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New starter after the holidays. Advice please.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by katieeade, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. katieeade

    katieeade New commenter

    I have been informed by leadership that I will get a new starter in the class after half term.

    I am in Year 4 but academically they are early EYFS. They have had a very difficult upbringing and parents and siblings are know to many services and the police. They can display troubling behaviour towards other children and has the propensity to run off.

    My headteacher has agreed with me when I say that the first month or 2 of them being with us is to simply get them used to routine and their new surroundings rather than tackle any work per se. A one to one has been reallocated to me.

    Therefore, I would really appreciate some advice, tips and activities on how we can get to know each other: what he enjoys, dislikes, possible rewards and sanctions etc and ways to make him feel at home such as a work book for him, a personal project, creating a space for just them etc. Thanks!
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You already have plenty of ideas! And what an enlightened HT you have. Sounds like a kind and compassionate place to work and good for your kind of kids.

    I always liked them to have a clean slate so I didn't look much into their backgrounds as I didn't want our relationship coloured by premature judgement.

    So I'd say you start with a circle time. Get the most talkative ones to answer first:

    what do you like most about school - can you think of 3 things?
    what happens at playtime that's good - 2 things
    think of 1 way school could be better

    "Les-lee, do you want to say anything good about school?"

    But it's to give him lots of options. And those open questions.

    "You're new so you're special. Would you like to sit here by me or would you like to pick a place?"
    "Would you like me to choose a playtime-friend for you or would you like to choose someone. Put your hand up if you would like to be a break time buddy and then Les-lee or I can pick one or two people."

    Don't box him in. Then he has less to rebel against.

    But you sound as if you're very skilled with these children and you'll be sympathetic.

    If he'll engage with you 1-to-1 while the others are busy with something fairly undemanding then you can ask HIM! Can your TA read a short story to the class while you sit at the back with him?
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Very often these kids are much better than you think.

    We got a kid who had allegedly set a lab on fire, punched teachers and many other things.

    He's been absolutely fine.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I agree don't make the new child feel 'too different' at the start they'll be well aware of how they're the newbie anyway and you don't want them to start playing up to a reputation. ;)
    A clean slate is definitely my preferred option and as peakster says don't go by reputation, though if they are 'known to the services' they may indeed have a troubled background and need certain allowances.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  5. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    We get quite a lot of this, Usually just means that last place didn't know how to manage them...
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I've worked in a couple of Schools, with pupils who've been to several Schools before they finally 'settled' to succeed, to some extent at least, within our regimes,even if that 'success' was mainly just keeping them within the School and not truanting at first.
  7. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Have you asked your HT or SEN Leader for TA support? If you have a child in your class like this, you do need support.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  8. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    We used to have an "arrangement" with another school that we would occasionally "swap" pupils and give them a fresh start. In practice it was a way for them to get rid of anyone who might affect their OFSTED rating. We must have taken about 20 of their kids - all of whom were successfully integrated.

    They took one of our kids and sent him back after two days.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    The other school is of course "outstanding"
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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