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Quality First Teaching

What is Quality First Teaching?

Quality First Teaching is adapted and responsive teaching that will meet the individual needs of the majority of children in the classroom. It includes good planning of well-sequenced and manageable lessons and class work, coupled with effective pedagogical choices, and robust assessment for learning which is used to inform the next steps in the teaching sequence for children. Quality First Teaching aims to engage and support the learning of all children and places a strong focus on pupil participation in learning.  It demands 100% participation from the pupils, and sets high and realistic challenges. It does not ‘spoon feed’ - instead, it is challenging and demanding; it expects pupils to be able to articulate their ideas, understanding and thinking by actively promoting pupil talk.



The Sutton Trust, a charity which aims to improve social mobility through education, found the components of great teaching include:

  • Pedagogical content knowledge – how well teachers know the subjects they teach and how well they understand how pupils learn
  • Quality of instruction – practices such as effective questioning and use of assessment, reviewing previous learning, and providing model responses
  • Classroom climate – the quality of interactions between teachers and pupils, and teacher expectations


3 strategies within the 'instruction' element of Quality First Teaching that are thought to be particularly effective in advancing learning are:

  • Modelling, in which a teacher thinks aloud to help pupils to understand underlying structures, processes and conventions
  • Explaining, which helps pupils to understand abstract concepts and events that are outside their own experiences
  • Questioning, which can help promote higher-order thinking skills and structure the development of pupil knowledge and understanding



How does SEND provision differ to Quality First Teaching?

Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less. Often, needs can be met in the classroom through adjustments within Quality First Teaching (e.g. change in pedagogy, additional/different resources, chunking of tasks) and our SEND team can support and advise teachers with this.  


However, on occasion, a child's needs can not be fully met in the classroom through Quality First Teaching alone. Some children need educational provision that is additional to or different from this mainstream offer. At Mendip Green we use our best endeavours to ensure that such provision is made for those who need it. The SEND team will make the decision about whether any of the additional SEND provision within the school is appropriate for each individual child to support their needs more effectively. Often, the decision to offer this additional and/or alternative provision is supported by evidence from an outside agency.