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Confused NQT

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by lau523, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Hi, apologies in advance if this is a a really naive thread. I recently got a job for September (woohoo) but haven't really had a chance to process what this actually means. Now it's half term, I've had a moment to think, it's finally sinking in and I'm starting to get a little worried.
    Firstly I'm wondering how I know what to teach:
    1. Do I just follow the literacy and numeracy strategies for my year group from the beginning or is it upto me which order do I teach them?
    2. How do I know what topic/ICT/music/PE etc to do? Will I get any schemes of work or do I have to make it all up myself/pluck some schemes of work from somewhere (where)?
    3. Where do the topics come from? Does the school make them up or are there actual topics that are taught nationally (akin to the strategies)?
    I've found it a bit confusing doing my PGCE this year as everything I seem to need is archived on the net and when I look through previous postings here they reference sites that are no longer active.

    4. Is this the kind of information I can expect to find out at transition day?

    5. How many days should I expect to go into school during the summer holidays? The school will be open for a week before the new term, however I have a holiday booked right at the end of the holidays (I will cancel if needs be).
    If I go in on Thursday and Friday of the week before term starts will that be enough or will I need the whole week? Bascially I'm wondering if all the information for the questions above will be provided before the holidays (meaning I can plan during the holidays) or just before the new term (meaning the week that the school is open is really for going in and planning, not just 'sorting out the classroom').

    Alternatively, does the answer to all these questions lie with my new headteacher? I ask here first as I just got the job and don't want them to think I'm an *** for being a bit confused!
    Thank you for your help.
    Confused NQT x
  2. Hi lau523,

    I feel exactly the same as you, so don't worry!!
    My head teacher is lovely so I am hoping she will give me lots of advice and I am going to go in as much as I can during the summer term to find out what they do day to day, because every school is so different!

    I hope someone can offer us some advice :)

    Good luck and well done on your new job!
  3. croper87

    croper87 New commenter


    Congratulations on your job!

    I think this feeling is pretty normal - I remember thinking that I'd always gone off other teachers long term plans and ideas whilst training.

    I would suggest asking to get access to the schools network eg their planning file and looking through what their plan layout is, what their long term topic overview is, what the medium term plans look like. This might mean going into school or accessing it remotely. I would ask the headteacher what the expectations are eg. how flexible their planning is and what schemes of work they use, but I would rely on a staff member who works in the same year, the person you are taking over from (if that is the case), adjacent year teacher or just the friendliest and most approachable staff member to answer your questions as they will want you to feel settled.

    For ideas on how to construct the long term plans look through TES, search internet for schemes of work and I found that Hamilton Trust (though poo-pooed by many as spoon-feeding) helped me to decide what units to teach when and gave me the odd idea to spring from (this is for a fee but it is well worth it).

    I would suggest going in not just for your transition day but to observe teaching on other days and maybe try going to sports day etc to get to know other staff members. And in terms of going in in the holidays - keep it to a bare minimum as it will encourage you to work effectively and take your holiday so you come back rested. You can ask how many days they set aside for "prepping" at the start of the academic year (my school expect us to be in from 31st Aug this year to start on 6th Sept) I usually find this time is plenty to get myself into gear.

    Hope this helps!
  4. Just finishing my NQT year, it's rather strange reading your post and realising that was exactly how i was feeling 12 month ago! FEAR NOT! it will all become clear, i promise!!
    1) You will be following the National Strat i would imagine, numeracy you must follow the block pattern as these build on from one another so it will be block A unit 1,block B unit 1, block c unit 1 etc. If you dont follow this pattern it will be particularly difficult as they build on from previous knowledge. Literacy - our school is flexible due to creative curriculum approach, however I have heard it is better to follow the block pattern, but you might want to ask other members of staff how they do it!
    2) If you are in a 2 form entry like me, you may teach the same topic within foundation subjects with another class, therefore the more experienced teacher will probably point you in the right direction (when i turned up at my school they had a clear long term topic plan for the next two years!) If it's a 1 form entry you must use your time over the next few weeks wisely! Get into school and ask! They may use schemes of work, in which case you should become familiar with these over the summer.
    3) Topics are dependent on each school, they will cover the NC objectives but i'd imagine these have been determind already!

    My biggest piece of advice is to get into school now! I went in for a good 3 or 4 days during the final week of the summer term last year, this gave me chance to talk to all the people i needed to, find out all the info and iron out any problems. I went home most nights upset and overwhelmed by everything (telling my mum countless times i couldnt do it!) however here i am!

    These aren';t questions you should already know, you are an NQT and even the more experienced teachers would have to ask these in a new school, so dont be afraid to ask! Find out who your head of key stage/ mentor is, they will support you, they want an easy life too and if you get in and ask the questions now, then their life will be easier next year too as you will know what you are doing.

    I went in quite a bit over the holidays, possibly for 2 weeks, this was too much and i am definately not doing it this year, however I personally needed it for my own piece of mind and to become familiar with my classroom, set up displays and just get a feel for eveything. It's totally up to you. NQT is full on, so PLEASE make sure you actually chill over the holidays! The first term is a killer, but managable! Show them what you've got! you'll be fab!!!! (DO NOT CANCEL THE HOLIDAY!)
  5. sorry for many typos! *definitely!
  6. Thank you all so much for your advice! I'm feeling a little less confused now!
  7. Hi, congratulations on securing the job. Your worries are very normal as others have assured you.
    I think the best thing you can do is ask to get in to the school before the end of term if possible. The time could be spent in discussion with a member of staff about their planning methods and what they already have in place. I assume there is already time allocated for you to meet your new class so you could link it on that day or the next. You would most definetly not look stupid for asking.
    We had an NQT last year and part of her induction package was a dedicated day with her mentor in the summer term to discuss these sort of things. It worked really well for her.
    A word of warning though - it might be that your school has different methods from what you have seen so best ask sooner rather than later.

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