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Year 6 teachers- I need help!

(35 Posts)
NedSchneebly Fri 01-Jul-11 20:18:05

Have just got new teaching job- yay!
However, new school have decided to give me year 6 to teach EVERYTHING to! I'm mostly middle school experienced, and am making the move to primary, so lacking in experience in some areas. . .

Have never taught science, ICT, French, pe or geography. Was hoping for year 3 or 4 (Am on 1year contract teaching half timetable to year 4 this year)

Is there anywhere I can look up what I need to learn to teach the children, or will it be different in each school? Should I just wait to get plans from school and see if I can figure it out?

Any websites or ideas welcome!

However, never taught science, geography

NedSchneebly Fri 01-Jul-11 20:18:47

Last line rubbish- bloody iPod!

Goblinchild Fri 01-Jul-11 20:21:43

Are the school aware of your training needs and what are they doing to support you?
Will you be working with an experienced team who can share planning and resources with you?
If you are in a middle school, that's 8-12 or 9-13, so someone in your place is teaching those subjects to 10 and 11 year olds. Go and ask them.
There is a limit to what you can teach from a website. hmm

mrz Fri 01-Jul-11 20:32:01

Is it a state school? If so you need to look at the National Curriculum.

NedSchneebly Fri 01-Jul-11 21:02:36

Thanks for respondingsmile I'm going to be working closely with deputy head who teaches year 5, so hopefully I can tap onto his expertise.

I have looked at national curriculum website and have looked at learning objectives for ks2 etc, but still unsure about the sort of units I might need to prepare myself to teach. . . .

Maybe I'm jumping the gun and should wait and see what my school provides in terms of planning?

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 02-Jul-11 20:30:39

Look at the QCA for units of study....... they are as dull as ditch water but will give you a good handle of how you can match the NC objectives.

However your new school may have its own topics etc (we've jsut revamped our curriclulm) but they wouldn't object if you asked to see it in advance, they'd be impressed! I'm assuming you'll go fo a day to meet your class before the end of term? Ask then and then you can get to work!

I'm going part time me. Whoo hooo!

IslaValargeone Sun 03-Jul-11 11:09:43

Yay on your new job, and please believe me when I say my question isn't a criticism of you but of the system as a whole. How is it possible that someone with no experience of teaching four of the subjects they are supposed to teach is being employed?

kennythekangaroo Sun 03-Jul-11 11:13:10

Talk to the school they should have a year plan listing the areas to be covered.

I'd then try to find the old qca subjects online especially science as it give you clear topics for the year group and the relevant learning objectives to cover. There is no qca website any more but if you search you can find the old documents which will give you a start.

Goblinchild Sun 03-Jul-11 11:13:55

Depends what other strengths the OP is bringing to the job, and what curriculum areas they are going to be responsible for.
Primary teaching is often a case of having the book in your hand and being one step ahead of the class, or two if you put a lot of your own time into researching and learning.
That's the problem with having to teach so many different subjects.

NedSchneebly Sun 03-Jul-11 13:05:51

I totally agree Isla!

I've been teaching 12 years, starting in a secondary, teaching mostly Music, also English and PSHE. Then middle school for 8 years, teaching music, english, maths, PSHE, history, RE. Then this year in prep school, doing maternity cover to get some more primary experience, ended up teaching music nursery to yr8, plusEnglish, maths, PSHE to year 4 class. Am pleased to have got a primary job, given the obvious gaps in my experience, which I totally acknowledge! Think they quite liked my music experience, so may end up coordinating it?

I'm going in next week, so will def be asking for all the plans.

Hadn't thought of old QCA ones. The music ones are dire, but def a good place to start. Thanks!

NedSchneebly Sun 03-Jul-11 13:07:48

Definitely prepared to put the work in that's needed- don't have any intention of letting kids down due to lack of experience. Want to do a good job, as this is what I've been aiming for....

Thanks for guidance so far smile

Goblinchild Sun 03-Jul-11 13:08:00

There you go, a music specialist. So they may be looking to you for productions and choirs and all sorts. smile

NedSchneebly Sun 03-Jul-11 13:19:13

And that's fine, Goblin!

I love all of that stuff and they haven't got any music clubs at all, so can only be an improvement if I can get something going! It's quite nice to go in to start from nothing and build something up. Have grand plans..

