is something trainees are shown how to do, but there’s a serious paucity of... read more

Listening to feedback is one of the most important - and challenging - elements of your training to be a teacher. Andy Sammons, an experienced teacher, writer and head of department, suggests five questions to help you to reflect on your progress.

by Andy Sammons
20th August 2020



When I was a child, I always had this nagging feeling around adults: why was it that everything I said was met with a smirk, a knowing look or – sometimes – just dismissed out of hand? It’s like that when you’re a trainee in a school. You might feel like... read more

Sue Wheeler is a former teacher, now specialising in safeguarding and digital citizenship training and consultancy @safeinyourhands. Here she outlines the implications of the statutory safeguarding guidance for training teachers.

by Sue Wheeler
18th August 2020



Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) is statutory guidance that outlines the legal duties that all staff within schools and colleges must follow in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18. It came... read more

Andy Sammons, Head of English and CPD writer, shares his ideas with training teachers about how to embed evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning in your classroom with his 10 top tips.

by Andy Sammons
18th August 2020



Thankfully, we seem to be leaving behind the frameworks that judged teachers based on their use of lollipop sticks, mini-whiteboards and traffic lights; on this, I need to be clear – there’s nothing wrong with these things, but for me they represent style... read more

Andy Sammons, teacher, writer and head of department, warns new teachers to avoid gimmicks and focus on the fundamentals of teaching.

by Andy Sammons
18th August 2020



Gimmicks don't work, according to Andy Sammons, even if they are cupcakes...
I loved the first year of teaching, but it was laden with gimmicks. I spent far too much time dreaming up new and innovative ways of presenting information to students, and even more weird and wonderful ways of getting them to demonstrate their learning.... read more

Lorna Smith is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol, and Harry Dodds is a former subject tutor for the Buckingham Partnership SCITT. Here they offer their ideas about using Bloom’s taxonomy to plan and structure learning.

by Lorna Smith and Harry Dodds
17th August 2020



Bloom's taxonomy is often represented as a triangle.
Perhaps Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom, 1956) is the nearest we have in education to the Swiss Army knife. Whether you’re planning for progression, for differentiation or for structured questioning, it is immensely useful. Whenever you’re addressing the central... read more

We’ve drawn on the collective wisdom of Teachit’s editors, all seasoned teachers, to share some of their advice for getting through the challenges of your NQT year.

by Teachit's editorial team
17th August 2020



Download all 20 tips for surviving as an NQT below:  Focus on what went well, not on what was less successful. It is often easier to think about the negatives but remember to stay positive. Try to learn the names of your new students quickly... read more



Essential tips and advice to help you to survive and even thrive during your teacher training.

by Teachit's editorial team
17th August 2020



Use any methods you can to learn the names of students as quickly as possible. It is very powerful to use students’ names and will help hugely with your classroom management. When observing lessons, make a note of all the successful classroom... read more



Lorna Smith is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol. Here she shares 20 principles of behaviour for learning for training and new teachers.

by Lorna Smith
17th August 2020



Create a positive classroom environment. Distract from, or tactfully ignore, low-level examples of inappropriate behaviour when possible, and concentrate on students’ positive behaviour: ‘I’m really pleased to see you working so well as a team….’ ... read more



Mentoring a training teacher can be extremely rewarding and will help you to grow as a practitioner too. Lorna Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol, shares her advice on how to get the most out of the relationship for both mentor and mentee.

by Lorna Smith
17th August 2020



When it works well, having a trainee teacher working alongside you can be great: not only do you have the satisfaction of nurturing a new entrant to the profession and passing on your professional wisdom, but you are likely to revisit and critique your... read more

Lorna Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol, offers some advice for training teachers and NQTs on working with SEND students.

by Lorna Smith
17th August 2020



Ensure you find out as much as possible about the different needs of each student you are working with as your starting point. Be aware that the pace of the class might be too fast for students with SEND because they may need more time to process... read more



Lorna Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol, considers some of the ways training and newly qualified teachers can support students with their learning.

by Lorna Smith
17th August 2020



Create summary cards of topic material at the end of each unit to support ‘over learning’ and revision. Provide writing frames or sentence strings – a page could have parts of sentences started periodically down the page, allowing students to... read more



