NQTs / RQTs - Supporting your journey
What does this include?
- The NQT support web page that contains information about support mechanisms, resources, CPD and blogs from NQTs
- The NQT annual conference. Each year, the Carnegie school of education will deliver a conference specifically tailored to meet the CPD needs of our NQTs. The conference includes workshops and lectures offering excellent CPD which is led by guest speakers and experts in the education field. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance. The next NQT conference will be held on 14th February 2020.
- A transition document file outlining your progression and identifying strengths and areas for development during your NQT induction year
- A tailor made 20 credit Masters Level module ‘Reflecting on Professional Practice’ which is geared towards the Teachers’ Standards for NQTs and is also offered to RQTs
- A full programme offered at Masters level study
- Continued support offered from NQT Coordinator and personal tutors
- Free CPD opportunities throughout the year
- Webinars and recordings on areas of educational interest and development
The NQT / RQT Conference gives you the opportunity to meet-up with colleagues, network and develop new skills to enhance performance in the classroom. Sharing practice with experts in education, the conference contributes towards your career and professional development. View the conference schedules and presentations
- 2020 Conference - Curriculum Challenge *** Booking now open! Click for more details and to book your place ***
- 2019 Conference - Agents for Change
- NQT Support Saturday
- 2018 Conference Schedule - Illuminating Learning
- 2017 Conference Schedule - Transition and Beyond...
- 2016 Conference Schedule - Tips Tools and Techniques. Delivering Excellence in the Classroom
2017 Conference highlights:
The beginning of your teaching career is an exciting time for you, however, it is not unusual to feel anxious and overwhelmed during this time. You may have some questions and uncertainties that could cause you stress. To help ease the pressure we have gathered material as shared by the teaching community on TES for your reference. This material provides advice and support around key areas such as behaviour management and lesson planning which can help to get you started, offer reassurance and save you some time!
Keeping children safe in education
Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment
Behaviour Management for NQTs
Managing behaviour is one of the most often cited problems that NQTs struggle with. In particular the low-level disruption that is common in many classes. The following resources can be used at primary or secondary level with a small amount of adaptation.
A good guide to dealing with low-level disruption – lists some easy to implement common sense approaches to behaviour management.
This guide analyses common classroom behaviours, provides possible causes of the behaviour and strategies for dealing with them.
A useful guide with 50 tips for dealing with ADD/ADHD children, written by those who have children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD
Behaviour Management for NQTs (Primary)
This resource can be used to reward or warn pupils. It’s adaptable so you can alter the wording to suit your class.
A set of colourful reward tags that can be laminated and given to pupils as a reward for good work or behaviour.
This is a set of resources (reward cards and letter templates) that can be adapted for use in either primary or secondary settings.
Behaviour management for NQTs (Secondary)
A Teachers’ TV resource set on how to deal with challenging behaviour, includes a video, downloadable posters worksheets and displays.
This is a set of resources (reward cards and letter templates) that can be adapted for use in either primary or secondary settings.
This is a nice reminder list of positive behaviour management, with tips on what to do and what not to do.
This booklet provides practical tips on how to deal with noisy classes and manage their behaviour successfully.
Lesson Planning for NQTs
Lesson planning as a qualified teacher is different from the planning you did as a trainee, but no less important. Good planning is essential for good teaching.
General advice on lesson planning and lesson design
Two short summaries/guides to the essentials of lesson planning from NQT TES expert James Williams
Assessment for Learning (AfL) activities you can put into your day to day planning. A useful summary of the main activities and how they work.
Surviving the NQT Year
This guide looks at coping strategies and how to manage your time effectively
A booklet from the union VOICE on rights for NQTs, roles responsibilities and attaining a work/life balance.
Advice from Teachers’ TV on how to not work full time if your job is part-time. Includes a video and downloadable advice.
Advice on how to get the most out of your relationship with TA’s.
Links to teachers’ TV programmes on time management with NQTs in secondary schools.
Two psychologists offer advice on managing school stress. Professor Cary Cooper from Lancaster University is joined by occupational psychologist Emma Donaldson-Feilder to discuss methods of managing school stress.
