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Programme structure and module overview

UCL Early Career Teacher Programme

Table of contents

Developing teachers as skilled professionals

Our programme is built on a belief that teachers are skilled professionals, who have:

  • pupil learning at the centre of all that they do
  • a rich, complex, knowledge base which continues to grow throughout their career
  • a deep understanding of the context(s) in which they work and the implications of this for their practice
  • practical fluency in a range of evidence-based classroom strategies that support pupils to learn well
  • academic tools needed to engage independently with evidence around effective teaching
  • the reflective capacity to evaluate teaching and continue to improve across their career
  • the ability to use their knowledge, skills and experience to ensure excellent learning for all pupils.

Programme components draw on multiple pedagogies of teacher education to effectively develop teachers as skilled professionals.

Learning activities are targeted to the developmental needs of the early career teachers and the nature of content in each module.

Mentors are fully prepared for their role in the programme through targeted training which addresses both the content of the Early Career Framework and the highly skilled practice of mentoring.

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How will the programme be delivered? 

Professional learning for early career teachers

The programme will be delivered through a blended learning approach to create flexible and social learning environments that support early career teacher’s development.

Year one

Early Career Teacher professional development training – 21 hours in total:

  • An induction/learning conference for 3 hours
  • Cluster-based training for 2 hours per half term
  • Participation in a hub-based online learning community for 1 hour per half term


In school professional development activity – 61 hours in total:

  • Guided self-directed learning materials for 22 hours
  • Structured mentoring meetings providing support and challenge for 39 hours

Year one total learning hours: 82.


Five themed modules mapped to the Teachers’ Standards.

Autumn term one

Module 1: Enabling pupil learning (Teachers’ Standards 1 and 7)

  • Setting high expectations for learning and behaviour, and practical strategies for shaping the learning environment to enable pupil learning.

Autumn term two

Module 2: Engaging pupils in learning (Teachers’ Standards 2 and 3)

  • Developing a rich conceptual understanding of pupil learning, memory and subject / specialism expertise.

Spring terms one and two

Module 3: Developing quality pedagogy (Teachers’ Standards 4 and 5)

  • Exploring and applying strategies to support high quality planning and adaptive teaching that addresses the needs of all pupils.

Summer term one

Module 4: Making productive use of assessment (Teachers’ Standard 6)

  • Investigating approaches to assessment and feedback that improve learning and make efficient use of time, in and out of the classroom.

Summer term two

Module 5: Fulfilling professional responsibilities (I) (Teachers’ Standard 8)

  • Building skills in working with others within and beyond the school to improve teaching and manage professional development across a career in education.

Example weeks

In module two, week four, early career teachers' complete self-study activities focusing on the role of long-term memory in pupil learning. They read a research summary on knowledge, memory, consolidation and foundational concepts; they work through an exercise that extends their understanding; and they use their learning to plan strategies to support learning to a forthcoming lesson.

During their weekly meeting, the mentor and early career teacher review and refine early career teachers' planned lesson. The mentor shares their practice to model expertise, and together the mentor and early career teacher map out opportunities to apply learning to a sequence of the early career teacher's lessons.

In module four, week six, early career teachers participate in an online learning community with other early career teachers in their local area, in place of self-study.

The weekly early career teacher mentor meeting looks at strategies for making marking manageable. The mentor and mentee analyse some of the early career teacher’s assessment artefacts to identify strengths and areas for development. The mentor supports the early career teacher with scripting and rehearsing a piece of pupil feedback, and they co-assess some pupil work.

Year two

Early Career Teacher professional development training – 15 hrs in total:

  • A reflection and learning conference for 3 hours
  • Cluster based training for 2 hours per half term in autumn and spring  
  • School visits in the summer term for 2 hours


In school professional development activity – 25 hours in total:

  • Guided self-directed learning materials for 5 hours
  • Structured Mentoring meetings providing support and challenge for 20 hours

Year two total learning hours: 40.


Enquiry-based learning deepens understanding and practice.

Autumn term one

Module 6: Enquiry into enabling pupil learning

Autumn term two

Module 7: Enquiry into engaging pupils in learning

Spring term and summer term 1

Module 8: Enquiry into developing quality pedagogy and making productive use of assessment

Summer term two

Module 9: Fulfilling professional responsibilities (II)

Professional learning programme for mentors

The UCL Early Career Teacher Consortium mentoring approach emphasises collaboration and is based on Hobson’s (2016) ONSIDE mentoring (emphasised in the early part of the training) and Daly & Milton’s (2017) educative mentoring (introduced as mentors become more confident). We believe this approach will develop a supportive, non-judgmental relationship between the mentor and the early career teacher.

The mentor professional development programme will be facilitated through blended learning and a hub-cluster approach to build communities of learning and support for mentors. 

Annual programme
  • An induction and learning conference for 3 hours
  • Participation in a Delivery Partner based online learning community for 1 hour per term
  • Guided self-directed study enabling the development of strong mentoring skills – 2 hours per half term

Annual total learning hours: 18.


Opportunity for evidence informed mentoring practice through structured mentoring sessions with early career teachers:

  • Year one - 39 hours
  • Year two - 20 hours.

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    A flexible programme that works with your timetable

    • Early career teacher self-study sessions can be completed at any time, as a single block of study or broken up across a number of days.
    • Modules within the programme are presented in a suggested sequence, which can be adapted to suit local needs where appropriate. Modules are sufficiently bounded that they can be completed in any order.
    • Module summary guides provide a clear overview of sessions in each module, including preparation required and key learning activities. Mentors and early career teachers can use this to target session selection and sequencing to early career teachers learning needs, their school calendar and other commitments with which the programme must dovetail.
    • Mentors and early career teacher complete module content audits at the start of each module, which clearly indicate where to target and personalise activity within and across sessions so that it best addresses each early career teacher learning needs.

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    Consideration of teacher workload 

    Consortium partners are leaders in teaching and teacher development across all phases of schooling. This expertise has informed programme design and organisation to be sensitive to teachers’ overall workload, embedding learning in practice.

    Programme design creates flexibility that accommodates the disruptions and variations that are inevitable over a typical school year.

    Programme components are scheduled across the year so that early career teachers and mentors are able to balance learning activities with their other commitments and pressure on their time.

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