Parents' evenings can be a bit daunting or even stressful when you are a training or newly qualified teacher. We share our top tips for effective feedback and communication with parents.

by Teachit's editorial team
17th August 2020



Tricky customers. If you anticipate a difficult conversation, phone parents or carers before the evening to discuss some of the key issues. You can then identify how best to work with each other to support your student/their child during the evening.... read more



Reduce your marking workload and give meaningful feedback to your students. We share our tried and tested strategies to help training teachers, NQTs and experienced teachers.

by Teachit's editorial team
17th August 2020



Colour coded marking. Agree shared marking criteria for all pieces of work. Students should be aware of what you are looking for in every homework task. For example, if it is a ‘green’ homework, it is focused on effective use of key terms, ‘orange’... read more



Lorna Smith is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol. She shares some fundamental tips for lesson planning to help with effective classroom management during your training year.

by Lorna Smith
17th August 2020



Carefully consider the seating plan in your classroom. Who needs to be right at the front? What is a good place for those who need additional help? Does everyone wear the glasses they need to see the board? Colour-code your seating plan appropriately.... read more



Here’s our guide to help you to avoid some of the professional pitfalls of your training and NQT years. With nearly 125 years of experience in the classroom between them, Teachit’s editors share their experiences of coping with everything from sleep deprivation and keeping healthy to unexpected knickers and stolen mugs.

by Teachit's editorial team
14th August 2020



The fundamentals Never judge other teachers. Everyone has their own way of doing things. Play to your strengths and be yourself. Some teachers engage students with a ‘big personality’, whereas others are quiet and measured. Some need to plan... read more

Use lesson observations and root cause analysis, the 'Five whys', to help you to become a more reflective practitioner during your training year. Lorna Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol, shares her expert guidance.

by Lorna Smith
14th August 2020



You might have been given some forms or templates as part of your teacher training course which will be useful in supporting your reflective practice. You will probably have observation forms – one to structure others’ observations of your teaching,... read more

20 quick, fun and engaging icebreakers to help you and students get to know each other. Whatever your subject, there's an idea that will work in your classroom. Perfect for training, newly qualified and experienced teachers alike!

by Teachit's editorial team
13th August 2020



Icebreaker taboo. Get students to identify a special power, an unusual fact or interesting quirk, for example impressively large hands, unexpected double-jointedness, an exotic birthplace, etc. They should write down three words connected with this... read more



Andy Sammons, Head of Department in a large secondary school and author of 'The Compassionate Teacher' outlines his advice on how to make the most of your first teaching placement.

by Andy Sammons
21st October 2019



I remember it well, arriving in the reception of my first placement school, messenger bag draped over my shoulder and a sense of trepidation in the pit of my stomach. The truth is your first placement is often tough. Until then, you’ve often had the safety... read more

Helena Thomas is a PGCE Secondary English Tutor at Bath Spa University. Here are her ideas to help you establish a positive relationship with your mentor.

by Helena Thomas
21st October 2019



Your teacher training year is a notoriously challenging time – full of highs, lows and hard work. You are likely to feel that the most significant individual in guiding you through this process is your school-based mentor; the one who sees you daily and... read more

Aly Spencer is Head of ITT for the Fylde Coast SCITT and teaching schools, and co-chair of a network of ITT providers across Lancashire. She has a special interest in the progress and wellbeing of early career teachers. Here she shares her creative approaches to managing low-level disruption successfully during your training year.

by Aly Spencer
21st October 2019



“I’m struggling to manage the low-level chatting and disruption in my classroom. I know I need to take better control… I just don’t know how.” David, Science trainee teacher The features of low-level disruption One of the most energy-draining,... read more

Aly Spencer is Head of ITT for the Fylde Coast SCITT and teaching schools, and co-chair of a network of ITT providers across Lancashire. She has a special interest in the progress and wellbeing of early career teachers. Here she shares her suggestions for fail-safe ways to get to know your students.

by Aly Spencer
21st October 2019



"I’m finding it really difficult to remember the names of the students I’m encountering. I’ve always been a bit rubbish with names to be honest, but not knowing their names means I’m just having to point at them and I don’t want to be rude! What can I... read more