More Support and Advice
Some helpful advice, tips and guidance for trainees for jobseeking, applications and interview tips.
Leeds Beckett University is not responsible for the content of external links.
Teaching Vacancies - Website launched by the Education Secretary for all schools in England to advertise full-time, part-time and job-share roles. Check it out for vacancies in schools in your area.
News / Blogs
NEWS - Read our Autumn Newsletter which contains information about ALL upcoming events organised to boost your CPD. Put the dates in your diary and make sure you are informed.
- News of forthcoming events will appear here.
BLOGS - Read the blogs and get some great tips from NQTs and RQTs: Lorna Ritchie, Rebecca Hardman, Melanie Broadbent, Francesca Ellis.
Ellie Jeffreys (Final year Primary Undergraduate student – 2017) sums up the usefulness of the NQT Transition Folder. Jamie Kerrigan (NQT 2018) explains how the NQT module has added value to his NQT induction year. Aisha Bi tells us about her journey through the course and her ambition to teach. Hannah Potter (NQT 2018-19) tells us why doing her PGCE at Leeds Beckett was the best decision she ever made.
These transition documents are for all final year Initial Teacher Training students to complete in readiness for your induction period. It is important that you complete these and get them signed-off by your tutor before you leave the university. Each document is accompanied by guidance to help you with the process. Please click on the links below to access the documents and guidance.
• Transition Document and Career Entry and Development Profile - Guidance
• Transition Document and Career Entry and Development Profile - To Complete
• Transition Point 1 - Guidance
• Transition Point 1 - To Complete
• NQT Target Plan - Guidance
• NQT Target Plan - To Complete (2 copies required. Please email one copy to your personal tutor.)
• Confirmation of Completion of Transition Point 1 (2 copies required)
Hi NQT’s and ITT students!
Well done on getting this far in the rewarding yet challenging career of teaching!
Doing my PGCE in Secondary Education with PE at Leeds Beckett is by far the best decision I have ever made. My passion for sport and education, along with the unrivalled support from the School of Education has helped me to develop both professionally as a PE teacher and personally as a human. The support and encouragement from the staff at Leeds Beckett has been second to none and I wouldn’t be in the fortunate position I am in now if it was not for them. Guys, my best piece of advice- LISTEN TO EVERY PIECE OF ADVICE THAT IS GIVEN! These people are experts in their field and their experience is invaluable.
From hour long chats in offices to online worksheets and support, this department and their resources have made my NQT year all the more easier in terms of organisation and preparation. In particular the NQT documents (Target plans, transition documents etc..) helped me reflect upon the success of my ITT year and allowed me to gain confidence that was pivotal to my success in my current NQT year.
Of course observations by tutors, mentors etc are brilliant and the feedback given is of high importance to the passing of your teacher training. But being able to physically see your accomplishments and progress on the NQT documents such as the evidence log and transition sheets really opens up your understanding of how far you have developed as an educator. Furthermore, the use of an action plan helps you to set targets that are required for your first year of training and observations.
My NQT mentor often uses my NQT folder and documents as points of referral in observation feedback and meetings. He has commented on how useful he found the target plans when creating weekly targets for my observations. Additionally, other members of staff have commented on my NQT folder and how they wish they would have had something so useful in their first year to help navigate progress and teaching standards. This has definitely helped me to stand out amongst previous NQT’s at my school and I am in a good position leading into my RQT year. So use the documents wisely and keep a log of everything done! It’s all important!
Good Luck with everything and remember to stay progressive, this is the most rewarding job in the world when done with positivity and a love of education!
AISHA BI NQT
Undertaking an undergraduate degree in Social Care and having placements within the education sector made me realise my passion for teaching. The PGCE option was a perfect opportunity for me as I have always wanted to be in profession where you can make a genuine impact on a child’s future. The difference a teacher can make in a student’s life whether this is academically, socially or personally is what appeals to me. Despite being from Manchester, I applied to Leeds Beckett University to do my PGCE due to the reputation of the university and the success rate of employability. The first couple of weeks prior the first placement were really effective, as this included training in areas within teaching practice and starting the first master’s assignment. The master’s assignments are useful as they help understand the research aspect of teaching.
