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New timetable is 100% KS3 (Y7 and 8)

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by b1003040, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    If you think you are being groomed as a KS3 specialist and don’t like the idea then I’m still of the opinion that you accept it is happening, but say to yourself, one way or another I’ll be back teaching KS4/5 for 2019-20. And it might be you have to look our for another role. Science teachers are not in abundance. You’d be welcomed by another school.
    Sometimes you have to attend an interview and then 'decline the job' just to rattle the bars.
    Something along the lines of, 'I don’t mind doing it for one year, but understand it is so important to me that I get KS4/5 that if this isn’t going to happen then I’ll probably look somewhere else. I’m just being candid and honest here about how important it is to me. But I do understand that you need me to do KS3 this year.' I've a good track history of telling senior bods that I am being honest/candid with them and telling them things straight before telling them something they don’t like to hear. It is a better non confrontational way than hidden passive aggressive stuff.
  2. rachel_g41

    rachel_g41 Established commenter

    Without exception, the best departments I have worked in are those in which all teachers have a spread of classes throughout the Key Stages and all have a mix of top, middle and lower, where that applies.

    Some have suggested getting guarantees for next year; I would worry that next year, when they're looking for their KS4/5 teachers, they'll say that they want someone with 'more recent experience' of teaching those levels.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Why would it be considered a punishment? I don't understand.

    What's wrong with KS3? Are they a lesser form of life? I currently volunteer with some YR7/8 and they're delightful! Does this mean that all KS3 tutors and other staff are lesser mortals?

    Is there a scale I don't understand? The older the student the more fortunate the teacher. The younger the child the less prestigious the post?

    Not travelling between sites.

    Not having to bother about grades.

    Probably less preparation.

    I have to say I can see only positives. It depends on your mindset, I guess.
  4. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    I’m with gdw

    I have just signed a one year contract on split site and ASKED for key stage 3
    I can only see advantages
    3 parents evenings
    3 sets of reports
    No key stage 4 meetings
    No key stage 4 tracking
    No key stage 4 booster sessions
    No key stage 4 interventions
    No key stage 4 analysis needed
    No key stage 4 meeting in September to discuss results and consequences thereof

    More opportunity to provide differentiation in lessons at key stage 3

    I’m sorry I cannot see any disadvantages
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    All the above and especially this.

    This is the hallmark of the best kind of teacher. Drill down and make it special for each group. Really get to them where they are and not where they might approximately be expected to be at their age. Give them a great springboard and design lessons that really speak to them!

    I especially love to see this coming from Secondary staff because it shows an appreciation of the children and not just the demands of the curriculum.
  6. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    There are disadvantages. KS3 classes tend to be bigger. Classes of 30 instead of 24 so in a whole timetable that adds up. Hence more marking for more pupils. More behavioural issues of the trivial kind and all the record keeping that goes with it. No gained time and less time when pupils are working independently. It is a big issue if you want to progress in your career. Who has all the exam groups? Has the Hod kept these?
    install, agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Yes, I think you can go up and down the age ranges listing positives and negatives. This is why we all specialised in particular age ranges. Down (!) in primary they are very adamant they are a Year 2 teacher or a Year 4 teacher - they are that precise.
    Personally, my favourite year was Year 9. Year 7s are a little too meerkat for me, but I found KS4 a trudge. 6th form was good, but workload intensive. I've been in junior school - Year 5 and 6 are fine, but that new SATs has ruined it.
  8. BioEm

    BioEm Occasional commenter

    I'm with @grumpydogwoman too here.

    When I first started teaching I had a year with only KS3 and then my next year was all KS4 (year 11) and a bit of KS5. From there on it was a mix. What I am saying is a year just at one KS isn't the worst thing in the world, although I understand the frustration if you prefer a particular age group. As people have said it can allow you to improve skills at a specific level or with a specific age group which is really good professionally. As long as you're not stuck teaching KS3 for the next 4 years it won't affect your professional development that much
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    It shouldn’t affect your professional development at all
    You have a degree so you have subject knowledge

    If you still want ks4 interaction you could run an after school club in a couple of years

    Enjoy life out of the exam and Ofsted spotlight
  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    The importance of teaching across the age and ability range may vary from subject to subject. In maths, the way the timetable works, it's normal for every teacher to be teaching KS4, and a school may be reluctant to take on someone with no KS4 experience. I was once taken on as a part-timer because the full-timer they had recruited to replace a mid-year departure was coming from a middle school; they gave him some hours elsewhere in the school and took me on for my KS4 experience.) Although when I trained, I was given no KS4 on teaching practice; a couple of years later the training institution was insisting that KS4 must be included. Also, I doubt anyone's ever going to get a HoD post without plenty of recent KS4 experience. So whilst it might work well for some, I don't think being pushed into KS3 is a good idea for those who are still developing their career.
    install and agathamorse like this.
  11. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Horses for courses
    I can see your point to a certain extent and twenty years ago I would have believed you

    However in the Ofsted accountability regime being out of spotlight is good.
    Also the op can justify ks4 teaching in the grounds she knows the students inside out from outstanding ks3 teaching

    Also parents may well ask why they haven’t got op in year 10
    Lara mfl 05 and agathamorse like this.
  12. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I ended up with no GCSE level work when my GCSE subject was arbitrarily taken off the timetable and replaced with (drum roll) The Diploma, because The Diploma was the future. "Where's The Diploma now?" you ask, and with good reason.

    I point blank refused to be involved with The Diploma because I could see it was utter ****, so I ended up with a KS3 timetable plus babysitting a couple of rock bottom KS4 core ICT groups whilst the HoD worked his special magic with those who had a chance in Hell of passing. If the furniture stayed on the floor it was a good lesson.

    I was told to start a GCSE level course in Y7 and run it through to the end of Y9 with not enough hours in the week to do it properly, and was pressurised to run OFSTED compatible lessons that wasted already limited time and would have impacted directly on results. When I queried it with SLT I was told to give priority to pleasing OFSTED and to treat the subject results as expendable, because they didn't appear in the statistics until Y11. Seriously. That was when I decided I'd had enough and left.

    However, the above wasn't a nice scenario. If you have complete ownership of whatever's on offer in KS3 there's actually some advantage in having a break from KS4, not least the reduced amount of preparation. Multiple groups all doing the same is far easier to manage logistically than a huge variety of classes and content. Yes there are pinch points around reporting and parents evening times but the background stuff can be streamlined to free up time if you're organised about it. Also if it's your SoW you get the chance to road test it more or less on your own and there's a sense of satisfaction in seeing it develop. Maybe the reality is different and you won't have that sort of ownership, in which case you have to use your own judgment. If you do decide to move, be sure to mention lack of KS4 as the main reason, both in your own school and at interview.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    The more I read about what's going on the more sickened I become. No wonder you left!
  14. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Sounds ok to me, for a year.
    Planning for 2 year groups
    2 sets of parents' evenings (which means you can choose only to see the parents of the kids who really need focusing on)
    2 sets of reports - if you use Teachers Report Assistant it makes it a lot easier!
    You can focus hard on differentiation; on giving both year groups a really solid foundation/understanding in the subject; track progress comparatively across the year group (and so produce much more realistic grading).
    You can also offer tutoring sessions for GCSE/A Level students in Biology which will help keep your hand in, and also keep abreast of the curriculum.
    Best of all, it won't be your fault if any GCSE/A Levels groups or students fail to make their expected grades.
    agathamorse likes this.

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