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What questions should I ask about my new class?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by caryl-annedavies, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. I have got a job in Madrid, What kind of questions should I be asking my head teacher about the school and the class?

    This is what I have so far:

    How many children are in the year one class?

    Do you strictly follow the English National Curriculum for year 1? Or has the school used it as a basis to create their own curriculum?

    How does the school assess the children's progress? How often does the school assess the children's progress?

    Does the school have a planning format should use?

    What are the children’s current levels leaving reception?

    Do you teach using a thematic approach? If so is this decided by the school or open to the teachers to plan the term topics?

    Are there any current long term or medium term plans in place for year one?

    What equipment are the staff provided with in the classroom? Interactive whiteboard etc.

    Will I have any additional staff/ support staff in the classroom?

    If so, are they supporting children with an IEP? Or supporting the whole class at the direction of class teacher?

    Do you have your own calculation policy?

    What phonics scheme do you use? How often is phonics practiced and assessed?
  2. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    Congratulations on the job offer. I would ask the following.

    What is their level of English, as measured on the CEFR or other commonly recognised scale? Have they come from a bilingual nursery or are they (eek!) beginners? If they've come from the school's own bilingual nursery, is it possible to see some of the material they've been using? This will give you an idea of what they know and don't know. Whatever their answer is with regard to levels, I would tend to estimate below it.

    Without knowing how much English they have, the answers to your other questions are pretty meaningless.

    Do you have a background in MFL or EFL? If not, you'll need to learn the basics of teaching a language before you go over there.

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