My first placement was different to what I expected as it was hard managing both planning and teaching. Initially, I was unable to balance my social and work life. However, upon returning to university, I was grateful for the support I received from my tutor. I completed my action plan for my second placement and developed key areas to improve like behaviour management. I received full support from the university and was given behaviour management strategies to help me in my next placement. For my second placement, I ensured that I acted upon feedback given to me and due to my resilience and determination, I was able to enjoy my placement as well as improve on those key areas. My behaviour management improved greatly and I was praised for developing my own strategies, as well as implementing my tutor’s strategies. Due to the support I received from the university, I was finally able to enjoy teaching! Having successfully completed my course I am excited to be an NQT.
JAMIE KERRIGAN NQT
When starting my NQT year we had been warned about how it would take up more time than our training year. This made me really debate completing the NQT module. However, I am so happy I chose to go through with it. The module is set up in a way that is easy to access, tutors are always on hand to email if needed, there is complete understanding of how busy school life can be and as such deadlines are set at appropriate times which includes plenty of time to work on the module.
The NQT module started with our induction day which provided a route map of where we would start and what was expected of us along the way and ultimately where we would finish. When I approach my head teacher about this module he was more than supportive and offered to fund the module a part of CPD as well as giving me time of to visit the university, present and attend additional sessions. The distance learning element of the module is ideal and works perfectly around my schedule.
Our discussion forum which was set up by the module leader was a useful tool, not only did it contribute towards the overall module grade but it also gave excellent examples of the different experiences teachers have had and different ideas around teaching. Focusing on the teaching standards for a year and really looking at them in depth provided myself with addition appreciation and deeper understanding of what it is OFSTED wish to see from teachers. I was able to develop my pedagogy and approach to teaching to better educated my pupils by incorporating the teaching standards more effectively thanks to this module.
The support that was on offer from Leeds Beckett University as always was exceptional. Quick responses when I had questions on the modules, consistently good feedback, amazing tutors and what was required was explained clearly and concisely. The school I was in as mentioned offered to pay and also were extremely happy for me to use the school as a data collection point. A school that is always looking to improve will always want you to be chasing down opportunities like this module to show you are someone who looks to improve themselves and their teaching. I am now about to start my RQT year (2nd year of teaching) and I have been made head of PE. I have no doubt that this module contributed to my success in gaining this position.
For any aspiring NQTs, what I would say is that you are the new generation of teaching you have more up to date methodologies and ideologies about teaching. Don’t be afraid to offer new ideas, a strong school and strong department will always want to hear what you have to offer. The first year will be difficult but you are building skills, resources and lessons that will be your foundation for the rest of your teaching career, make these foundations exceptional with additional course and hard work and you will be an outstanding teacher.
Hello fellow trainee teachers and Newly Qualified Teachers,
It’s safe to say if you’re reading this- well done for all your achievements on the course and good luck for entering the wonderful world of teaching! I would like to take this opportunity to reflect upon the usefulness of the NQT transition folder and how this can be used to aid progression and survival throughout the first year of teaching.
After completing the NQT transition folder I believe this helped me to reflect on how I have met the Teachers’ Standards during my training, as well as informing targets and areas of further development for the induction year. I believe the folder will be a highly useful resource to use in the initial year as we have all created an action plan on how to address areas of development and planned ways of achieving this to demonstrate outstanding practice. For this reason, careful preparation, goal setting and an ambition to better ones teaching will result in great successes for you, your school and most importantly, the children!
Upon completing the transition file, I found the whole process emphasised my traits as a reflective practitioner and really encouraged thinking at great depth to highlight the successes and achievements we have all experienced during teaching practices. I found creating the folder to be a great way of crediting the successes we all worked so hard to achieve by listing strengths of each individual standard, which the Placement Standard Assessment Booklet aided brilliantly.
For my NQT year I now feel more than prepared to enter school with identified targets to further develop my teaching and have professional conversations with my mentor to receive any support in fulfilling targets to become the best possible teacher to benefit the children within my class. I hope that you believe the file will be as useful as I do. Good luck everyone, please remember to remain reflective throughout the teaching career. Wishing you all every success!
