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The Independent Support Group - open to all by mac64

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by mac64, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. I think that it is important to put yourself or other adult in your room in charge of giving rewards not defer to H.T.- that way the children get to see that you have "the power" in your room and puts you firmly im charge.
  2. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Hedda we also give out stickers and badges alongside the star books and house system. As you say they need to have something instant but we also trying to build up team work. So far the house point system for our group has worked well especially as we find lots of reasons for giving stars and house points. Our house point system is very tangible because they handle the points (cotton reels) themselves and frequently check up on the amount in each box across the day. They enjoy the stickers which we give out and wear them with pride. Going to see the Headmaster is just an added extra especially as we want to include as part of our team. It's also a very public recognition for them and on the way we meet up with other childrne and staff. We've found that they get very excited by this espcially as he's very child friendly and will hapily spend time with them discussing their achievements to the point that he wil stop a meeting in his office to meet with any child. Our school has a had a difficult two with a previous HT who was very negative and not particularly child friendly. I think we are trying to build up the feeling/atmosphere we had previously before this HT arrived. It also seems to give the parents a warm glow.
  3. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Our LA is due on 30th October so I'll pass on any comments/suggestions/criticisms she makes asap. She's not inspecting or wandering around but meeting with us. I've asked our SMT whether they feel she could/should look through our paperwork and give us her thoughts.
  4. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    When I moved into reception I decide not to use an exercise book for every subject and so have A4 ringbinders with all their work as it's completed, photos things they have initiated and a weekly summary sheet which briefly explains what we have done 'Our Diary'. It was to encourage the parents to look through their folders as we work so that they could see the progress and undersyadn the type of actvities their children have completed. It's starting to take off and now parents regulary pick up a folder and look through and talk about things inside with their child. Also parents have statred adding things from the weekend or things their child has suggested.

    In the Nursery they had a daily newsletter which summarised what had happend including food etc. Personally if I'm sending any document home to parents I like to ensure it's accurate and fully proof read as well as presented clearly. In oder to do so fpr me would take time and use up a large portion of the day. Parents on entry to reception asked about this and explained why I would not do this and they all seem happy and appreciate the weekly summary and the opportunity to look through the folder. I have one parent who today has asked me to email him a copy each week or to photocopy it for him. While I'm happy to do this for divorced families from time to time I don't feel I should do this fro everyone. When it's a good week and time isn't tight then it wouldn't be such a problem but on an average week it would become a nightmare and I don't won't to commit to something I can't maintain. The weekly summary I do produce, I do at home (preparing text and photos and usually print) but as I'm using Office 2007 it's not always compatable with school and so in order to print at school I have to scan it.

    I was just wondering how many other Reception teachers provide a weekly or even a daily sheet? Am I just being awkward or lazy? One the key points for tdoing this was to encourage to look at their folders and to contribute but I feel now I've made a mistake and should not have started this. Until now there hasn't been such a sheet in Reception so I know that's it's not the norm for our school. There is enough work to do each day and don't want to complicate my life further. I also don't want to be pushed into doing something in a sloppy manner because that's what will happen if I rush.
  5. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Jumping from subject to another...

    Over the last few months with all the kerfuffle we call the EYFS, I wondered some an inde schools might see a N and a R class as not finacially viable... There are a few inde schools near us which start from Y1 and so basically do not have to deal with all the ramifications...(or for a short part oft he school year depending on the age range of each class). Reading through this thread 'Extinction of nursery teachers...is it a real possibility' it doesn't seem so far fetched...
  6. No Mac

    I don't think you are being lazy at all.

    I always ask myself before I take on anything extra or introduce a new idea- will this enhance teaching and learning or will it put bums on seats.

    Like you, any correspondence with parents promotes the shcool and has to be accurate- unlike my typos on here. If I made a mistake or parents did not agree with my pedagogy I would be challenged by them or by SMT. I have had challenging parents in Inde - and boy are they articulate and effective at sharing their concerns with other parents and lack of confidence in the teaching can spread like wild fire. I agree anything that is sent home has to be top notch. I have learned to remain professionally detached but hopefully approachable.

    Last year, I used to produce a weekly news sheet about what we would be doing that week and posted it outside the classroom. Few parents looked at this and so I have stopped and it has saved me an hour each week. Did it enhance teaching and learning by producing the sheet- no I don't think so. Did the advisor like the sheet- yes?

