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Primary School Teacher job description

What does a Primary School Teacher do?

Primary School Teachers educate children between the ages of 5 and 12 under a prescribed curriculum to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills and foster social, physical and emotional growth. Subject areas within their curriculum include mathematics, English, science, technology, humanities and social science, arts, health and physical education.

As a Primary School Teacher, you’ll use a variety of effective techniques and technologies to engage students with the learning process according to their age, level of ability and individual needs. You will also encourage the intellectual and emotional growth of children including reasoning and problem solving skills, creativity and self-expression.

Primary School Teachers work collaboratively with leadership, specialist and support staff including the school Principal, Special Education Teachers, Guidance Officers, Teacher Librarians and Teacher Aides. If required, Primary School Teachers may also interact with other professionals such as Social Welfare Officers or Disability Officers to assist students who have special needs.

A day in the life of a Primary School Teacher


Daily tasks for a Primary School Teacher

Primary School Teachers perform a range of tasks on a daily basis, which may include:

  • Preparing daily and long-term lesson plans according to curriculum guidelines.
  • Teaching a full range of subject areas.
  • Developing children’s interests, abilities and coordination using a variety of creative activities including art, sport and music.
  • Maintaining productive working habits and discipline in the classroom.
  • Supervising students throughout the day, both in the classroom and outside during breaks.
  • Attending staff meetings and training and development sessions.
  • Assessing and evaluating students’ educational progress and abilities.
  • Setting and conducting testing.
  • Discussing students’ progress with parents and guardians, administrators and other professionals as necessary.
  • Organising, attending and supervising school activities such as excursions, school concerts, camps and sporting events.

To learn about the skills, traits and qualifications you’ll need as a Primary School Teacher, read our tips on how to become a Primary School Teacher.

Working hours of a Primary School Teacher

In addition to working regular school hours, Primary School Teachers may also be required to work extended hours in order to plan lessons, attend staff meetings or events, and mark students’ school work. A Primary School Teacher may carry out these tasks in the morning before the school day commences, after teaching hours in the afternoon or evening, on weekends, or a combination of these hours.

Primary School Teachers are not required to work during school holiday periods, in additional to their regular annual leave.

What is the difference between a Primary School Teacher and an Early Childhood Educator?

Primary School Teachers are eligible to teach children between the ages of 5 and 12, or in Year 1 to Years 6 or 7, depending on the state’s school structure. Along with developing students’ literacy and numeracy skills, Primary School Teachers assist with building problem solving and social skills.

Early Childhood Educators (or Early Childhood Teachers) are qualified to develop and implement educational programs for children between the ages of 4 and 8 (or children in Kindergarten or Prep through to Year 3). Early Childhood Educators help young students to develop social skills, creativity and coordination, and an interest in learning. 

Both Primary School Teachers and Early Childhood Educators are required to hold a tertiary teaching qualification.