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New to HLTA course

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Kittyb74, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Kittyb74

    Kittyb74 New commenter

    Hi all

    I'm new to this forum and last week had my first HLTA session and feeling lost already.
    None of how they want you to set your portfolio made sense and I have response sheets (forms 1-8) and Assessment grid (Form 9/10 - with the standards listed 1-33) coming out of my ears. That's not including the handouts they gave us on the day, with pages inside like the professional audit, course overview, where they have boxes to fill in are they just examples of how it should look or are you meant to fill them in? There doesn't seem much space?? Sorry if this sounds like a silly question. But I'm feeling totally overwhelmed! We were told our first task is to plan a starter session and to use the blue planning template but we all used that as a activity on the day with a partner so how can I use it? Or do they mean making sure all of the parts have been covered. So sorry for so many questions but I am literally desperate for clarity!
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Oh Kittyb, I really feel for you. Please try not to worry too much - I think everyone feels like you after day 1! I know I did.
    Please don't worry about matching your writing to the standards or the assessment grid, or even documentary evidence at this stage. The first thing you need to focus on is completing tasks 1-3: working with an individual child; working with a small group; and working with a whole class. Decide which one you want to do first; make some notes about the session you are going to write about, then have a go at writing. Remember, it's all about you - either how you planned the session yourself, or how you decided to deliver the teacher's plans. Describe exactly what you did - small details are important, like how you arranged the seating plan and how you greeted the children - how you delivered the lesson; how you managed behaviour; how you checked understanding - and, very important, how you knew the learning objective had been achieved. How did you assess? What did you do with this information?
    This will only be a first draft, so you will have plenty of opportunity to make changes later if you need to. I don't want to give you any more information at this stage - you will just feel even more overwhelmed. Once you have drafts written of the first three tasks, you will feel better.

    Don't hesitate to post again if you need any help. There are lots of HLTAs on here who will support you.
    Lalad likes this.
  3. Kittyb74

    Kittyb74 New commenter

    Thanks for speedy response. You are probably going to write me off at my next question and consider me a lost cause. We were just told to print them off but nothing else was explained about them. I assume I can fill in the blanks and this will be evidence? Or am I to do a more detailed account? The standards listed are not really questions, more statements so how do I show evidence for this. My TA course years ago my assessor told me I didn't need to answer or put a response to every statement and I went into too much detail. Thank you in advance. Sorry for being a pain.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    OK, let's assume you're writing up your F1 - Working with an individual child.

    3. Context - a brief profile of the child:
    Here you will write a short paragraph about the child. Age, gender, attainment levels, languages spoken, cultural heritage, any behaviour or learning challenges, peer and adult relationships. How long at the school? Anything else you think relevant.

    The nature of the activity:
    One or two sentences about what you were going to do - include the Learning Objective here.

    4. Planned Work:
    Your planning for the session. If it is a ready-made intervention, you will include the plan in your documentary evidence - but annotate on it exactly how you plan to carry it out. If you've planned it yourself, so much the better.

    5.What happened:
    Here, you explain exactly what happened during the session. This is the longest section. Include every detail - "I prepared my resourses and set them out before collecting S from the classroom. She didn't seem happy and said she'd had an argument with her friend. I knew she wouldn't be receptive to our session if I couldn't make her feel better about it, so we sat down together and talked about what had happened first. When I could see that S was feeling more positive, we went together to the group room. She was excited to see the pictures of animals on the table. Following my plan, we started on the first activity."
    You then go on to write up the session in as much detail as you can. Say if you need to change your plan or approach - if the child is not understanding.

    6. Monitoring and Assessment:
    How did you assess the learning? With an individual, it's probably from their responses to your questions. There might be some written learning. Will be different for group and whole class. What will you do with your assessment? Where do you record it - and how will you use it to inform planning your next session. Was the learning objective achieved? - wholly or partly?

    7. Evaluation:
    How do you feel the session went? If you were to repeat it, what would you do differently? It's always good to have something you would improve on - will show that you are reflecting on your practice.

    I hope that's a bit clearer. Please don't worry about the standards or documentary evidence at the moment; focus on getting at least one of your tasks written up.

    If you post on the Teaching Assistants forum, you might find somebody willing to send you one of their tasks so that you can see how it looks. I can't do that - my HLTA assessment was so long ago that I don't have electronic copies any more.

    When is your day 2? You need to let your tutor know then just how confused you were after day 1! Hopefully it will all become clearer on day 2. Did you exchange email addressed with anyone else on your course - that's something I always encourage participants to do. Then you can email draft tasks to each other and be critical friends!

    You'll get there!
    Lalad likes this.
  5. Kittyb74

    Kittyb74 New commenter

    Thank you so much, day 2 is next week. Last week myself and another person asked a question about the course and the person running the course didn't make us feel very comfortable in asking anything else. It was almost like it was time over, go home despite it being literally 5 mins after they said it was the end. Will right a list of questions over the next couple of days and try and get there earlier, might be more forthcoming with guidance and I won't be left feeling confused. Thank you once again and will have a look at the TA forum and make sure I get some numbers from others.
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  6. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Hope day 2 gives you more insight and clarity - let us know how it goes.
    Lalad likes this.
  7. Kittyb74

    Kittyb74 New commenter

    Hi, thought I'd let you know that day 2 was so much better than day 1. I think I'll actually get a decent nights sleep tonight. I haven't got another session for another 3 weeks now. I've got to plan and take a 30 min lesson and was planning to try and tackle the three tasks you mentioned.Do you think that's enough or should I aim to do more. I am along the lines of thinking more quality than quality but equally don't want to turn up next time and be the least prepared person there. Any suggestions or thoughts on that?x
  8. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Glad day 2 was better and you're getting your head around what you need to do. Are you on the 3 day prep course - so that your next day is your final one? You should definitely aim to have tasks 1-3 done by then, and started to add in the standards you've covered. This will then enable you to see which standards you're missing and plan how you can cover them in your four shorter tasks at the end. Also start to think about your the evidence folder you will need, as well as your tasks - generally two pieces of evidence for each standard. Planning is great evidence; you can also use children's work which you have marked in detail; photographs; records you keep; photocopies of reports, letters, parent contact books - the list is long. As long as it shows how you have achieved a standard, it will be fine. Best of luck!
    Lalad likes this.
  9. Kittyb74

    Kittyb74 New commenter

    No, I've got loads of dates left. Last one in March/April. Are there different courses then?
  10. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Most HLTA courses are a 3-day preparation for assessment followed by time to get your tasks finished and documentary evidence together, then a half day assessment in your school. I didn't know there were still courses out there with more dates - maybe that's why you didn't seem to get enough information on day 1. As you have more time, I'm sure it will be more than enough to focus on the lesson you have to teach and you first three tasks before your next training day. Let us know how it's going.
    Lalad likes this.
  11. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    sunshineneeded and Kittyb74 like this.

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