Primary teachers

Primary school teacher with students

Primary school teachers are trained to teach students from Kindergarten to Year 6. They plan and deliver educational programs to assist in the intellectual, physical and social development of primary school students who are typically aged between five and eleven.

Role and responsibilities

Primary teachers prepare daily lesson plans that fit within broad syllabus and curriculum requirements. They are responsible for teaching a wide range of subject areas, including English, mathematics, science, technology, society and environment, creative arts, and personal development, health and physical education.

Work activities

A typical work day for a primary teacher in a NSW public school may involve:

  • Preparing and teaching a range of lessons for a particular year group – ranging from kindergarten (typically aged five to six) to Year 6 (typically aged ten to eleven)
  • Using creative activities such as art, music and sport to engage primary students and develop their creativity and coordination
  • Using computers and other electronic devices to prepare and teach lessons, report on student development and undertake administrative duties
  • Encouraging students to develop effective study habits
  • Implementing classroom management practices
  • Assessing and evaluating students' development
  • Discussing students' development with parents
  • Supervising students outside the classroom (i.e. playground duty)
  • Attending staff meetings
  • Undertaking professional development
  • Assisting with organising sporting activities, excursions and other extracurricular activities.

Qualifications

To become a primary teacher, you will need to complete at least four years of tertiary study, including an accredited teacher education program, at a recognised university or higher education institution, such as:

  • a Bachelor of Education (Primary)
  • a combined or double degree, for example, a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Primary)
  • an undergraduate degree and an accredited graduate entry teaching degree, for example, a Master of Teaching (Primary).

Salary

Find out what primary teachers get paid in NSW public schools.

Employment prospects

At present, the supply of qualified primary teachers is more than adequate across the state of NSW, with the exception of a small number of positions in high-demand locations.

To increase your employment prospects as a teacher in NSW public schools, consider becoming a high-demand teacher or teaching in high-demand locations.


Next steps

Find out how to become a teacher in NSW public schools.