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Secondary teacher in need of help

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Teacherindisguise, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Teacherindisguise

    Teacherindisguise New commenter

    Hi all.
    As the title says I am a secondary teacher in need of some assistance.
    I have recently been given my class allocation for next year and in it I have been assigned bottom set year 7 and 8. The problem I have however is that the students in these classes have a NC level of 1 or 2 across the board and I have no idea what a student of this ability is able to do.
    For example would they be able to copy a diagram from the board and add labels? or can they follow a list of 5 instructions to do practical work? Can they even read the instructions?
    I may well be far out here and they are capable of more than I am expecting but I really don't know. I have asked for some assistance from school and I was told that no one knows and to just muddle along for the first few weeks and try from there.
    I am going to suggest that as the timetables get lighter I could go to a local primary school and observe but this may not be possible and I would to start the year with some idea.
    Any contributions will be much appreciated,
  2. Please do get into a primary school. I'm sure there would be no shortage of offers if you were to put a request, saying roughly where you are, in the Headteacher forum. If you are in or around Northamptonshire, I can help. Just contact me via the private messaging on this website.
  3. Level 1 and 2 is more usual for year 2, so I imagine your groups are SEN children. Is your SENCO likely to be of any assistance?
    Any contact with your feeder schools is bound to be much appreciated but it takes time and organisation.
  4. I'd say keep things really simple at first, eg have the diagram prepared and have the labels ready to be cut and stuck. Keep instructions to a few simple words and be prepared to teach your subject vocabulary words on flash cards. Have a pack of words for your first 'topic' ready to send home for homework.
    Do you have mini whiteboards and dry markers? This will allow them to write during the lesson without worrying too much about the presentation of their exercise book. Then photocopy the whiteboard and they can copy their writing into the book later.
    Have a selection of games and activities prepared before term starts so that you have a quick solution if they are not able to access your lesson. The resources section for your subject at KS2 also might prove useful to you. :)
  5. I would give the level 1 children a prepared diagram for them to then label. A level 2 reader should be able to read and follow the instructions providing the information is decodable. The level 1 children in my class would really struggle to read the instructions, let alone follow them successfully.
    It might be worth having a little look on the standards files for level 1 and 2 work just to get a picture of what children at that level are doing.
  6. Teacherindisguise

    Teacherindisguise New commenter

    Thank you all for your advice.
    I am definately going to try and get into a primary school before the term is out but unfortunately the relationships between our feeder schools and ours is not good as there have just been plans to combine them all into one within our academy (due to poor standards which has added to the low levels of these children).
    This is going to be the biggest challenge of my career to date I feel as I am completely out of my depth teaching at this level :)
    I will keep in mind your advice about instructions flip flop and will try and make a vocabulary list for them at the start of each topic with the meanings as well.
    Thanks again guys you have been a big help.
    If anyone has any strategies or resources that may come in useful please please let me have them and in return I will try and upload any that I have made that may be useful.
    p.s. My subject is science!
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Some 'laminated 'vocabulary word mats' would be useful for pupils to refer to. Try looking in resources for idea, then make up ones suitable for your own particular topics.
    Lots of whiteboard work is good;here pupils don't have to worry about spelling / handwriting etc. but can demonstrate their knowledge /understanding. If their work is good & needs keeping I get them photocopied rather than ask them to write out 'in best'.
    101 Red Hot Starters (Science) is good for starter activities.
    Do ask your SENCO though for suitable strategies too e g I've been doing some work recently on 'Collective Memory' as these children have poor recall, but '2 heads being better than 1' is helping my bottom set Maths group.
  8. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    The best thing you can do is do some searches for year 2 planning ,and then access some of the sites....try planning for yr 2 on here.
    Access the NC files and look at this year and you should be able to find level indicators.Just remember that the level assessments are those of NC tests usually, and that they might be capaable of more than that level...these levels are indicators.not gospel and they might vary.
    You can access the science areas on line of the subjects you want to teach.....if you do the searches on here you will find a lot.
    You must expect if they are level 2 then their standard of writing will be poor( in comparision to the majority of kids arriving into your schools..so you might require more structure..and even having to go over the basics of a subject........although they might understand orally but not be able to express ideas in writing.
    You need to access their records , which should come up from the primary school.you might have to hunt them out from where they are 'shelved' in the school.These should contain thier last sats paper./.or even their APPP levels..........these you can check what they mean online.These might only be for English and Maths.
    Above all is start your lessons with a basic level and you will soon now what they can or cant do....do it on paper first and then you can lose this if yo have to.then ou can adapt your lessons to suit them and record it.....to cover yourself if someone thinkks they are not making enough progress! You mighteven wan to test them.
    Maybe you will need to direct them to a diagram and then get them to fill in key words after your explanation.....or to give then part explained science work which they complete,
    You do not have to learn the primary curriculum..just look at your area and then think how can i adapt this to kids who can write, but not deal with complex ideas or writing
    When i worked in a comprehensive many years ago i often had kids who could just write their name..but they survived and we had to work on the basci ideas and concepts.,all copied from the blackboard in those days......you cant make up their levels in a whole year , You can only deal where they are so dont panic!
  9. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    I've taught weak science pupils before (I'm guessing it's science?) - they love practicals, give them prepared simple notes to stick into their books, with the minumum of writing, instead do lots of practical and discussion. Writing that they should do needs to be simple and focus on the key words that they need. If they need to fill in a table, draw it out for them so they just have to stick it in and fill it in, if it's a graph, draw out the axes for them, do not use graph paper, instead normal maths paper etc....

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