How to go from Primary to Secondary Teaching

How to go from Primary to Secondary Teaching

If you are wondering how to transition from primary to secondary school teaching, here we explore the steps you’ll need to take to do so.

Can a primary teacher teach at secondary school?

Firstly, you may be wondering whether you can make the change from primary to a secondary school teacher. The answer is simple; if you have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you can teach at either primary or secondary level. However, the roles are quite different. Primary school teachers will teach a broad range of subjects, whereas secondary school teachers pick just one. So before you make a move, you need to decide and gain expertise in the topic you wish to specialise in.

How do teachers choose a specialist subject?

Deciding upon your discipline might come quickly to you, or it may be a difficult decision. It’s going to be up to the individual to weigh up their interest, subject knowledge, and skill set. Choosing a subject that you feel passionate about will help you feel motivated and inspired to gain in-depth knowledge and understanding. Your enthusiasm will naturally come out when you impart your knowledge to your students.

Switching from primary to secondary school teaching - why bother?

The reasons a person might switch from primary to secondary school teaching are unique to the individual. Usually, there is a desire to focus on one specialist subject and expand their knowledge and expertise. A teacher may also feel better suited to teaching older pupils, which may catalyse the desire to move into secondary school education.

How to switch from a primary teacher to a secondary teacher

If you have QTS, applying for a secondary school teacher role is relatively straightforward. However, you will be expected to have some knowledge and expertise in the subject you hope to teach. If you want to become a secondary school teacher, you’ll need to:

  • Earn QTS - teachers need QTS to teach in either primary or secondary school settings.
  • Build subject knowledge and experience- having qualifications in your specialist subject will make you a more attractive employee. You can always undertake these qualifications while working as a primary school teacher. Demonstrating in-depth knowledge and passion for your subject will look impressive in your application. You could also volunteer with youth groups to gain experience in a leadership role working with older children.
  • Take time with your application - make sure your CV and cover letter are up to date and tailored to the specific teaching role you are applying for. Try to prepare for interview questions, so you feel fully prepped and confident if you are asked to come for an interview.

Find your new teaching role with Horizon Teachers today

If you are looking for a new teaching role, Horizon teachers can help. We’ll help connect you with the best teaching jobs and support your application. Browse our jobs board or get in touch with our friendly team today!