FRANCESCA ELLIS NQT
During the count down to the Autumn term I felt very nervous and worried about being entirely responsible for a KS1 class as well as feeling excited about the adventures that awaited. My key piece of advice would be to use the summer holidays to fully prepare yourself for the crazy first term, get into school, meet your colleagues and get up some fantastic displays!
During my NQT year I received a great deal of support from my NQT mentor and my key stage leader, alongside other members of school staff. I was allocated weekly NQT time in which I met with my mentor. I was observed each half term and was given clear and constructive feedback that allowed me to progress as a teacher and meet the teaching standards.
Highs - having my own class, watching children make great progress, organising school trips, going on school trips, making great friends with key stage colleagues and meeting friendly parents.
Lows - OFSTED inspection and the impact it had on school, pupil progress meetings and meeting unfriendly parents.
Don't be afraid of asking questions. Work hard throughout the week but try not to take home too much work - it is possible to still have the social life you deserve!
LORNA RITCHIE NQT
Starting as an NQT, in a school I knew would bring new, but exciting challenges made me feel slightly nervous. The school is in an area of deprivation with a high percentage of mobility and a high percentage of children working below national age related expectations. Finding out I would be teaching in Year 2 with a very high percentage of EAL/SEN children did not ease the feeling, however once I met all of the other staff in the school I immediately felt reassured and more confident in myself to overcome any barriers I may face.
So far, my school and local authority have been very supportive. I have been given the opportunity to visit and observe in other schools as well as observing other teachers in my own school. This has been extremely beneficial to my classroom practice and I have implemented many effective strategies that I saw.
I have had many high and low points, but the progress that children in my class make is one of the best highlights of teaching so far. This shows you the difference you are making to individual children's development and it is very satisfying to see children developing their love of learning as a result of everything you do for them. Having found difficulty teaching some areas of the curriculum and schemes in place at school, I have now been given support from a maths specialist to ensure I feel confident going forward. I have also been given support from a teaching assistant due to explaining my worries to the senior leadership team regarding the number of children who will reach NARE, by the end of the year, in writing. I am hoping, with the changes, that the number of children reaching this can be almost doubled.
Considering all of the above, I would advise final year teaching students to verbalise any worries you may have so they can be resolved as quickly as possible. You should also ensure that you visit schools before attending interviews as the vibe you can get from a school by walking around is very surprising. It is important to ensure you research the school properly and consider if it is the school you want to work in. Finally, I would advise anyone embarking on their NQT year to take time for themselves and remember that you can only try your best and do what you think is best for the children on their learning journey.
REBECCA HARDMAN NQT
I’ve always wanted to be a teacher – I am one of the few that faced with the question: ‘What do you want to do when you’re older?’ was always prepared with the answer. As a child, I initially struggled with English and Maths and made poor progress until I moved school – teachers’ believed that I wouldn’t be able to face the SATs, let alone my GCSEs! Fortunately, with the help of my parents and a change in learning environment, I managed to prove them wrong – eventually earning a scholarship for my academic achievement at the University of Manchester. However, I still remember the humiliating moments: being the only child who could not recall her number bonds in Year 1, struggling to read and feeling lost in the learning process. As a teacher, I know both sides of the story -- how it feels to fail and, more importantly, the difference it makes when somebody believes that you can succeed. I want to be part of that difference.
In early July, I arrived at my classroom door for a transition day to meet my class for the very first time. Standing in front of thirty-one children, as a qualified teacher, was both daunting and exciting! This was a very different experience to my trainee journey and the prospect of the year to come posed new challenges that I was eager to face. First impressions certainly do count… that hour with the class allowed me a valuable opportunity for us all to learn a lot about each other. Therefore, on my first day in September, I was armed with a wealth of information to help create the strong teacher-pupil relationship that I am so lucky to have fostered in my classroom. Knowing that a certain child wants to be a GP or that Manchester United is their favourite team is just as important as knowing their academic strengths and weaknesses. In education, it is easy for a child to be a statistic or a label but these do not define the child or make the child special!
