Tell me about teaching Year 1...

(13 Posts)
RedJeans Tue 20-May-14 18:36:23

Hello everyone,

I will be starting the Teach First programme in June and have just found out that I will be teaching a Year 1 class in September! I'm pleased because I had expressed a preference for KS1/lower KS2, but haven't got much experience of Year 1.
Have been volunteering once a week this year in a Year 3 class and have a small amount of recent work experience in ELFS and years 2, 5 and 6.

So please tell me all your pros and cons of Year 1/KS1 in general, and how different it is going to be from Year 3!

TIA

lifeissweet Tue 20-May-14 18:43:46

I teach in year 1. I love it, but I made the move from year 5 and it was a bit of a shock to the system.

Pros -
It is a lovely age. They are lively and receptive and very funny.

They make enormous progress in Year 1 - it is when they learn to be learners and it can be enormously rewarding to watch them writing their first proper sentences and picking up those first building blocks in reading and maths.

Cons -
They are often not very independent at all. It can be physically quite tiring as you don't get a quiet moment in a day.

The transition from EYFS to NC is tricky - My school isn't very good at it, so they are expected to go straight from child-initiated play-based learning to teacher-led sitting down with a pencil type learning. If your school is better at transition, this should not be a problem for you.

It is brilliant. I highly recommend it - Good luck!

RedJeans Tue 20-May-14 18:55:35

Thank you for your response lifeissweet! Just what I was hoping to hear haha smile

NCFTTB Tue 20-May-14 21:54:01

Year One is my favourite. Agree it is a year they make masses of progress. Good luck!

toomuchicecream Wed 21-May-14 19:37:38

Agree with all of the above. Read up on transition, talk to people and the school (especially if more than one form entry) and decide how you are going to take them from child led, play based to more formal teaching, and over what period?

RedJeans Wed 21-May-14 23:30:25

Thanks for the replies and advice toomuchicecream and NCFTTB. I'm anticipating that a large portion of the first weeks will be taken up with establishing routines and settling in again etc, have you found this to be the case? Presume they will have forgotten a lot about school over the summer holidays! Unfortunately it's only 1 form entry but I'll be going into the school a few times before September so grateful for the question suggestions!

Ferguson Fri 23-May-14 18:19:35

I was a TA / helper for over twenty years, in KS1; one class was a combined R/Yr1/Yr2, which might sound unwieldy but it worked well because the teacher was well organised, and it gives flexibility to place children according to their ability.

Yr1 won't be able to organise their time or activities very well, and even things like changing for PE need support. Will you have a TA, or parent helpers maybe?

Once you have a timetable/daily schedule in place, a board with picture representations of subjects/activities/groups established, the children can be taught to control their time from that; children's name labels can be stuck on with Velcro, to show who is where and when!

Some teachers have a similar board for toilet visits, again children can control it themselves once shown. (Yr1 you can still get 'accidents', and some children are shy to ask to 'go'.)

I started as a 'parent helper' supporting reading, and one of my earliest Yr1 girls turned up again seventeen years later, on her final year of Teacher Training! Our roles were reversed, as SHE needed to direct ME in the classroom!

Enjoy it, and come back if we can be of any help.

RedJeans Fri 23-May-14 18:42:47

Thank you Ferguson, that's so useful! I hadn't heard of a velcro activity board before, sounds like a fab idea, will probably be useful for me as well as the children! I think I'll have a HLTA in most of the time, and the first term I'll be on a 60% timetable so there'll be another teacher around to borrow ideas from and ask for help. Hopefully will have parent helpers too for listening to readers etc. Will definitely be back with more questions!!

Ferguson Fri 23-May-14 18:50:11

Happy to help! Maybe my teacher had invented it!

(See also a similar thread from Saadia a couple of 'posts' down.)

I loved teaching year 1 and they were definitely my favourites. Downside in my experience was reception and Year 2 teachers tend to blame year 1 related to progress. Kids used to come up high on EYFS and wouldn't correlate to NC so always looked like the children's progress had gone backwards/slowed down. Then Year 2 would want the levels coming up to be on the cautious side to make it look like the children made 'outstanding' progress in year 2.

Typing that reminded me how glad I am to now run my own a Educational provider that doesn't focus on this competitive bollocks!

RedJeans Fri 23-May-14 21:05:55

Oh dear Indians, hoping my school isn't too results focused! Going for a visit soon so we'll see!!

Oh god sorry to sound like such a misery! Ignore my post and listen to the others. My school was incredibly high pressure (top 5% in the country) and head was a task master. Like I said, absolutely loved teaching that age group.

RedJeans Fri 23-May-14 22:17:36

Haha, ah don't think the environment will be as pressurised as that then! Glad you like the age group, have only heard positive things so far which is greatsmile (other than the occasional toilet accident obviously!)

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