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numercay knowlege??

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by fazz123, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. I am new to this forum so just wanted to ask a few questions related to this topic- I have recently started thinking about going into primary teaching. I have a law degree and up til now have worked in other areas. i have no exp of working in a school- last time i was in a primary school was a loong time ago!! I know that at primary level you are required to teach the whole curriculum but in practise what does this mean? what subjects are u teaching and how much knowledge of these area must you have? i have never been good at maths (i have a gcse grade B) and at the age of 26 i dont know if I could re-learn maths or that I really want to! as a trainee teacher how much maths do u need to know?

    I am thinking about working as TA or LSA for a year or so to get experience in a school and understanf what goes on in primary schools etc- would this be a good way to go about it and then consider the GTP?

    thanks in advance for your reply
  2. seems my literacy is not up to scratch either- i of course meant numeracy![​IMG]
  3. You seem to underestimate yourself. My maths knowledge got me a grade C at GCSE (so at least you got the B paper) and I spent all of Christmas preparing for a PGCE interview re-learning maths. At first it was tough, but at 35 my learning skills are far superior to those I had when I was a child. You're only 26, so I'm sure your neurones will be slightly more intact than mine!

    At this stage you need to de-mystify the teaching environment and get some voluntary work. Contact your local authority and they should email you a list of local schools (with their contact email addresses). I managed to start at a school within a few weeks. Within two months I got some paid TA work to go with a day of volunteering.

    The maths paper for the PGCE interview was far easier than the level of maths I had prepared up to. However, I think I'm going to build on that as it's good to have confidence in your maths knowledge.

    Another way to check our the highest level of maths they teach at primary is to check out year 6 maths SATs papers. Just google them and download the PDFs. Have a go!
  4. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    Those papers are a snapshot of level 5-we do teach above that, you know!
  5. With maths I revised from my old GCSE Edexcel book, which is excellent becuase it gives a clear explanation and examples, then plenty of practice questions and answers at the back. Works well for me anyway. I got a B in GCSE maths and I thought that was a good grade!
    Definitely get some experience in your local primary schools and try out different schools if you can too.
  6. thanks, that puts my mind at ease slightly! ive always been glad that I could give up maths at gcse and vowed never to study it again- now it seems like i may need to. I have considered teaching secondary to avoid this problem but dont know what subject id teach- and the thought of teaching teenagers doesnt really appeal.
    im sure i could teach myself to the level needed with a bit of effort. looking at old papers seems a good way to go. can i ask if you guys (im assuming you teach primary) teach just ks1 or ks2 or do u have to train in both?
  7. I am delighted to hear that you are considering a career in teaching.
    As a primary school teacher you will be expected to teach the whole curriculum. The primary curriculum itself is available online http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk. I suggest that you have a look at what is covered (particularly for maths) to give yourself an idea of what is expected.
    It may also be a good idea for you to contact primary schools in your area to see if you can shadow a teacher or observe classes. This will give you first-hand experience of primary teaching and how subjects such as maths are taught in primary schools.
    You could certainly consider working as a TA or LSA and this would help you build experience prior to making applications for the GTP. Extensive information is available via the TDA website:
    Likewise there is also extensive information relating to GTP via the TDA website:
    I hope this helps.
    Graham Holley


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