    Your folder idea sounds great and I would imagine that all parents will have opportunity to see them at some point, even if they don't pick up children on a dialy basis. The children don't do a lot of formal recording but I have found that I am even reluctant to send completed exercise books home because of the inevitable criticism by parents.
  7. .

    I think that for Inde schools unless they introduce wrap around care for children or care for under threes that F.S. might become not viable.

    I think my current school considers FS as a lost leader with the hope, that it will hook children into the main school. This does not always work as some go on to maintained after nursery funding is withdrawn when they ae 5.

    However it does provide at least half of the Yr 1 intake.

    I do think that teachers might be withdrawn form the F.S. in Inde because of cost. The nursery/r class where I work was run by an unqualified teacher for some years .My job share partner is an unqualified teacher who is a graduate and working towards her EYPS, which the school wil accept in place of QTS-so I rather think that QTS days will be numbered, although they are well aware that employing somebody with QTS has raised standards. I wonder if I will become surplus to requirements as sooon as she qualifies and wants to go full time.

  8. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    As you say a lot of children move on and with the EYFS as a supposed equaliser why should parents pay when it might free elsewhere. More pressure!

    You reply was a relief about the weekly sheet. It's not for advisers or really a newsletter but part of their folder so I really don't want it to become a newsletter. It's true that anything we send home is scrutinised and that's one thing I'm very aware of. I have to be honest I stopped sending books home a while back. It's very unfair on the children but the climate now pushes in directions you'd rather not take. Shame really.
  9. Hello mac64/hedda, anyone?

    I am a montessori trained teacher and have been teaching in a reception class in the inde sector for many years, but I don't have QTS. I am passionate, enthusiastic and love the job, but I'm not in a position to gain further qualifications. Any idea where I stand now with the EYFS?

    (Panicking a bit and our Early Years Advisor is not much help)
  10. byjingo

    byjingo New commenter

    I am now in the state sector and have been for many years but I was once an 'indie' and as this was before the days of the Internet my contact with other teachers tended to be face to face. In those days I met with a varied response from downright hostile to very welcoming. I have recently been contemplating a change back to the independent sector and would very much value some answers to queries I have. I understand that these may be generalisations and may not apply to all schools. I completed the TES questionnaire about independent schools and from the questions I inferred that the pay might be less and the hours longer.
    Would anyone be willing to tell me about their experience, please? Do you feel that this is true? On the other hand the questionnaire mentioned nothing about the fact that the holidays are generally longer than in the state sector.

    Incidently I must say that I felt the line of questionning on this questionnaire was distinctly anti indies.
    Thanks in advance,

  11. Don't panic as this might work out for you.

    I think that you are going to be fine because ISC has sent letters out to member schools in the summer, which seem to indicate that they are in discussion with the dept re this very point and that Inde schools have a year's grace. It seemed to imply that legislation might change after that year.

    I took letter to be about support staff but it could well encompass staff as a whole, I feel.

    It also mentions "grandfathering" exisiting staff ,which seems to mean that for unqualified experienced staff in post, as long as HT. says they are OK and will carry the can, all will be well.

    I feel that you need to read this correspondence yourself and not take my word for it and I know that mac might have a reference to it she can give.. Your HT should have a copy if you are a member of ISC.

    So over to mac for a link.....
  12. byjingo

    byjingo New commenter

    Sorry, I rather interrupted an ongoing discussion. I still cannot get the hang of this new site, which is why I have only just started to look at it again.

  13. Going back to your o.p.

    I don't think I can give a blanket answer as it very much depends on the school. Each school has its own unique ethos and it depnds if it is right for you..

    Yes to longer hours but there are longer holidays to compensate, but this varies from school to school.

    Probably will get roped in for some after school care or club twice weekly going on until about 5.30.

    Probably you will be your own dinner lady and with a shorter meal break than in state school

    Classes are smaller - 20 would be considered large. You might have a mixed age class.

    Salaries vary from school to school- some less, some more, some parallel to teachers' payscale.

    Not always much scope for career progression to middle management, so it depends on where you are in your career ,whether this is a disadvantage. Schools are smaller than in maintained so what you do or don't do makes a big difference to the school as a whole.

    Quite a high proportion of families are from overseas whilst father is working in UK,perhaps, so EAL experience could be an advantage. Both parents might be working so school might have wrap around care beyond the school day and you could be involved with that.

    If you are teaching in EY there will be some LEA involvement because of state funding of EY grant, but this means that free training will be available. Otherwise limited access to training.

