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switching from secondary teaching to primary

Discussion in 'Primary' started by gapolden, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. gapolden

    gapolden New commenter

    <font size="2">I'm a PE teacher and been qualified for 3 years & still can't get a permanent job, just seem to be going from maternity cover to maternity cover. I have worked quite a bit with primary aged pupils but only in PE. Has anyone got any advice on changing from secondary to primary teaching?</font>
  2. tammyround

    tammyround New commenter

    It is really hard but if you persevere, it might happen! It did for me.
    I worked in secondary for MFL in a similar situation of moving from maternity cover to maternity cover, but in a deteriorating situation of there being very few German and/or Russian roles (which are my specialisms).
    So at my last secondary I worked a timetable of a mix of KS3 subjects, including English, History, Humanities, RE, Citizenship, French as well as my German, and this allowed me to build up a skill base and bank of evidence to show how I can make the move over. Being a linguist helped, as I have strong literacy skills and know how to build up writing skills from word level to sentence and paragraph level. Also, I brought MFL to my new primary who took a big chance on me and I trained staff, wrote schemes of work and I now coordinate everything MFL. We had a mutually beneficial agreement.
    A big word of warning, having made the jump, working in a primary is a lot harder than working in secondary. My planning is much more detailed, is scrutinised and monitored on a regular basis. I have to write up my assessment for learning/comments for each lesson and show how it feeds into future planning. My books are checked on a regular basis to check for marking, next step marking, target setting and achievement, differentiation and coverage of curriculum. Pupil progress meetings on a half termly basis target children's progress with a view to early interventions. Plus, I find it so much more emotionally draining than secondary because you know your kids so much better and being younger they are so vulnerable with a number of cases which I have to check, monitor and write up concerns about on a regular basis. I know so much more about them, know more of the problems they have at home and worry about them so much more than I ever did at secondary.
    I love my job and would never go back into secondary because all of these demands of the job make sure that the kids really learn, love learning and progress! The capactiy to make an impact on them is so much bigger. It is the most rewarding job I have ever done and after a day of baking mergingues and decorating them in science (irreveresible and reversible changes), selling them on the cake stall for Children in Need, reading War Horse and delving into character studies of Albert and his dad before investagiting angles in a triangle for numeracy by chopping up the angles and seeing what happens (that eureka moment on their faces!), I came home with a massive smile on my face, feeling so happy and content, even when the week started with an Ofsted inspection! To make that change you have to be able to devote a lot of time to it and luckily I have a supportive husband.
    My advice - get some experience (more supply work, maybe work with lots of different schools as a PE specialist to get your name around) and be prepared to fill in lots of application forms, not hear back from 90% of them and if it happens, work all hours to make the transition.
    Good luck! x
    ustadhtushar likes this.

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