Over summer, I prepped my classroom and read all of the school policies to ensure that I was ready for the first day of term. I decided to theme my classroom and model my behaviour management system on the Harry Potter series. Even sorting my class into houses on the first day of term and designing a Quidditch themed reading corner -- cloak, broom and quaffles included! Being prepared is essential. Over the first few weeks, it definitely feels like you are drowning in information – take notes and prepare to process it later! You may be qualified but I truly believe that in September a new learning journey begins...MELANIE BROADBENT RQT
September. For some of you, you are beginning your career as a newly qualified teacher. Others, returning as an experienced or recently qualified teacher. Whatever stage in your career, I can imagine we all share the same anticipation, excitement and quite possibly, nerves. What is my new class going to be like? How can I make this the most successful year yet? How can I ensure that every child makes maximum progress and is happy in the process of doing so? These are all questions running through our heads before we have even considered what colour backing paper to mount, how our desks should be arranged and whether we consider introducing a new class reward system this year.
I am returning this September as a recently qualified teacher and despite having learned a great deal over the past academic year, I am ready and eager to learn more and further develop. Reflective practice is a key to becoming a successful teacher and I have tried to incorporate this wherever possible. I know it is sometimes hard to fit this in; with lessons to plan, books to mark, meetings to attend – considering how a lesson went can be the last thing on your mind. When you work in a profession that is constantly moving forward, always changing, moving on to the next lesson and the next, it feels pointless considering one that has already happened. Through this blog, I hope to impart some helpful tips as I detail how I managed to build in time to reflect and improve my practice.
‘The three Ps’. That is how I organised my life during my NQT year: personal, practice and pedagogy. I found that categorising my responsibilities in this way allowed me to maintain a balanced NQT year and ensure that I gave sufficient time to all areas of my first year in teaching.
Manage your workload
I write lists for everything. Sometimes I write a list for the lists I need to make! I know how it feels having one hundred things to do whirling around your head; you will feel so much better knowing they are on paper. Once you have written your list, prioritise. I have quite a complex way of prioritising which is involves four variants. I consider whether something is urgent and important which I mark as high priority 1, important but not urgent which I mark 2, urgent but not important which I mark 3, not urgent and not important which I mark a 4. Viewing your work in this way will encourage you to realise what is important. I allocate 60% of time to 1 tasks, 30% of my time to 2 (it is so important you carve time to do these tasks), and the other 10% is spent on 3 and 4 tasks. Often, I scratch 4 tasks from my list. You already have so much on, you don’t need to be worrying about wedging cardboard under a wobbly table leg or meticulously tidying stationary caddies. Ensuring you make time for what you consider to be important is vital – in the classroom, we are constantly responding to needs and requests from pupils, staff and parents. You may have a pile of marking to do or resources that need photocopying at the end of the school day but set aside half an hour to discuss with a colleague behaviour management strategies, review a SEN plan, or annotate your planning with children that excelled during a lesson and children who need extra support. Getting into the habit of doing this will pay dividends and you will be thanking yourself later on.
Embrace a positive attitude
At the beginning of the year, we are feeling refreshed, excited and determined to do everything to the best of our abilities. During the year, this zeal may fade as we become tired but it is so important that you maintain positivity. Sometimes, schools can become a breeding ground for venting frustration and blowing off steam, once the bell rings. Stand out from the crowd and be positive. Positivity breeds positivity – be known as the person who encourages and supports others. It is also of equal importance that you seek out a circle of hard working, friendly, positive and helpful people to surround yourself with too.
Relationships are key
In addition to relationships with staff, make sure you build time to meet with and speak to parents. Throughout the year, I aim to speak with at least one parent every night to say how well their child is doing and communicate something positive. Parents want to hear good things about their children. All too often we only call home to tell a parent when their child has misbehaved or there is a concern about their learning. Build a trusting and positive relationship with parents by communicating their children’s successes! The same rule goes for the children. If they are doing well, make sure they know. If a child is not doing well, find something positive to tell them anyway. 9 times out of 10, this affirmation will be the boost they need in order to make progress.