    Inde schools tend not to have supply teachers and just muddle through so teachers are rarely ill ! You will need good health!

    There has been a lot in the press about Inde schools struggling to put bums on seats with the credit crunch, so check out how financially secure a school is before you put in an application.

  14. Thanks for your reply Hedda.... very grateful.

    I will see if the letter from the ISC is around anywhere for me to look at. (I quite like the idea of being 'grandfathered' by the Headmaster!)
  15. byjingo

    byjingo New commenter

    Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such a comprehensive answer. It has given me food for thought and some questions to ask when I go for a look round. Thanks again.
  16. Sorry to jump in, but as Hedda so rightly said, all Indie schools vary greatly - and I've come to realise that I'm a lucky lady!

    I've been in my school since being an NQT 14 yrs ago (!) and have received lots of support and training, and promotion to mid management. I've been lucky, but as we have a low staff turn over, it can be a long wait for your ideal post unless you move on.

    We have a very good pay scale with an additional school allowance, and we are encouraged to apply for Threshold etc. The pay scale is our own so not sure how TLRs etc equate though.

    Hours tend to be slightly longer than state schools, a few late duties per term, but only 1 break and a couple of lunch duties per week, though the children are also supervised by additional staff. The non-contact allowance depends upon your additional responsibilities, but is fair.

    Holidays are just slightly longer than state, so some may feel that they prefer the much longer ones of some indies, but most of my colleagues who've worked in state say they'll never go back!

    One of the best things is having a HT & board of Govs, rather than an owner principal, as you are all employees with nobody having a financial hold over you, given the current financial climate.

    And finally, sorry to have gone on, we get to pick and choose which Govt dictates we follow - we select the best bits and ignore that which we can tell will be repealed in a couple of years!

  17. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

  18. Hi, I've just joined an extremely large inde school teaching in the reception class. Its two form entry and I have 15 in my class with a full time Nursery nurse. I have come from a state school where I was part of the senior management team and was very highly regarded in terms of my teaching ability, managment position and generally as part of the school team. I have always wanted to work in the inde sector having being privately educated myself and having my own daughter I relished the chance of a remission in fees to allow me to financially afford to privatey educate her. I am thoroughly enjoying my new job but am starting to feel more and more frustrated as the days go on. We are led by an extremely lets say 'tradiitonal' head of infants and I feel I am being made to follow routines and procedures which go against everything I have been taught in my career so far. The school is petrified of the new EYFS and the changes it needs to make and so is basically ignoring it. We have no outdoor provision, we have minimul play resources which can be used 'to plan play' and the planning is atrocious. It tells you nothing - leanrnig styles, differentiation, learning journeys and any signs of creativity are nowhere to be seen.

    I can see all these things wrong, but i feel i am in no position to tell anyone about it. I have gone from someone who was relied upon to lead new initiatives to just 'a new teacher'. I am nowhere on the ladder of any significance in the school. What should I do? I know i am ranting away but i really need to get this off my chest. Everyday i leave school with my marking up to date, dislpays finished, cupboards tidy and all my paint pots washed - but always with a feeling of guilt that I am not giving the chn in my care the experiences they deserve and now are entitiled to. Advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!! Also what are you doing in your schools - what planning do you do??
  19. anybody??

  20. Gosh that is a tough one and there is no quick answer. I can't help thinking that you might have been employed by SMT to solve some of the problems that you have identified. This is not easy one and it is early days to understand the school politics of it all. I would advise you to bide your time so you get a longer overview.

    We have not embraced EYFS wholeheartedly but we have taken on board the good things. Since I have been at my current school, worksheets in F.S. do not see the light of day and the chalk and talk style has gone and there is a better ci/direct teaching balance. I don't think that I was popular with somE colleagues but I had the HT's backing .

    Inde staff in some schools work in a vacuum and are reluctant to embrace change.I feel it is important to keep knowledge up by going on courses even if you reject some of it but not everybody feels like that.

    Change is difficult when parents are happy with product and it seems that your large school is thriving. Schools needs bums on seats. It is when the numbers drop that they know they are in trouble.

    As people have already said good Inde schools play pick and mix with new initiatives Sometimes it can be freeing not to have to take on every new bright idea, but bad practice is another matter. The fact that there is a parallel class means that you are quite not free to do your own thing and work your own way in, secret. How does your parallel teacher feel about things- is she up for change?


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