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Quality First teaching

Read about the knowledge and understanding that underpin Quality First teaching. See what styles and approaches are used, along with the kind of support to plan for, and the impact of this on the children.

Knowledge and understanding

In Quality First teaching, teachers have:

  • a comprehensive knowledge of the subject content within the curriculum
  • an understanding of what learning is expected
  • an understanding of progression across the curriculum
  • knowledge of how some teaching approaches are better suited to promote particular learning
  • an understanding of how the subject develops in the later years
  • a broad repertoire of teaching and organisational approaches.

Teaching style and approaches

Quality First teaching is lively and engaging. The pitch and pace of the work is sensitive to the rate at which the children learn, but also makes sure that expectations are kept high and all children are making progress. It involves a carefully planned blend of teaching approaches that direct children's learning.

Planning and support

  • Teachers provide children with good support, but encourage independence as and when appropriate.
  • Children who need extra support are identified quickly, and receive early intervention to help them maintain their progress.
  • The skills and knowledge that children are expected to learn are clearly defined.
  • The teacher has mapped out the lessons within a teaching sequence, when planning how to lead the children to the intended learning outcomes.
  • The balance between adult-led and child-initiated activity is an important element of planning.

The impact of Quality First teaching on children

With Quality First teaching, children:

  • are challenged to think
  • know that they can seek help and use resources as and when they need to
  • over time, identify their attainment and recognise the progress they have made
  • support one another in group work and are happy to share their ideas and to explain their reasoning and methods.