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Panicking about the first week back!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by EBF, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. EBF

    EBF New commenter


    I am about to go into a Year One classroom and am completely stuck for what to do in the first week, or even the first day, back. I haven't had much training in KS1 and after doing some supply work in KS2 was offered the job in the school. I love the school so immediately said yes. However, I am sitting down trying to think of what to do. For my first day I didn't want it to be straight into 'serious' work. I want to see what the children are capable of independently in literacy and maths. I thought for literacy, reviewing phases 2/3/4 for phonics and going on to 'What I did over summer'. For maths I am stumped. My school doesn't follow any schemes - even for phonics - and as a KS2 trained teacher this also has me a bit worried.

    I wanted to go into 'serious' work the next day - which would be a Wednesday, but I am not sure again what to do. Any suggestions or directions for places to look would be most welcome.

    Many thanks!
  2. onmyknees

    onmyknees Established commenter

    Year 1 are going to be very Reception-like for a while. I would have lots of independent activities on offer: construction toys, role play, puzzles, sand, water etc and let the children explore their new classroom and get to know each other - and you!
    They will need lots of practise to learn how to tidy up, where resources are kept, where the toilets are, where to out lunch boxes and coats and general class 'rules.' Some may find it hard to sit on the carpet for more than a few minutes.
    Don't expect them to be able to sit and work as a whole class- they will be a long way off this. If you feel that they are settled at their activities,that might give you the oppportunity to work with a small group of 4 (maximum!! ) to ask them to draw a picture of what they did over the holiday, or to draw a favourite toy, their family. (Be prepared for their pictures to be finished in under a minute though!) Year 1 has always been my favourite year group. In September they seem SO young, but they make really rapid progress and by February half term they will seem to have matured so much and you will be constantly amazed at what they are learning.
    Good luck!
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    See if you can talk to the reception classteacher and find out from them what the class are likely to be able to do.

    If they have all pretty much mastered phase 2 and 3 phonics, then starting with phase 4 will be perfect as that recaps phase 2 and 3 and doesn't bring in new graphemes. However, you will hopefully be able to start phase 5 very soon to get it all done and the children confident and capable before the phonics screening test. (Use letters and sounds as your scheme, it's fab and you can't really go wrong with it.)

    For maths look at white rose as you'll need to sort yourself and it is free and excellent. (Search WRMaths on the resources part of here).

    Other than these, do exactly as @onmyknees suggests...the first few weeks is about learning the routines and rules, not academic bits.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Excellent advice above about letting the chidren do as much independent activity for you to assess their strengths and capabilities and that the first week will be estcablishing a lot of the routines,so there's little more I can add.

    Just get yourself some post-it notes to make notes as you observe thse initial days and then I suggest you actually stop worrying until at least the week before School starts. The Autumn term is a particularly long draining term and you need to be really refreshed for it.
  5. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Haven't you had to prepare schemes of work for the year? We had to when I taught so that we knew exactly what we had to cover lesson by lesson and then lesson plans with in line with the curriculum objectives. The Head teacher had to have a copy of this. You do seem as if you are quite unorganized for this work and say you have had little training for teaching KS1 children. Should you be doing this work then? What Laura has said is good for a little part of the first week, but you'll need to be better organized I would say. If you were absent, for example, someone taking over your class would need to be able to see clearly what you were planning to do.
    install likes this.
  6. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Are you saying you’ve already mapped out what you will teach each lesson for the entire year before it’s even started?!

    I’ve got a vague idea that I’ll do place value for the first 2 weeks, then move on to the 4 operations, but no way have I decided what I’ll teach in detail. I’ll want to see what the kids can do before I waste time planning lessons which might be pitched incorrectly. Then I’d have to replan them all - yuck!!
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    @EBF please ignore this post completely. It has to be one of the most uninformed and offensive I've seen on the primary board. Please, please take advice from the other posters, all of whom have taught or do teach in primary schools. Please do not worry based on this judgemental nonsense, nor think you will be anything other than excellent. Also do not stop posting for advice, most people on this board and infinitely more helpful and polite.

    You definitely should not have the whole year planned out. You have no clue at all what the children will find easy and what they will find difficult. Therefore you cannot possibly plan for more than the first week or so.
    You also should not be giving the head or any other member of SLT your lessons plans. Your union will support you in not doing so if you are employed in a state school.
    You also do not need planning for cover should you be absent unexpectedly. If you are absent for something planned, you can set the work at the time.

    You certainly can teach KS1, even if most of your experience is elsewhere. The head has seen your work on supply and believed in you. You do know children and you know teaching, therefore you can teach any child in any year group. This is precisely why QTS qualifies you to teach anywhere from 4-18.
    Hazeraali96, reddevil, nomad and 7 others like this.
  8. onmyknees

    onmyknees Established commenter

    nomad, bonxie, lrw22 and 2 others like this.
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    Reading between the lines and having worked in primary too, I think the advice is meant well. With.the thinking that you fine-tune it as you.go through.the year to.suit the.group. As soon as you can though meet up with other teachers.in the school and your lm to look at this further. But do not panic.

