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Anyone moved from secondary to primary?

(12 Posts)
Rathkelter Tue 20-Mar-18 21:14:35

I fancy a change. Been teaching a good few years and am a bit fed up of the increasing confrontation and low-level disruption which is frankly wearing me out. A new behaviour policy has brought about worse behaviours as there are fewer consequences for misdemeanours. Please tell me what primary is like: is the workload similar? Do p/t contracts exist? Are the kids keener?

OP’s posts: |
jesstjoking Wed 21-Mar-18 06:17:38

I’m currently looking to do the opposite. I think behaviour is very dependant on what school you’re in. I’ve been doing supply work recently and the difference between schools is much bigger than the difference between year 1 and year 6 in the same school in terms of behaviour. It’s generally easier to get or keep children motivated though because they feed off of your enthusiasm.
I don’t know how workload compares but some primaries are truly aweful for workload. I was doing supply in one recently were the assistant head took great pride in telling me that they have a high staff turn over because most people can’t hack it with their expectations, and that they even had 3 people signed off with stress at the moment. It’s fairly common to have a 3 or 4 colour marking policy and an expectation that you’ll mark between every lesson and get some kind of evidence in the books from every lesson.
Don’t forget that parents tend to be much more involved in primary. This can be a blessing because some are absolutely fantastic and do loads to help their children and the whole class or school. However there is also no shortage of parents who consider themselves to be experts and forget that other children exist. I’ve had parents collar me in the playground to ask for their child to be moved from middle set to top set for maths because they’ve found some research which proves that middle attaining children do better with higher attaining peers! At one point I had about 15 children in my class who had some kind of statement, behavioural need or EAL requirement to sit at the front. Obviously they couldn’t all be at the front so I used to move them around regurally, but I was constantly fielding parents demanding to know why I wasn’t following the legally enforceable advice and best practise for their child at the expense of one of the others. They do not care about the fact that following all of the statements simultaneously is physically impossible in the space. It is also fairly common for parents to feel entitled to turn up after school and talk at you for 20 mins without booking an appointment with no recognition that you’re a professional who probably has a meeting to get to. The parents are generally harder than the children though.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Wed 21-Mar-18 06:51:25

Trust me primary school age kids can have spectacular behavioural difficulties. Primary school is usually the place where a child with severe and complex challenging behaviours (for whatever reason) will first get diagnosed, EHCP put in place, specialist education agreed etc and for a while, often a long while, during that process the child is likely to have no support in place.

It only takes one or two children in a school to be in that situation for it to impact on everybody.

phlebasconsidered Wed 21-Mar-18 07:18:34

I did. Don't do it. The low level disruption is much worse plus you end up with pre-diagnosed SEND / EBD children and no help until they fall the magic two years behind.

The marking is ridiculous and I speak as someone who had 3 a level classes and two GCSE. The whole pressure of results lies on you and in a small school that be be an entire cohort.

And you have one class for the entire year. You are utterly, utterly sick of dealing with the same problems by the end of the year.

I'm looking for an exit strategy. Teaching sucks now.

madeyemoodysmum Wed 21-Mar-18 07:22:21

Crikey no. Change schools but stick to secondary if that's your experience. Could you look st college?

Rathkelter Wed 21-Mar-18 11:02:40

Thank you all for your weighty responses. I'm hearing a resounding 'don't do it'. I love my subject and the banter with older kids and I'd lose that.
You're right, maybe finding another school would help.
It's such a pity to see your own school going downhill when it has the potential to be great.

OP’s posts: |
Rathkelter Wed 21-Mar-18 13:29:12

Thank you all for your weighty responses. I'm hearing a resounding 'don't do it'. I love my subject and the banter with older kids and I'd lose that.
You're right, maybe finding another school would help.
It's such a pity to see your own school going downhill when it has the potential to be great.

OP’s posts: |
rainbowfudgee Thu 22-Mar-18 12:54:46

Primary has its own behaviour challenges plus you are stuck with the same class all week- you can't get rid of them!
Marking books every day in depth in 4 colours- yes. Reading, writing, maths and foundation subjects = 120 books to mark every day. They are constantly looked at by SLT
We don't use textbooks and have to produce all our own resources for all lessons. Everything has to be differentiated all the time. TAs are too busy leading interventions to actually help with anything. Planning documents are all done by us from scratch and uploaded onto the drive for inspection.
I don't think primary is easier than secondary.

Munxx Mon 26-Mar-18 20:41:19

I have moved to primary after many years in secondary and I love it- really love it.

Rathkelter Tue 27-Mar-18 22:50:16

Interesting @Munxx as all the other posters said the opposite! What do you love about it and which subject did you teach in Secondary before?

OP’s posts: |
Munxx Wed 28-Mar-18 16:46:18

I taught physics, and I loved that too! Things I enjoy about primary are the variety, the relationships you build with your class (lovely to see them grow and develop), opportunities to really get into any behavioural issues/challenging behaviours and work out what is behind them and help them through it, seeing the children holistically through teaching lots of different things.... I could go on! For me moving sideways was very natural and fitted in with where I felt my career going. I loved my secondary job too and could real off a massive list of positives there. I would suggest getting some time in a primary to see what you think and also making a list for yourself of what you want out of teaching right now- and go from there. Maybe depends where you live too? I am in Scotland so there will perhaps be differences in reply depending on geography.

Doodle2907 Sat 31-Mar-18 00:11:36

I moved from secondary (maths) to primary and I love it too! I think the work load is more in primary (although not as bad as rainbowfudgee has made out in my opinion...) but otherwise it’s just... different...

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