NQT's: Preparing for your first assessment

Approaching end of term 1

Are you an NQT undertaking induction in Kent and fast approaching the end of term 1? If so, it’s almost time for your first assessment to be completed. Here’s some advice to prepare you for what to expect.

What is the first assessment?

Your first induction assessment is an ‘interim’ assessment: a tick-box grading from your tutor and box for you to make comments. 

Your tutor will grade you A-E dependent upon your performance throughout the term. They will base this grade on what they have observed of your teaching, marking and general performance.

The comment box on the assessment is your opportunity to write about your first term. How have you settled in? What successes have you had? What challenges have you faced? What would you like to improve in term 2? Reflective practice is a valuable CPD tool and looking back at your comments in a few months’ time will really help you to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Be a ‘Good Scout���

Be prepared: Have a think about the questions above so that you’re prepared to talk to your tutor about your progress. If you’re a Kent-registered NQT, it would be helpful to download the “E1. Grading using the Teachers’ Standards” document accessed via NQT Manager and highlight the phrases you feel best represent your teaching progress so far. An example of this document is shown below:

Be Proactive: You should meet with your tutor before they complete the assessment. This may be done as part of your regular weekly meeting or your tutor might arrange a specific time to discuss the assessment separately. Either way, it’s important that you get an opportunity to talk to them about it, so take the initiative to schedule some time with your tutor if it gets close to the deadline and they haven’t yet done so.

Take any prepared documents and reflections along to the meeting so that you’re fully-equipped to discuss your performance.

Keep it real

It’s important to remember that you’re not a student anymore, so the schools’ expectations of you are likely to be higher than they were before. You may have been an ‘outstanding’ student but you might be a ‘satisfactory’ NQT to begin with, until your confidence and experience grows.

Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. It’s okay to be struggling with some aspects, you’re still learning and as one of last years’ NQTs so eloquently expressed “’I’m an NQT’ is the perfect excuse for not knowing the answer”.

What next?

Once the first assessment is out of the way, utilise the “E1. Grading using the Teachers’ Standards” (mentioned above) again to look at what you need to improve in order to work your way up the grades. Continue to collect evidence for your EPDP, so that when you meet with your tutor in term 2, you can ‘wow’ them with everything you’ve achieved so far.

And finally…

Remember that this is just the first term of your induction journey. There is no rush to become great and perfection is a myth! Concentrate on doing your best and be patient with yourself. Listen to the feedback you’re given and break it into achievable goals to focus on.

The year will fly by, so enjoy it!

Don't forget, this is your year to enjoy teaching and learning in all its glory! So, here are some Top Tips for Surviving Your NQT Year!

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