We ask children to reflect on their learning all the time – what went well? What could be improved? How can you avoid the same mistakes in the future? We also ask children to set targets for themselves. As practitioners, we should be doing the same. As part of the Masters’ NQT module, I gathered evidence throughout the year, which demonstrated how I had met the teaching standards. This served as a great opportunity to review marking, photos of displays, lesson plans and other forms of evidence. I was able to do this on an ad hoc basis and it fit in easily with everything else I was doing. I would ensure I made time to jot down a few thoughts immediately after a lesson or at the end of the day. I would then do an overall reflection in greater detail every few weeks. It is very important to be reflective – If you know a lesson didn’t go well, don’t ignore it but identify the reasons why so that you can avoid the same things happening.
Learn from others
In addition to being self-reflective, it is important that you welcome suggestions and advice from others. As an NQT, you will have a mentor and your peers. As a more experienced teacher, seek advice from others around you. Don’t feel shame in asking someone less experienced, as they will have trained more recently and will be able to offer fresh perspective. Frequently participate in learning walks and book moderations - I have gained a wealth of ideas from my colleagues through doing this. I have also been able to share some of my ideas with them. Remember, you are a team!
Refine your practice
Once you have taken all feedback into consideration, put the advice into practice and tweak the way you work in order to make improvements. Comprise a plan containing areas to improve and give yourself a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic target) to work towards. Marking work is very important and your school will likely do moderation throughout the year; ensure your books stand out by marking succinctly and meaningfully. As a rule, I only write something if it extends the child’s learning further. It is of equal importance that the child responds and completes this challenge too. Refine your lesson plans – once you have completed them, don’t stop! Check over them to see if you can add, remove or change anything. Better still, ask a colleague to look over your planning to see if they can inject anything into it.
This is the one where most of you will think ‘Who has time for that?’ - I agree. This aspect can be time consuming, feel counter-productive and we feel guilty reading an article on teaching when we need to be preparing to teach the very next day! That’s the thing though. Research will only enhance your practice, it will prepare you to teach, it will equip you with new and exciting ideas to share in staff meeting or trial in your classroom. It will be the difference between despairing over the child who ‘just never seems to get it’ and being able to cater towards the needs of that child by trialling methods within your classroom. You will then be able to share this with a colleague who is going through a similar problem and it works for them too. All of a sudden, 10 minutes spent reading an educational journal doesn’t seem like a waste of time! Do however, approach new theories with an open mind. They may work, they may not. Ensure they don’t add too much extra time to your already full workload and they are simple for students to understand.
In addition to research, check to see what your union has to offer by means of conferences and events to inform your teaching further. Often, these events are free of charge, offer great resources for you to use in school and it is a great way to meet with other teachers and share examples of good practice.
So there you have it – the ‘three Ps’. I do hope some of this blog was useful to you in your preparation of the new academic year, which is fast approaching. I am sure there will be lots of highs, some lows and lots of hard work involved. I hope you all have a fantastic year and good luck!
We offer a whole range of opportunities to support your career development, from a newly qualified teacher level right the way through to subject leads and middle management roles.
Distance learning Online NQT Module – Reflecting Professional Practice
This M Level 20 credit distance learning module supports Newly Qualified Teachers though their first year in the classroom. The module will enable you to critically reflect on your performance and capability as a teacher working within the context of the Teachers' Standards. (See factsheet below for further details).
Download our fact sheet for the NQT Distance Learning Module 'Reflecting on Professional Practice'. See the Guidance for applying online. You can click here to submit your application online via the Applicant Portal.
- MA Education - Designed to help you develop personally and professionally, this course will expose you to the latest in educational theory and policy.
- EdD Professional Doctorate in Education - Earn a research degree with equal outcomes to a PhD through a substantive study considering the relationships between theory and practice.
We are keen to keep in touch with you throughout your teaching career, so please remember to update your details. You can also contact us if you would like additional support, particularly during your first year in teaching. You can email us here: TeacherTraining@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.
Leeds Beckett Alumni - You may already be aware of the range of benefits and services available to you as a Leeds Beckett Alumni, but if you would like to find out more, please visit our Alumni website.