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Pros and cons of working in a brand new school

(17 Posts)
Suzie2021 Wed 05-Feb-20 03:32:09

What do you all think? Brand new school with just year 7’s at the moment. 3 form entry. Every year a new year group added. Pros and cons please.

OP’s posts: |
NeverGuessWho Wed 05-Feb-20 05:17:06

Are you in the UK, OP?

I’m not a qualified teacher, but as a TA, I would jump at the chance, if it was local to me.

Not sure how qualified teachers would feel, but the opportunity to be there almost at the conception stage would be exhilarating, for me, I think. I imagine there would be a real buzz about the place, which would be in total contrast to the “same old, same old” attitude that prevails in a lot of schools.

For teachers though, I imagine it would potentially be difficult having a SMT who had no prior working relationships with each other. Interested to see how teachers respond.

NeverGuessWho Wed 05-Feb-20 05:18:42

Three form entry sounds like a small school for a secondary school. In theory, I like the sound of that, too.

What are your thoughts, OP?

MsJaneAusten Wed 05-Feb-20 07:24:22

I’d hate it as GCSE is my favourite stage.

My friend did it and found it very restrictive. There was a sense that because the school was new the staff should be creating perfection. Schemes of Work had to be written in a very prescribed way so that they could be used in exactly the same way each year, etc.

PenOrPencil Wed 05-Feb-20 07:41:10

I would love to help build something from scratch!

EstebanTheMagnificent Wed 05-Feb-20 09:24:11

I’ve done it as SLT. It’s very exciting but there are a lot of pitfalls to avoid. Every decision creates precedent and is loaded with extra pressure. It isn’t necessarily desirable for one cohort to be top dog throughout their entire school careers. The students need very careful management as a result.

EstebanTheMagnificent Wed 05-Feb-20 09:43:24

A few more thoughts as they occur to me: be very honest with yourself about whether you will be happy to teach only the KS3 curriculum for the next few years, and how you will keep your hand in with the GCSE in the meantime.

cdtaylornats Wed 05-Feb-20 14:58:14

Make sure the school doesn't attack you

www.itv.com/news/border/2018-09-07/new-dumfries-school-closed-over-building-safety-concerns/

drspouse Wed 05-Feb-20 15:32:02

If it is in England then will it necessarily be a free school or an academy (I am not a teacher but I have a friend who works in school planning who's been quite informative about this issue) and if so, are you OK with the ethos of the overarching trust? Do you have information about their other schools?

Tinnedpeachesandcream Wed 05-Feb-20 18:03:55

Friend of mine did-he was there for about 4 years-so they built up to year 10 before he left. He loved it but was quite bored the first couple of years until there was more variety

HeartLikeMemphis Wed 05-Feb-20 18:38:06

For teachers though, I imagine it would potentially be difficult having a SMT who had no prior working relationships with each other.

My experience was quite the opposite- HT was recruited first and then poached staff he liked/knew of. The end result was very cliquey. I was a very new teacher so had far more to worry about but would put me off now. Can't be bothered with that crap.

MaybeDoctor Thu 06-Feb-20 14:09:24

I taught in a new-ish primary school (5 years) and everything seemed to be so much work, because routines and traditions were being invented from scratch. Pupil numbers were also very unstable. Plus of course you were the ‘go to’ school for any pupil leaving from elsewhere...

EstebanTheMagnificent Thu 06-Feb-20 14:41:56

Plus of course you were the ‘go to’ school for any pupil leaving from elsewhere...

Only if you’re undersubscribed. Secondary start-ups tend IME to be very popular with parents, who hope that their child won’t learn bad habits from older year groups.

Cleebope2 Thu 06-Feb-20 19:33:49

I did this. Fantastic for career development and opportunities to move up the ladder as the school grows. Bad points were that the tiny staff became a clique and were resented by the new staff who joined each year. Also one member of staff was very ambitious and was jealous of others’ successes and the staff room politics were a nightmare. Overalll though a brilliant worthwhile experience and a rare unforgettable one. You will always be seen as a founding member of staff which feels good.

BackforGood Thu 06-Feb-20 22:24:34

My dd started in the 6th form of a school that started with Yr7s and Yr 12s.

Limited subject specialists - due to there being not enough pupils to afford subject specialists for all the classes.
She felt the Yr7s (and Yr8s as they became) were really 'cocky' and insolent, always being the oldest.
My dd 2 started at the 6th form 3 yrs later (so there were Yrs 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13) and there had been a BIG turnover of staff - don't know what that said about what it was like for staff?

Suzie2021 Tue 25-Feb-20 06:05:06

Thanks for the replies everyone a lot to think of. It’s a secondary school and I will be going in as a teacher. My subject hasn’t been taught in year 7 so when I start there will be the year 8’s and new set of year 7’s.

I'll be responsible for creating sow for both year groups. I’m a little unsure of how this will even work as year 7’s not been having any of this subject lessons so I will have to go over year 7 learning in year 8 obviously I can’t have the exact sow so how would you work around this issue

I created 90% of the SOW in my last school so can I just use these or would this be considered unprofessional?

My last school had a bullying culture and even though my hod made me do everything for sow and planning and I had outstanding observations he would never pass my appraisals! It was always a silly excuse e.g. I did nothing over my maternity year, when I asked him what I could have done he said just a simple email to ask how staff were finding my edited sow for year 9. I could have involved union but I was so beaten down I just had no energy to fight. I think it’s best I leave, others were treated same and they all happy now in new schools. also How do I explain to new headteacher why I was on same payscale for 5/6 years? my hod kept failing me and it upsets me now that I didn’t fight back and challenge the failed appraisals.

OP’s posts: |
LolaSmiles Tue 25-Feb-20 10:49:38

I created 90% of the SOW in my last school so can I just use these or would this be considered unprofessional?
It's not unprofessional, but depending on the school they may be needlessly arsey. I believe according to the letter of the law anything you create at a school belongs to the school.

At my last couple of schools it was the norm to take everything off the drive when you left and as people have moved for promotion the department has been happy for them to use some of our good material when they start as a head of department, for example.

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