Primary - What's new? What do I need to know?(12 Posts)
I'm a teacher and haven't had classroom responsibilities since 2010 because I've taken time out to raise my children. I am looking for a part time position but I'm holding back because so much has changed since I left. I have searched and searched for training and refresher courses, but can't find anything. The HT at DD's school suggested going to staff meetings at schools to find out more about the behind the scenes things that have changed since I left. I can't think of a single HT who would welcome a complete stranger into their staff meetings!!
So... what are the buzz words these days? Can anyone point me in the direction of some good websites that will help me to understand Assessment for Learning, assessment without levels, new 2014 Curriculum and anything else that I've missed?
Not really because now every school is doing their own thing with regards to assessment. The new curriculum is available online, but we have no idea what the SATs will be like in a fortnight (other than the single available sample) or what the benchmark for passing them will be.
What we do know is that Nicky Morgan is going to manipulate the pass mark so that the same number of pupils pass as they did before... so it's all been well worth the effort.
You are lucky to have missed the last 2 years, but TBH I think it's only getting better because we are getting used to not having a clue what we are doing.
The next 6 years is going involve the harassed scramble to form MATs and the realisation that there are not enough senior people to run them leading to us all going under in the name of helping each other to 'improve'.
Well, what haven't you missed? There has been so much change it is hard to know where to start.
Agree with OPs. Each school is doing its own thing, mostly with remarkably little external guidance as the LAs are dead. So everyone is running around in circles trying to reinvent the wheel with no idea as to whether they are doing it "properly" or not and Heads/Deputies have no way of knowing whether Ofsted will accept what they are doing or slate them for not being able to show progress.
Other than the complete and utter cock up that is assessment, the 2014 curriculum in a nutshell is much more proscriptive content for English, a lot of Maths content is now being done by younger year groups (although isn't as daft as a lot of the SPAG), and the curriculum for everything else has been cut to the bone.
Why don't you download the 2014 curriculum and then pick the year group that you know best from the past, and go through the new curriculum subject by subject and note the differences you can pick out? In my experience, many teachers who've been teaching throughout the changes are still in the process of getting to grips with the implications of different sections of the new curriculum so you'll be in good company! That's probably the best way to get to grips with that. As for assessment - you can spend time in as many staff meetings as they'll let you in to, but there's very little guarantee that what one school is doing will be replicated in another.
If the HT of your DD's school suggested it then why not ask to sit in her staff meetings? How can she refuse?
Have you looked to see if there are any return to teaching courses? I know they stopped running for a few years but I'm sure I've seen some advertised recently.
I'm not sure a return to teaching course would be that useful these days as each school is doing things differently.
Maybe it would give you a few hours in front of a class to get your confidence up, but you could get that on supply and get paid for it.
Doing supply is a good way of finding out what's actually going on in schools, and a useful lead into PT work.
I agree with the chaos and confusion opinions, some schools moreso than others.
Brush up on your higher level maths and SPAG. Get some y6 revision guides and a bottle of gin.
Sorry for late reply, I didn't get an alert to say there were replies to my post.
Your replies are all really helpful, thanks for taking the time to fill me in. It's reassuring to hear that every school is doing something different when it comes to assessment, so hopefully an open mind and a willingness to use different approaches will be okay! I've kept up with SPAG for the last three years so I feel my knowledge of what's required is pretty good, although I'm terrified of Y6 maths
Thank you for the suggestions about comparing the old and new curriculum, that's a great idea, and I'll look into Rights Respecting too.
I recently went to a teacher recruitment event which said it was aimed at returning teachers as well as NQTs. As soon as I said my specialism was English they tried to sign me up to teach secondary English after a short conversion course. That's really not what I want to do, but there are definitely no returner courses local to me.
I feel confident with behaviour management and the actual teaching, it's just the behind the scenes assessment and planning that I feel a bit out of touch with, but you've given me some really good pointers. I've just scored the local jobs board for part time posts and turned up six jobs that were possibilities. I'm obviously not going to apply indiscriminately to everything but there are lots of opportunities. Fingers crossed......
There's much more of an emphasis on accuracy, particularly in writing and SPaG is the priority for writing; genre has taken a back seat. Handwriting is also much more important. Phonics is the only way to teach reading (in terms of decoding) now. In Maths, children need to know all times tables by the end of y4.
Marking has reached new heights: many schools have a 'green for growth' and 'tickled pink' policy whereby teachers highlight children's work with coloured highlighters. The children then have to show that they have read and addressed any comments. The children do a lot of editing in green pen. Exercise books have to be very nearly presented.
The assessment my school uses is basically the nc broken into steps and the children have to have accomplished each step evidenced 3 times to achieve a mark. Good in theory...
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