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Subject Knowledge Primary School Trainee

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by mcarr1992, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. mcarr1992

    mcarr1992 New commenter

    I'm starting a School Direct programme in September 2018.
    I've just purchased a book on the national curriculum and teaching standards to get a head start however, I'm looking to improve my subject knowledge before I start my course.
    Does anyone know where to start in respect to this challenge?
    I only have 5 months.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  2. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    I would suggest focusing on maths and English. In my opinion, I would strongly recommend anything by Derek Haylock. This https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mathematic...6741&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=haylock+maths+2018 will help your own subject knowledge, but also provides so much support for teaching maths too.

    Someone else will come along and suggest ideas for English I'm sure. Good luck!

    By the way - if your username is your real name, please ask to change it so you remain anonymous on these forums. You can do this by clicking on the report link on your own post and making a request or emailing help@tes.com and offering a new username
    Lara mfl 05 and mcarr1992 like this.
  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    You could also read up on popular/recommended novels for the age group- its always useful to have a conversation with the children about their reading and discussion about the characters from a basis of knowledge of the work.
    Lara mfl 05, 112Theo and mcarr1992 like this.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Hello Maria. I admire your responsible approach to subject knowledge.

    While I respect the earlier recommendation of Haylock you will not learn from him how to do maths, at least not in the time available to you. His books are too busy, and more concerned with multiple methods & representations than they are with enabling the reader to grasp & secure the core formal methods & knowledge required of the Primary teacher. I'm not dismissing Haylock out of hand but his books are essentially planning resources for teachers who've mastered the subject, not mathematics textbooks for the purpose of subject knowledge enhancement. Let me recommend some more useful books for you:

    The 8th edition of Primary Mathematics: Knowledge and Understanding (Achieving QTS Series), was published this month and so is compliant with all DfE requirements. It will provide you with the fundamental mathematical knowledge & skills you are looking for and help you to develop mathematical understanding appropriate to the problem-solving, reasoning & numeracy requirements of Primary mathematics:


    The explanations & methods are easy to follow in crisp text & figures. It may look less attractive than something by Haylock but it's a darn sight easier to follow and respects the reader's intention to learn mathematics for the purpose of teaching it. It also provides a number of free online resources which allow the reader to audit their skills and assess their progress. You may also wish to know that the same series includes a book on Primary English.

    I'm also going to recommend a nice, sturdy textbook crammed with exercises which will allow you to practise and so secure your skills. A Complete GCSE Mathematics: Higher Course is a textbook which, while technically out of date for the current GCSE specification, has stacks of material in its 500+ pages appropriate to formal methods in all aspects of the Primary mathematics programme of study:


    Packed with worked examples, descriptions and diagrams, at its reduced rate it's a goldmine for any candidate teacher wishing to consolidate their skills and understanding in preparation for & after their initial teacher training.

    Good luck with this, Maria. Don't be a stranger. Whether you have technical questions, need support or just want a chat then the TES boards are a great community.
    112Theo likes this.
  5. 112Theo

    112Theo New commenter


    I also start School Direct Primary in September. The school that I’m joining has their maths policy on their website, which is helpful to ensure I’m using the right maths language, as well as understanding the year-on-year progression. I also asked them which phonics programme they use - so am familiarising myself with that. I was advised to read up on classroom/behaviour management - of the dozens of books that I found online I chose Practical Behaviour Management by Tracey Lawrence as I liked the content on SEN.

    Useful advice on books above, thank you all!
    Vince_Ulam and mcarr1992 like this.
  6. mcarr1992

    mcarr1992 New commenter

    Thank you so much, I have found this extremely useful, and of course I will not be a stranger.
    Thanks again, Maria
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  7. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    Read up on grammar as well. There’s a good book called Grammar for Teachers. Even in lower KS2 you’ve got to be able to teach about past and present continuous tenses etc!!!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    Congrats on getting on your course by the way.
    mcarr1992 and Vince_Ulam like this.
  9. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Read the Rose Review. Definitely brush up on grammar. Practise your cursive writing. The English QTS books are useful. You will get very limited time while training to focus on the foundation subjects so maybe reading some of the QTS series in those would be useful.

    Most importantly... Take some time to relax. Next year will be a busy year! Get yourself prepared by making sure you start it in the healthiest way possible.
  10. cys2017

    cys2017 Occasional commenter

    If you like online stuff use bbc bitesize
  11. cys2017

    cys2017 Occasional commenter

    Or buy subject specific books like student versions

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