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Help needed- transitioning from secondary to primary through supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Corrie_Fan, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. Corrie_Fan

    Corrie_Fan New commenter

    Hi everyone,
    I left my secondary teaching role (Art) at Christmas for a variety of reasons. I now work 2 days a week as the education coordinator in a museum which I love.
    I have signed up with an agency to do supply but really want to do it in primary as I've totally fallen out of love with working with teenagers after 13 years of it.
    I've just done one day in a mixed year 1/2 class and I really enjoyed its although I felt very put of my depth. I want to become really confident in doing supply at primary but I know conversion courses have been axed.
    Can anyone recommend any resource to help people in my position learn how phonics, literacy, maths etc. is taught to young students? By the way, with the abolition of conversion courses, if anyone wanted to set up online training I bet it would be really popular!
    Any advice welcomed.
    Thanks in advance.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Hi I will try to reply in more detail later on but couple of quick questions first - are you particularly keen on doing KS1 or are you looking at primary more generally? Secondly, and forgive me for asking this (I'm asking not judgementally but to understand what kind of suggestions are most appropriate), are you fairly confident in your own maths and English skills? E.g. are you confident in performing four operation arithmetic (the 'old-fashioned way') with integers decimals and fractions?
    agathamorse and Jesmond12 like this.
  3. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    In order to teach phonics effectively you need to observe an experienced teacher or TA taking a lesson. Unfortunately it is not something that can be picked up from a book and I used to spend a lot of money sending staff on training courses to ensure that phonics was taught effectively.

    Observing teachers teach literacy and numeracy is the best way to learn how to teach these subjects properly so maybe volunteering in a local school would be a good idea.

    Have look at a school’s planning for literacy and numeracy to see the structure of what is taught on a weekly basis.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. Corrie_Fan

    Corrie_Fan New commenter

    Thank you both for your replies.
    I have now enrolled in an online primary teaching course which goes through phonics, literacy and maths teaching quite extensively which I think will help a lot. I have a good standard of maths and English myself (As at GCSE) but it's more knowing how to break it down and teach it effectively. I definitely need to brush up on everything so hoping this course will help.
    I may ask about volunteering in my daughter's school as I think this would help a lot.
    agathamorse and Jesmond12 like this.
  5. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Good luck:)
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. claudette_A

    claudette_A New commenter

    You've got several options for transitioning/brushing up or "winging it" in lower Key-stage teaching:

    > It's unlikely you're going to get the chance observe an experienced teacher(as everyone has suggested) whilst on supply as a teacher, as you will likely be the only teacher in class. So the option is you could possibly take a hit in your daily rate and do some Teaching Assistant work via your agency(see it as paid CPD rather than a step back; you get to watch, to support and even ask class Teacher of things you are unsure of). When you've done enough training tell your agency consultant you're back on the books as a teacher.
    > If you really don't have the time, can't take the pay cut, feel it is not such a smart move to take on a different role other than teaching then you're next best friend is YouTube. Googling "teaching phonics in UK" and there are a variety of videos showing teachers doing their teaching in class. [Many give the impression of the perfect class-so take]
    > Third option, head to Waterstones(or Library) and walk to the education section; grab one of the NQT teaching books on literacy and numeracy. These can be mostly theoretical but give you a rough idea of lesson structure.
    > TES resources has plenty of lesson plans to take you step by step for you to take a gander at.

    Hats off to you for teaching teens(not sure I could handle hormonal adolescents!)
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Thanks for your response Corrie_Fan. What I'd say about teaching is that so much varies from school to school in terms of the approach they use so if you can do some paid TA-ing or volunteering in a variety of schools that would probably help as some schools have bought-in schemes/approaches which they have to use - these are often quite or very prescriptive in terms of approach (e.g. Power maths ) so observing solely in such schools wouldn't really be much help if you are then thrown into a school which gives more autonomy.

    Take phonics for another example. Some schools have a bought in scheme - mainly RWI. This is quite prescriptive in terms of how it is delivered and has an awful lot of inbuilt jargon (e.g. Fred talk) Even then I find that some schools have customised the official program to accommodate the needs of their pupils (which makes perfect sense but doesn't always match what the book says!!) The good thing about RWI - from a supply point of view - is that once it is embedded, it is so predictable that the children will quite happily tell you what you are supposed to do next! Then other schools use Jolly Phonics or Optima or do things their own way and use a variety of different resources. You can find some of the videos for RWI and Jolly Phonics as well as from EYFS/KS1 teachers on YouTube which I personally have found really helpful. (Jolly Phonics has a whole series of actions to go with the sound, some of which are somewhat baffling if you haven't met them beforehand!) Also helpful for hearing the pure sounds.

    Maybe download the past NCT papers to get a feel for the standard, style and expectations for end of KS. The NC is always a good place to start for content and levels although you'll probably find that many schools have taken their own approach to the foundation subjects.

    Another option - if you are looking for more established work would be to look for a post where they specifically want an art specialist - PPA is sometimes arranged such that specialist teachers are brought in to teach some subjects.
    Corrie_Fan and agathamorse like this.
  8. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    P.S. White Rose is always a good place to start for maths. Research:
    Manipulables (sp?) E.g. dienes/base 10, place value counters etc.
    Part-whole models (or part-part-whole according to who you ask)
    Bar models

    I'm sure others will occur!
    Corrie_Fan and agathamorse like this.
  9. Corrie_Fan

    Corrie_Fan New commenter

    That is all so helpful. Thank you everyone. I have also found The School Run website to be very helpful.

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