NQT First Steps: 10 Things to Think About as an NQT

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NQT Newly Qualified Teacher First Steps

NQT Newly Qualified Teacher First Steps

School Policies

As a newly qualified teacher it is important to know about existing school expectations. This information can be found in the teaching, learning and assessment policy and the positive behaviour and rewards policy – two policies initiated by the school itself.

School Features

An understanding of how school features such as the registers, displays and equipment are used and presented could prove beneficial in how you go about doing the tasks.

Classroom Management

Activities such as lining up, tidying up and pupils moving from tables to carpet and vice-versa are all part of the daily routine, consider these actions and think about how you choose to act upon them.

Behaviour Management

Spend some time thinking through what the class climate and behaviour management will be like. If you leave it to the first day of term, you can be sure that you will not be controlling the class. For an NQT it can be daunting at first, but with some thought and preparation, you can begin your classes confidently.

Weekly Routine

Plan! Plan! Plan! The reality of being a newly qualified teacher is that you have to plan every week. You will need to find what works best for you and match this with the school’s expectations.

Short, Medium, Long Term Progress

Be conscious of the different types of planning which are essential for pupils’ learning and progress. The three types of planning include:

  1. Long term (curriculum content for each year group)
  2. Medium term (outlines specific content for a unit of work)
  3. Short term (planning a single lesson)


There are many resources available to help newly qualified teachers with planning including published schemes of work and internet-based resources. There can be a great temptation to use a lesson plan or outline because it is quick and easy but remember that you are the teacher, not the scheme of work or the internet.

Delivering Expectations

You are the main audience for your planning. Think through and deliver what it is that your children need to ensure progress.


The more organised you are the easier your life gets. Your planning files will be a key place to keep most of the information you need on a day to day basis.


Remember that a plan is just that… a plan. If a lesson isn’t working nothing in the plan should stop you changing direction.

NQT: First Steps as a Newly Qualified Teacher

This series is adapted from Focus Education’s NQT Toolkit, now in its 4th Edition. Specifically targeted at those starting out in primary teaching, the NQT Toolkit is a practical guide to the things that people often forget to tell newly qualified teachers. It includes sections on classroom organisation and management, behaviour and expectations, dealing with the first of everything (parents evenings, report writing, organising a trip etc.) as well as planning, marking and assessment. To see more, including sample pages, visit the link here.


NQT Toolkit

NQT Toolkit

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