Goblinchild Sun 03-Jul-11 13:19:42

smile May they flourish!

NedSchneebly Sun 03-Jul-11 21:41:07

Thanks goblin! grin

menazovut Sun 03-Jul-11 21:59:17

Good starting points (well the cheap/ free ones):

science: 100 science lessons (amazon about £20)
ICT: google the Greenwich LEA ICT scheme
French: Bet they have a scheme as many are weak on MFL in primary (unsurprisingly)
Geography: QCA units
English: 100 literacy lessons
Numeracy" very easy to teach straight from framework as so much guidance for objectives or 100 Numeracy lessons

Invaluable websites in general:,, bbc bitesize ks2, espresso and education city (does the school have log ins?) and if in London (thought some content free for all).

Hope browsing through some of that gives you confidence to decide how to do your own thing! I know it's daunting to start. I love Year 6, try to find out what they have in advance if you can, nice to start with a feeling of confidence. The first time I took year 6 I'd never taught above year 3, and mainly years 1-2 but my class got record SATs, 96% L4 and 50% L5 which for a run down inner city school was amazing. Especially considering we focused on enjoyment/ creativity rather than teaching to tests. I still do year 6 boosters now.

ImNotaCelebrity Sun 03-Jul-11 22:21:01

As well as that, familiarise yourself with old SATs tests. Boring, I know, and yes, we all wish they didn't have to do them, but it helps to know what you're aiming for at the end of the year.

NedSchneebly Mon 04-Jul-11 06:55:45

Thanks Mena- that's a brilliant list. I've used Hamilton before for English and Maths. Should probably renew subscription!

Will definitely freshen up on SATs too- know your enemy! smile

Gooseberrybushes Mon 04-Jul-11 07:02:48

Are you serious? I hope you get some help and training for the children's sake. Did they make certain assumptions at interview? Why haven't they offered you support off the bat? How depressing.

Gooseberrybushes Mon 04-Jul-11 07:03:25

Maybe I'm wrong - maybe this is normal and not a problem. Am I wrong?

OddBoots Mon 04-Jul-11 07:13:11

For what it is worth as non-teacher parent I would be very happy for my child to have a teacher who may not have taught part of the curriculum before but who is enthusiastic and keen to do well. I am sure there is time between now and Sept to be able to broadly plan for at least the first term and take it from there.

In case it is of use my dd's school sends a letter home at the start of each term listing the areas they are covering in each subject so be prepared to ask if one of those will be given to you or if you'd need to produce it.

IslaValargeone Mon 04-Jul-11 10:58:23

Ned I'm so glad you didn't take offence at my post, and for what it's worth I feel pretty much the same as OddBoots with regard to your enthusiasm. I do hope that you get the right support and back up, it would be a b****y shame if someone who is so obviously keen was let down by the system. I wish you well in your new job.

NedSchneebly Mon 04-Jul-11 18:25:11

Hey Gooseberry- I don't know if this is normal- maybe other MNers with more experience could comment?
i guess the conventional primary teacher WOULD have experience in the whole curriculum, at the very least from training year. I trained in 1997 as a secondary music teacher, so I realise how far I've come from my starting point!

I certainly didn't put in stuff I've not taught in my cv so maybe they did make some assumptions, or thought that maybe I wasn't too much of a liability overall, and thought I was train-able in the weaker areas?

I am definitely v enthusiastic to do my best- i hope that i can instil a certain level if confidence that i can do a good job. I would hope that the parents of my class won't be too appalled by my appointment wink

Thanks for all your comments- it's certainly giving me food for thought!

NedSchneebly Mon 04-Jul-11 18:27:17

Thanks OddBoots- will check that one out smile

menazovut Mon 04-Jul-11 21:37:42

Ned- I'm a primary teacher, who trained in Secondary Maths.

I have a law degree, and experience working with an in-house legal team in a supermarket.

Not exactly setting me up for my first year in teaching! Everyone starts somewhere. A natural ability to communicate enthusiasm and understanding is 90% of being a good teacher. It'll slot together nicely very quickly. I've taught from yr1 to GCSE, once jumping from a year with a mainly GCSE timetable (secondary maths) to yr 2! It went very well and I've stuck with primary ever since. Despite my seemingly scary lack of relevant training/ experience over the last 6 years in primary I've been observed as outstanding or good every time.

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