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Transition from Secondary to Primary Teaching

Discussion in 'Welcome lounge and forum help' started by emmalouise23, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. emmalouise23

    emmalouise23 New commenter

    Hi all,

    My first post on here and I wanted to see if anyone knew of how best to achieve the transition from Secondary teaching to Primary teaching. This has been on my mind for a few years now and I thought how best to utilise my time in isolation but to investigate more into this possible transition route.

    I have been teaching Secondary for 11 years with my core subject as Dance and Drama as a second subject. I have also taught Physical Education and Maths previously. During my current role I have a strong lead with our feeder Primary Schools and offer outreach Dance/Drama to these schools either by topic-taught sessions or extra-curricular activities.

    I am currently a middle leader and thoroughly enjoy continued professional development opportunities.

    I suppose my first question is; What would a Primary School require in terms of knowledge and skills in order to accept a Secondary teacher for a post? I would like to spend this time preparing myself as best as I can for any opportunities that may arise in the future.

    Thank you for your time and support :)
  2. joyoakley

    joyoakley New commenter


    In my experience of supporting teachers with English in primary schools who have come from secondary, these areas tend to be the most challenging for them:

    1) subject knowledge of the progression in teaching/learning reading and writing

    2) modelling the writing process

    I think you can find courses on the transition from secondary to primary? It might be worth looking at. If you’re able to organise future work experience, that would be valuable too.

    Good luck!
  3. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    In my experience, we would generally expect a secondary English teacher to have an understanding of the progression in reading and writing so that would be less of a concern than their understanding of the WHOLE of the primary curriculum. How confident would I feel that they could teach DT or science , how is their understanding of the progression in maths skills, how adaptable would they be and ( forgive me but this is a general observation from having interviewed rather a lot of secondary teachers wanting to move to primary) how would they overcome the belief that they are heading for an easier life when it is exactly the opposite?
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    As a dance teacher, with some drama, how would you feel being asked to teach handwriting in year 3? Grammar to year 5? Music in year 2? Science in year 5? Maths to a low set year 6 on a Thursday afternoon after they have been swimming in the morning?

    As a current middle leader, how would you cope with feeling a bit like an NQT all over again, as you get to grips with a completely different job? Working in a place where subject leaders have a very different role to those in secondary schools and dance and drama are very much the poor relations to maths and English.

    You will need to convince a headteacher that you will be a better candidate than any of the primary trained teachers who are applying, many of whom are probably £10 000 a year cheaper than you as well. What will you bring to make it worth the extra money?
    Jonntyboy and CarrieV like this.

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