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Where do I start???

Discussion in 'Primary' started by alice_bakes_cakes, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I've just got my NQT job for September in a junior school. I'm really excited and want to make a start on getting prepared, but I know very little about the post (not even which year group!) I'm hoping to go on a couple of visits over the next few weeks and was wondering if anyone had any advice about the sort of questions I should be asking and the information to try and get hold of at this stage? I'm sure I'm going to forget about something vital and don't really know where to start!
  2. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren New commenter

    1. Sincere congratulations!
    2. I think the first thing you need to find out is what year you are going to teach! Or, if they haven't yet decided, at least what the options are.
    3. As an NQT myself, I'll look forward to seeing what other people have to say.
  3. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Behaviour policy, timetable and planning (i.e if the school follows any particular schemes of work; any historical planning for you to see the sort of things covered within the year; topic coverage overview) would be a great start .
    That might be all you'd want to be going on to start with. Your first NQT term will be a steep learning curve as it is! Don't overvburden yourself at this stage.
    You will probably be given a massive folder of policies and a staff handbook. Don't worry too much if you never get round to reading these. I've never read them at the schools I've taught in.
    Congratulations and good luck.

  4. ballerina

    ballerina New commenter

    Ask who your mentor will be and try to arrange to meet them. they will have an induction pack to run through with you when you start in sept so most of the 'you need to knows' will be covered in that.
    as soon as the school has decided where everyone is then you can start thinking aobut your actual class - but in the meantime there is nothing much else to do!
    if you want to go in during the summer holidays to set up your classroom then ask what days it is open, or perhaps they have inset on the first day to do that.
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Errm they might well not have any such thing. We definitely don't in out school.

    When you visit do find out which year group, who you are working with (year partners), schemes of work, timetable and routines like whether children line up on the playground or not. But lots of that can be done in Sept. when there will more than likely be a couple of inset days.

    Collect all the policies, but other than rewards and sanctions and marking you don't actually need to read them. Someone will go through the safeguarding policy and procedures with you.
  6. I was in your position last year. I think the thing that I felt least confident about was the routines. Like minnieminx said, things like do they line up on the playground? Does someome have to take the register somewhere or is it collected? What happens at the end of the school day? What happens at lunchtime?... those little things that make you feel really daft when a pupil in your class asks you about it and you don't know the answer.
    For me, that was more important than schemes of work, overviews and the like in the first week. I wanted to feel like I knew what I was doing, and show the pupils that I knew enough not to have the wool pulled over my eyes or just look plain daft!
    Good luck! It's an exciting time, and before you know it, you'll wonder why you were stressing!

  7. Sillow

    Sillow Senior commenter

    1. Ask for a comprehensive tour of the school, including where all the resources for different subjects are kept. It took me a term-and-a-half to find the History resources!
    2. Check how to get in and out of school buildings and which ones have alarms and when they're activated. I've set off various alarms in my two years at my school because I have keys but didn't know alarms were activated at certain times!
    3. Get a copy of the curriculum map or similar. This should tell you which units are being taught when in which years. That way, over the summer, you can look at some of the schemes in books or on the internet and start some planning for the Autumn term. (I'm thinking for Foundation subjects, really.)
    4. Find out when you're due in September and write it down somewhere you won't loose it. There's nothing worse than panicking the night before about what time you're supposed to be in on your first day...
    5. Get the contact details from someone at the school - mentor, phase leader, year colleague, anyone - so you can get in touch if you need to.
    Congrats and good luck! I can still remember how scared I felt and what a learning curve it was, especially in the first few weeks. But it gets easier and better and more fun!
  8. Sillow

    Sillow Senior commenter

    I mean "lose", obviously!

  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Oh yes and I just remembered that you need to ask at some point what colour the register is marked in. Sounds tiny, but is sooo horrible to see your blue marks in the first week every time you open the register to mark it in black for the rest of the year.
  10. Thanks! Just remembered that I'll have to check about fire evacuation procedures and things like that too! Time to write a list to take on my visit I think!
    In terms of collecting information about the class from the current class teacher, any idea what I can expect from that? Will it just be levels and any IEPs, or will it be more detailed? Does that depend on the school?
    I'm going to an INSET afternoon about planning on the 27th, so hoping I can find out quite a lot then, but was thinking of trying to visit before that to find out some of the basics.
  11. Levels and IEPs can be found on paperwork so use the meeting with the current class teacher to find out things you can't elsewhere. I find these meetings useful to build up a bit of a picture of each child - curriculum strengths that you may not have levels for e.g. music, PE, art, likes, dislikes, friendship groups, who NOT to sit next to one another...that kind of thing.

    But do remember these are opinions and experiences from the previous teacher, not gospel.
  12. i am starting a new job in September so have found this really useful
    I am also spending some time in school this term to get a handle on the shool environment etc


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