Aly Spencer is Head of ITT for the Fylde Coast SCITT and teaching schools, and co-chair of a network of ITT providers across Lancashire. She has a special interest in the progress and wellbeing of early career teachers. Here she shares her advice for mentors of trainee teachers.

by Aly Spencer
1st October 2019



Mentoring a trainee teacher is a real privilege. It is an acknowledgement of your expertise and an opportunity to inspire the next generation of our workforce. Every experienced teacher will be able to recall a mentor who made their training year easier... read more

Aly Spencer is Head of ITT for the Fylde Coast SCITT and teaching schools, and co-chair of a network of ITT providers across Lancashire. She has a special interest in the progress and wellbeing of early career teachers. Here she shares her ideas for how to manage lesson timings during your training year.

by Aly Spencer
1st October 2019



An example of macro planning. 
  “I’m finding it hard to judge timings in my lessons. It’s really hard to predict how long things will take and I’m still getting it wrong… it makes me panic mid-lesson!” Daniel, English trainee teacher The effective use of lesson time is a... read more

Aly Spencer is Head of ITT for the Fylde Coast SCITT and teaching schools, and co-chair of a network of ITT providers across Lancashire. She has a special interest in the progress and wellbeing of early career teachers. Here she shares her tips for getting your first job in teaching.

by Aly Spencer
1st October 2019



Choosing the right place to work in your early career is fundamental to your future in this profession. Too often I hear horror stories about newly qualified teacher (NQT) experiences, and this can only be contributing to the reported mass exodus of teachers... read more

Aly Spencer is Head of ITT for the Fylde Coast SCITT and teaching schools, and co-chair of a network of ITT providers across Lancashire. She has a special interest in the progress and wellbeing of early career teachers. Here she shares her ideas for how to engage with disengaged students during your training year.

by Aly Spencer
1st October 2019



“How can I engage those pupils who just don’t seem to respond to anything?” Holly, Maths trainee teacher I was supporting one of my SCITT trainees with this dilemma last term. She was teaching mathematics in a good school and making excellent... read more

Lorna Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol, and Harry Dodds, a former subject tutor for the Buckingham Partnership SCITT, explain the role of starters and plenaries in effective lesson planning.

by Lorna Smith
5th August 2019



Research shows that more learning is likely to take place in lessons containing more than one activity, or broken into sections, sometimes called ‘chunking’. Including starters and plenaries in lesson structures allows for this variety of approach. ... read more

Lorna Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol, shares her ideas for making lesson observations meaningful.

by Lorna Smith
5th August 2019



In the early days of your training, your initial observations of others’ teaching can be bewildering, as there’s just so much going on. You might find it easier if you take some points from one or two of the headings below as focal points for each lesson,... read more

Lorna Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol, shares her advice for how to develop a more reflective approach during your training year.

by Lorna Smith
5th August 2019



During your training year, reflecting on the observation and evaluation process can be a useful way to develop professionally.  Using lesson observations to reflect  You will probably be given a range of observation forms which will be useful in... read more

Andy Sammons is author of 'The Compassionate Teacher', and Head of Department in a large secondary school in the north of England. He believes there’s a fundamental difference between marking and feedback, and argues that if you get feedback right, less is genuinely more.

by Andy Sammons
5th August 2019



Despite teacher training courses up and down the country churning out copies of Black and Wiliam’s Inside the Black Box (2006), the word ‘marking’ continues to persist in schools. Far brighter and more experienced colleagues than myself have pontificated... read more

Andy Sammons is Head of Department in a large secondary school in the north of England, and author of 'The Compassionate Teacher' @compassionteach. Here he shares his reflections on his first year as a teacher, and offers some advice for newly qualified teachers on the road to unconscious competence!

by Andy Sammons
5th August 2019



I remember it as clear as day: in the six weeks preceding my first term as a teacher, it genuinely felt as if I was walking on air as I eagerly visited my school and started to put the finishing touches to my classroom. It’s that same feeling I get... read more

'Learning Spy' David Didau – trainer, consultant, writer and former English teacher – suggests how you can make your lesson planning guilt-free, efficient and high impact.

by David Didau
5th August 2019



After the first flurry of excitement planning for the year ahead, the drudgery and grind of planning 'exciting' lessons, day in, day out, is probably beginning to hit. As a new teacher, lesson planning seemed to suck up pretty much all of my available... read more



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