    Good luck:):):)
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    nomad, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  10. Alice K

    Alice K Occasional commenter

    Remember to include a storytelling session each day. Phonics are essential but keep your eyes on the prize - a love of reading. Children enjoy listening to stories as it stimulates their imagination and builds their vocabulary. If you read aloud you are providing a model of fluent,expressive reading and they love it! Best of luck. :)
  11. install

    install Star commenter

    Lovely advice :):)
  12. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Lots of great advice given. Don't forget that the right story can lead into so much more … what do the children think will happen next? Can they draw a picture of it? Some will be able to write a sentence or two. You will definitely need lots of Reception-style activities for the first week but could decide to base much of your more formal work around a book you really like and know the children will enjoy … everything from drama and art to maths and sequencing the story. You will find lots of idea on-line.
    If you are in school setting up your classroom during the last few weeks, try running your ideas by other experienced KS1 teachers - hopefully they will be supportive allies! Enjoy the rest of the holiday and best of luck.
  13. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Oh dear!!!! I did not mean to upset anyone on TES for certain. I have been a teacher in further education and perhaps things were quite different. So yes, don't take my advice. I genuinely thought you had a curriculum to follow and that it would be easy to put the subjects week by week on a scheme of work, planning your lessons around this. I genuinely wanted to be helpful because if I had my scheme of work, relating to what I had to teach, it was very easy to prepare my lessons from this and for me, feeling exactly as you do, I had the feeling that I knew where I was going. So please don't take advice of my 'old-fashioned' advice. It was only meant to help. I hope I'm forgiven.
    nomad, pepper5, bonxie and 3 others like this.
  14. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Yes, this is how it was when I was a teacher. We had to hand our scheme of work for the year to our head so that it clearly showed week by week what we were covering in the syllabus with time for revision etc every 5 or 6 weeks - - - but I am probably quite out of date with modern teaching, so ignore my help, ha ha
    install likes this.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    As I thought. I really don't think you have upset anyone - and it is really caring to post again in this way. Your advice is well meant and I do see your point. It isn't 'old fashioned' by any means - and some type of forward planning (even Overviews) saves panic. Detailed planning, of course, can then happen in collaboration with others and once the strengths and weaknesses of the class are realised.
    nomad, bonxie, Lara mfl 05 and 2 others like this.
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    And indeed for Sec. colleagues with an exam spec to follow, it is far easier to have a 'year ahead' planning in place as you know exactly how much you have to cover and how many weeks/ hours you have to get all that ground covered. Primary still have a NC but it is much more fluid, as Primaries need lots of 're-inforcement to acquire the basic skills.
    pepper5, install and JosieWhitehead like this.
  17. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Thank you Laura. This does make a lot more sense. Yes, I always had examination syllabuses to follow and we all knew what had to be done at what time as there was a limited amount of time in which to get them through the exams. So, apologies again.
    pepper5 and install like this.
  18. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    If this thread proves anything, it's that sometimes the best advice is to refrain from giving it...
  19. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    Don’t panic. I would start by making a timetable of what your week will look like. We do Phonics twice a day, first thing and after lunch. We do Maths and English in the morning and Foundation and playtime in the afternoon. Every day ends with a story session. I do short (15 mins) handwriting and spelling sessions on alternate days. Lots of opportunities for singing, dance, puppets, small world play and drama. Fine motor skills are also really important so I try and fit time for those in regularly too. I put my timetable up visually every day as the children like to know what is coming up. I am such a fan of White Rose, I followed it last year and really like the progression and content. That’s Maths sorted. My afternoons are a lot more relaxed but make sure you really familiarise yourself with what you need to cover (I choose a topic per half term and then get as much as I can covered). I totally understand what @JosieWhitehead is getting at. Look at what you have to cover and loosely map the year out (for examine, trees and plants is a nice topic for Summer, animals and life cycles is quite nice in Spring).
    I will be starting with some purposeful play but getting them into whole class teaching pretty quickly. Five year olds like routine and structure, you will be surprised how quickly they adapt to the change from Reception.
    Alice K, pepper5, Lara mfl 05 and 2 others like this.
  20. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    PS Sorry I’ve been thinking some more about your post. My advice would be to do some Phonics and reading assessments the first week while the children are settling in so you know exactly where to pitch your teaching. I’m doing that the first two days. I’ve got assessments from the previous teacher at the end of last year but they all make a massive dip over the holidays. You will come under pressure later in the year for the Phonics Screener so I would advise assessing them half-termly so you can address the gaps. Year 1 is my favourite year group because the progress is so amazing but it definitely isn’t the easy ride people think it is!
    pepper5, Lara mfl 05 and install like this.

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