Lesson planning

25 October 2022

How to build your confidence in teaching a new subject or topic

Katie Marl

Primary Curriculum Design Lead

Moving key stages, year groups or tackling a new subject or topic can be challenging. With so many tasks taking up your day, making time for professional development to tackle unfamiliar content can often find itself at the bottom of the to-do list.

It’s not just the new content to contend with: you've got to use the latest pedagogical approaches, check the resources you choose are pitched at the correct year group, and don’t forget to create assessment opportunities… phew!

In this article, we share six top tips for using Oak National Academy to get you up to speed and confident to deliver outstanding lessons in your new key stage, year group or subject.

Whether you're an ECT with a new year group or teaching an unfamiliar subject; a teacher who is new to a key stage, year group content or subject; or a teacher who works across several year groups (PPA cover), this could help you.

Six top tips for becoming confident in your new area of teaching

Here are six top tips for using Oak to help you get up to speed with the new curriculum materials.

  1. Use expert video resources for inspiration
    We have thousands of video lessons created by subject experts for you to use as inspiration and a foundation for your lesson planning. Your time is precious; each video has a paired transcript, helping you to skim-read the information to check it’s exactly what you’re looking for. In a rush? Speed up the video by up to x3 to get the information even quicker.
  2. Learn from the best
    Observing other teachers’ good practice in your new subject or topic can be difficult to timetable; the opportunity to watch language used and how to deliver clear explanations can be a real confidence builder. In our lesson videos, our experienced teachers give you ideas, analogies, models and stories to help you explain new concepts to pupils in a way they understand.
  3. Include pedagogical methods that work
    It can be challenging to accommodate the different needs of the pupils in your classroom, and to know which pedagogical methods are current and encouraged. Our teaching materials use the latest approaches which engage pupils to explore age-appropriate national curriculum content, so you can be confident you're using resources that work.
  4. Embed key terminology and vocabulary
    Pre-teaching can improve access to vocabulary for pupils who benefit from scaffolding and additional support; each of our lessons have a pre-made vocabulary list with definitions. Use them to boost your own subject knowledge or set them as a straightforward pre-teaching task for pupils.
  5. Know what comes before (and after)
    Browse previously learnt content using our curriculum maps, to understand what pupils should know. Apply to pupils who are higher-level learners and challenge their critical thinking skills effectively by knowing the next progression in the subject.
  6. Lessen your workload
    Our adaptable, fully resourced learning materials are the perfect foundation for you to change and adapt to meet the needs of your pupils. Don’t reinvent the wheel; swap the time spent on searching for resources, lesson plans and curriculum maps with building secure subject knowledge whilst lessening your workload.

Why use Oak National Academy?

  • Oak is an independent resource by teachers, for teachers.
  • Our online lessons will boost your own subject knowledge.
  • Fully resourced topics support age-appropriate learning for pupils whilst reducing workload.
  • Increase home support with guidance videos shareable with parents.