Talk

Advanced search

First weeks of the year - help!

(10 Posts)
SawdustInMyHair Mon 11-Jul-16 13:42:39

I'm starting my first full teaching job (KS2) in September, at a school I've not been in before.

I know this sounds like a daft question, but I've not been in school at the start of the term, let alone the start of the year. What do you... do? I know it'll depend on the school, but do you dive straight into formal lessons, or are there days of 'activities'?

As an NQT I really want to get off on the right foot with the children especially, so any tips for getting to know them also appreciated!

SisterViktorine Mon 11-Jul-16 18:49:59

You get going straight off, exactly as you mean to go on.

Plan really engaging units of work for the first couple of weeks and just go for it. Drill the routine you want- be a total stickler for things being done your way (titles, dates etc), you will thank yourself later.

There are plenty of 'spare' 5 minutes in the day when you can have class discussions etc.

Minispringroll Mon 11-Jul-16 18:55:47

Do you have a transition day before the holidays?

It depends on the school and how they work. Generally, I do about 2 or 3 days (depends on what day of the week we go back) with activities that allow me to assess children and get them used to my basic expectations. We generally do Maths, English and Topic. The "getting to know" activities usually get done on transition day or in the first lesson. I plan sessions that take place in silence on purpose, since it's much easier for them to get used to talking quietly when I relax on that front. (I took my current class on very late in the year and it's very obvious that they were never trained to talk quietly. I struggle with the noise level in my classroom. Not something that generally happens when I've started the year with a class.)

Usually, I teach UKS2. Younger ones might need a bit longer, but I wouldn't spend ages on games or getting to know activities. You get to know them by teaching them anyway,...and they get to know you and your expectations much better that way.

BetweenTwoLungs Mon 11-Jul-16 18:58:18

I 100% agree with dive straight in, and have high expectations from the start. Spend lots of time on routine - don't be afraid to make them do things again or repeat things like lining up, coming into class etc. What year are you going into?

I'd plan something focusing on school code of conduct or classroom rules for an afternoon - we make comic strips to show each of our school 'values' one afternoon. Maybe do a nice art activity in the afternoons too. But don't be afraid to dive straight in!

MauriceMoss Mon 11-Jul-16 22:06:18

I just teach a normal timetable straight away. I find it much better to get straight into it, get routines set up straight away and let the class know my expectations.

SawdustInMyHair Tue 12-Jul-16 11:27:24

Thanks for all the replies! I would definitely prefer to get straight into learning. I like the idea of an activity based around the school rules - it'll let them know that I know them even though I'm new, too.

Do you have a transition day before the holidays?

I'm going in to meet the class for an hour before the end of term, but that's about it!

I know I have Year 4, and am going to try to get a class list and info on any SEN so I can get a bit familiar over the holidays and speed up learning the names when I'm in.

I'm jealous of other people on my course who are going in for the last two weeks to their schools!

Minispringroll Tue 12-Jul-16 18:02:47

I'm jealous of other people on my course who are going in for the last two weeks to their schools!

Don't be. Enjoy your time off. End of term is horrendous and I wish someone would take my class away NOW. (Actually, that's not true. Remove about 5 and they are fine.)

At most of the schools I have worked at, you'd either have a meeting with the current class teacher or get detailed notes about them. Might be an idea to ask for a class photo printout from SIMS, as this helps with the names. An hour just with the class is very little time.
Ask for planning, any topics and booked dates. If possible, see whether they could leave their old books ready for you to take a look at.

GinandJag Tue 12-Jul-16 18:39:40

Don't smile till Christmas ;)

SawdustInMyHair Thu 14-Jul-16 22:29:14

Thanks for the even-more advice!

I met the class, although it was only two hours so hard to get a good picture of them. A couple of 'characters' stood out, though! I've got handover information, and pictures of them to memorise over the summer.

They've had 4 teachers this year (although the school has a low staff turnover - and it wasn't their fault!) so were a bit unsure how long I would be staying! Makes it even more important that I make a good start.

CharleyDavidson Sun 24-Jul-16 00:22:12

Have a good think now about the procedures you want in place. I have a list of things that I make sure that we really spell out and rehearse in the first week or so. Around getting started on the new topic of course.

Have a search on pinterest for classroom procedures, there are lots and lots of lists.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now