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Giving a NQT A-level classes?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by VeronicAmb, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Such knowledge / appreciation is, of course, important but past papers are widely available and formats for GCSE and A-level in some subjects are not a great mystery if you're prepared to do basic research; perhaps this differs from subject to subject.
    Marking ethos / mentality is probably the better argument you advance. I agree few NQTs will master this immediately, but then some experienced teachers don't over several years, because they refuse to move away from old approaches / interpretations; I don't hear calls for them not to be given exam groups.
    I agree that a second year teacher is likely to do better than an NQT - you should improve something every cycle - but "desperate" and "foolhardy" are not the right words to describe the school which adopts this stance.
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    It does.
    They are not in my school.
    Perhaps the words are a little strong, but the sentiment in itself is true.
  3. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    Are you a better teacher now than you were as an NQT? If so it makes sense for more difficult classes (and whilst there are not normally behaviour problems, A level classes definitely require more preparation time than KS3) to be given to more experienced teachers.
    In my department we split all A level groups and would be happy to give an NQT a split of a Yr 12 though they would have to prove themselves before we would let them take on Yr 13. Equally, if an experienced member of staff was not doing well with their sixth form teaching then they would have their number of classes reduced or withdrawn completely
  4. Shatnerbassoon

    Shatnerbassoon New commenter

    I have to say I still disagree with a lot that's posted here. I'd say I'm an alright teacher, not particularly fantastic but not terrible either, and my year 13s and 12s all did perfectly well in my NQT year, with value added etc. Pretty much in line with my GCSE group.
    I just don't think there's that much of a distinction between GCSE and A level, certainly in terms of subject knowledge if you have the degree, but also in terms of exam requirements (at least in my subject, maths). I would agree that I'm glad to have waited an extra year before teaching IB, as exam requirements are quite different, but A level really wasnt that much of a change. Do a couple of past papers and you generally get the idea of what's going to be asked and how its marked.
    Anyway, I'm sure plenty will still disagree, but I really think that if someone is a good enough lower school teacher, and has the subject knowledge to handle Alevel easily, then there's no reason to be overly cautious. My current school does well enough, and I don't know of a single NQT last year who didn't have Alevel (there were 8 of us), and I wouldn't describe the school as particularly desperate or foolhardy, in many qays it's quite the opposite.
  5. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I think you've hit the nail on the head here. For my subject, languages, there is a huge jump between GCSE and A-level, so I'd think very carefully about who teaches an A-level group, not only from subject knowledge but also from teaching and exam technique. As a result I've had to structure the course very, very carefully as I didn't have the luxury of not sharing the group with an NQT. That might not be the case in other subjects.


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