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Key stage 1 or key stage 2?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by SK0123, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. SK0123

    SK0123 New commenter

    Hello all. I am looking for some advice and opinions about the advantages and disadvantages of teaching in each key stage before I start looking for jobs.

    I am a trainee teacher. I spent Christmas term in a year 1 class and am currently in a year 3 class. I have enjoyed both, but also seen the down side to both.

    Year 1 was fun, bringing out my more creative side and the subject knowledge and marking were not a problem. I found planning tough as it involved lots of activities and resources and the lack of pupils independence could be frustrating.

    Year 3 is fun too as you can use your sense of humour more and subjects become more interesting. The down side had been marking and widening gap between lower and higher ability making planning tricky.

    I have not taught upper ks2 and will hopefully get experience next term.

    Can anyone offer any opinions or advice that may help me make up my mind?

    Thank you
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    The best expert is going to be yourself. What suits one person may not another. Each Key Stage will have advantages and disadvantages, attractions and drawbacks. But my drawback may be your advantage. Just like with children. The 'nightmare' child with one teacher, may be so much happier with another teacher's personality.

    Wait until you've experienced all the different stages.
    ViolaClef, Pomz and whitestag like this.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Just apply for jobs in lovely schools. You can always move later if you want to, indeed it is advisable to move around a bit.

    I started in secondary, then middle school, then upper primary, then KS1, now year 3. All have advantages and disadvantages and I've learnt heaps in all areas.

    Choosing a fab school is way more important than choosing a year group/KS.
  4. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    Lara is absolutely right. Everybody has their own preference, developed through experience and mostly down to personality.

    My own preference is KS2, Year 5 or 6. But I'd happily teach Year 1.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. SK0123

    SK0123 New commenter

    Thanks. That's true, we all differ. I have enjoyed both which is a good position to be in. I guess I am looking for any advice about either key stage that might not be apparent as a trainee but is to experienced teachers.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    I think it's just the difference in pace that I notice more than anything else and, of course, the level of independence.
  7. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I think your patience levels are the key. If you are likely to get irritated by endless runny noses, zipping coats, tying shoe laces, checking hair, and hearing the words 'UMMM I'M TELLING!!!!' then don't teach Year 1. Me personally I absolutely love it as I've never met a 5 year old who knows how to tut or roll their eyes. Makes a refreshing change from being at home!
  8. krisgreg30

    krisgreg30 Occasional commenter

    Definitely agree it will come down to your own personal preference. I can't see below Year 5 and 6 in my preferences but then I work with people in EYFS/ Key Stage One who would hate the idea of coming up. All comes down to where you feel most comfortable.
  9. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I have taught every year group from Reception to Year 6 and have, at different times in my career, preferred each one!
  10. lrw22

    lrw22 Established commenter

    Lots of heads these days expect teachers to be happy to work with any age group. Also, schools sometimes advertise for a teacher and then make decisions about who's teaching where after making the appointment. Like caterpillar said it's best to focus on finding the best school for you.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. SK0123

    SK0123 New commenter

    Thanks everyone. I will focus on the getting the right school and I can work out the rest from there!
  12. ld7675

    ld7675 New commenter

    I think it's important to be versatile. Most of the primary schools in my area go from eyfs to year 6 and a lot of jobs are posted as class teacher not specific to a key phase.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. teacher4673

    teacher4673 New commenter

    Getting experience in all groups is great!
    When I started my training I was dreading my placement with year 6 but I absolutely loved it and I'm now in my second year of teaching and I've worked with year 6 from the start.
    Equally, I'd be comfortable moving to key stage one although it would be weird at first!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Get experience in both. When you join a school the HT may move you to another key stage anyway.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  15. Guitargirl28

    Guitargirl28 New commenter


    I am an NQT who has taught KS1 and KS2 in my NQT year. Personal preferences aside - KS1 takes more resourcing and setting up but KS2 takes more marking. I find that in KS1 you can pretty much mark in lesson. Pressure years are 2 and 6 for SATs but don't forget the pressure of the phonics screening in year 1.

    I think the right school and support will be more important than the year group :).

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