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Difference between primary TA and secondary TA?(7 Posts)
Hi All. I have been offered a position as a TA in a secondary school. I have worked in Primary for 3 years as Sen TA, class TA and cover supervisor but am a little scared that I won't know what I am doing at secondary level! Can anyone share what they do as a TA/what they expect from their TA in a secondary school?
It's very similar but more behaviour management at secondary
T.A. in secondary not 1.1 with a specific pupil. We prioritise English and Maths and support the bottom sets in those across the year groups. Any spare time left will be allocated to supporting bottom set science and then other subjects. So we will work with a number of different subject teachers. Some of them will welcome a T.A. in the class and work with you to address the various issues that arise. Some of them don't mind you in their class and are happy for you to work on your own initiative. Some of them give the impression that they'd rather not have another adult in the room. So you have to be pretty flexible and adapt your support to how the class teacher works.
Secondary TAs are almost all for allocated 1-1 linked to specific children. There'll often be a bit of the job doing intervention for maths/english in the learning support/SEND base.
Most students with SEND at secondary don't get a TA. There's no sense of there being a 'class TA'.
In terms of how it works, it depends on the situation.
E.g. A TA in every lesson with a group for a child with EHCP means having a rapport with them, they know what we're doing, they are the expert in the child's needs and we work together. E.g. some lessons it's about giving their child independence (hellicoptering TAs aren't always helpful when we're building independence) whilst being a safety net etc, others they are very much sat by their side for the lesson.
Other situations you could have a TA in once a week or once a fortnight and then it's much harder to manage etc.
Equally, our best TAs are highly flexible and adaptable based on a few chats in lesson and when it works well it just works. I get the impression TAs are directed more at primary.
I don't expect TAs to behaviour manage though. The students are told instructions from any member of staff stands and I always tell TAs to feel free to have words if I miss something but the classroom management and behaviour management overall is my responsibility.
Much less admin - photocopying/displays etc. I'm not allowed to ask TAs to do these things; in contrast when I worked as a primary teacher briefly, it was part of the job spec (as was clearing up vomit - that drive me back to secondary teaching quick smart!).
Oh I do hope it is supporting the bottom sets, I would be comfortable with that as I have run yr6 SATS boosters. All I have been told is that it is within the mainstream section and will be here there and everywhere.
In my school we have TAs attached to students with medical needs as 1:1 then 2x English TAs 1 x maths, 1 x science and 1 x humanities 1 x Nurture and 2 that float going to support former nurture students in mainstream where needed.
I prefer being attached to a subject as it is much easier to work with teachers you know and you get to know the syllabus opposed to being used all over the school.
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