How ready do I need to be for the start of the Autumn term?

What do I need to prepare, what documentation should be in place and what should I have done?

It’s a question that’s recently surfaced and in order to avoid any misconceptions I thought I would deal with it here.

The bottom line is that you need to be fully prepared and your school will be expecting you to be!

The reality of the situation is that on the 1st day of term you will be the teacher in charge of your class. In other words everyone around you is expecting you to not only take charge but to have planned and be able to control and organise EVERYTHING. So any TA’s you may have, your other teaching colleagues, the children and of course the parents are looking to you, as the class teacher to be “running the show!”

So from the 1st minute you have contact with your children you have to be prepared and organised!

So let be be quite clear with my next statement (and it is better to hear this from me than to hear it from the SLT….)

“This is not teaching practice and you can not just sort your classroom and then arrive and see what your mentor suggests! You mentor may also be a class teacher and they will be expecting a level of professionalism and preparation – as will everyone else!”


So what are the basics of preparation that need to be in place and ready to go on that 1st day?

  • Your classroom furniture should have been planned and arranged how you wish
  • Children seating plan should be ready (I recommend this is done)
  • Classroom supplies need to be collected and ready including additionals for your stockroom / cupboard.
  • Do you have everything you need in your classroom and does your interactive board / computer work?
  • Display backing paper and borders (as a minimum)
  • You should have Long term and medium term planning complete….it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how the school does it – the information is what counts and it can be transferred to another system later
  • Short term planning for the first 2 days needs to be done in detail
  • You will be expected to start teaching the curriculum by day 3 at the latest unless the school “does something different”
  • You should have read any notes from the previous teacher if available
  • Prior to the first day you do need to have read about and decided on your own approach to classroom management and how this will operate
  • Depending on your school approach to behaviour management you need to have decided on how this will work in your classroom and also any changes in approach or implementation you wish to make.
  • You should have a very basic timetable to start with – this will change in the first few days but you need one to get going with!


That’s a basic list of what you need to have done or have in place – and I hope you now can see from this list that arriving on the first day and NOT having these things in place will really put you at a disadvantage and you will not only notice that they are not in place but feel under pressure due to their absence.

In short – the better prepared you are then the more in control you will feel and the more in control you are then the smoother your days will run.

Start the term well prepared and with confidence and you can adjust and make any changes as things progress.

I would recommend reading my NQT guide which will give you details about all aspects of preparation and how to structure your own personal strategies.


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