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Which year group is the most demanding?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by year6teacher93, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. It's all relative though isn't it! A school where a majority of the staff are rated "outstanding" but which has one "good" teacher has, in effect a weaker teacher. Some teachers have definite strengths in a specific year group/key stage and may struggle outside this comfort zone, does that make them a weak teacher or a specialist? A teacher coming back from long term sick might need more support and would benefit from an "easier" class until they are up and running, does this make them weak? An NQT clearly has a great deal to learn in terms of classroom management/subject knowledge, ( no disrespect to NQT's, I was one myself!) and is thus a "weaker" teacher in terms of experience.
    I think we have also made the point that years3/4 were where <u>historically</u> weaker teachers were put but in the present climate there is no room for this!

  2. From experience of schools I have worked with and also job ads I would say KS1 trained NQTs are more often in Y1 and KS2 trained in Y4, so I think school leaders see these as the least damaging for 'weaker' teachers to have.
    For me I think that it is vitally important to have really strong teachers from Years R - 3. If the children have been taught well in these years then Years 4 & 5 should be fairly easy.
    However, having experienced teaching in Lower KS2 where children have not been taught well in previous years, classes come up with huge gaps and Years 4 & 5 can be very demanding. In these cases the children often come up with inflated results and therefore you are trying to move them on when they weren't really at those levels to begin with, at the same time as plugging gaps in learning.
    I think R, 2 & 6 are probably more demanding just because of the additional admin, scrutiny, moderation etc. In terms of the children and teaching no year group more than others if you consider all things together.
  3. Hi, that's an interesting question - "What year group would you give a weak teacher?" What made you choose year 4 in the end?
  4. As an NQT going in to Yr2 I feel a little more under pressure than my fellow NQT friends.
  5. I would say it depends entirely on the actual class. I did 4 years in year 1 - 2 were good and 2 were awful (alternately) then year 2, last year I was in year 5 - who were very difficult due to the actual children - severe behaviour & emotional problems etc, plus at our school there is high mobility (eg I had 9 new kids into year 5 last year and another 5 who left) this september I'm going into year 3 which I already know is a difficult class - 20 boys versus only 10 girls, 10 of the boys have IBP's for behaviour already, 8 boys and 2 girls on SEN register including one boy with a statement and one girl who still cannot use the bathroom properly and needs accompanying (!) to help reduce her soiling episodes (how I'm supposed to manage that with only part time TA support I do not yet know.) Oh joy.

  6. As others have said I think it depends on both the class and your preferences. For me I am quite sure Y6 would be the most demanding and I would not want to teach up there. Have done Y3 and 4 before and enjoy both of them. Completed two very different years with Y1 and LOVED them and next year i have year 2. Was really looking forward to that although having read this thread am now a little more apprehensive!! Sure it will be great though!!
  7. Well iamagoodgirl...not been so angry for a long time as when reading your banal and uninformed commemts!!!
    Chained to desks marking? what a laugh only time this happens is till 6.30 every night and all day Sat marking big writes at home! What marking do R and Y1 have might I ask? As for them getting on with page ??? what planet are you on? If kids are chained to desks marking test papers, who the hell do you think marks and levels these afterwards...the fairies?
    While every one else is doing art, PE, musice etc what are we doing? Trying to teach all the science topics from Y3-Y6 in a few short weeks ( obviously this will not happen next year)
    When results come out in July.. oh yes...if they are good...haven't we ALL done well!!
    If not ..What **** the Y6 teachers are!!
    I suggest you try Y6 for a while and see how much time you have to waste?
    AAGGHH!!!! must go out of back door to swear!!
  8. I am very offended by your remarks. I was not talking about YOU or generalising about Year 6 in general. I actaully said that "I would like to see our Y6 teacher cope with Reception.
    Before you slate me so publically please read my post again. I did teach Year 6 along with teacher when we had 2 Year 6 classes. I do know what Y6 involves. Thank you !
  9. Here's my post again lynnaconley, just in case.
    I think Year 1 would be the most demanding and Rec too. I teach Y3 and have in the past have had the pressures of SAT's in Year 6. I think Year 3 is the easiest once they've settled which is easy to do (even in a challenging school where I work). I have had a lot of experience with these.
    I can't imaging having 30 little people under the age of 5 to keep on track from 9 - 3 5 days a week. Few these days can manage their own coats and PE must be a nightmare.
    Year 1 are being prepared for more structured sitting activities which is hard on your own.
    I think Rec and Year 1 teachers have the toughest job and to be honest i wouldn't know where to start. I would rather have Y6 -even in my school where they are really lippy !.
    I<u> would love to see our Year 6 take Rec just for a week and see how they cope !. They certainly couldn't remain chained at their desks marking practise test papers while the class gets on with independent research or Page 42 from Abacus 6</u>
  10. In our results-driven times, the argument for Y4 would be that the adjusting to junior life is done in Y3. In addition, there is commonly a "drop off" of results between 2 and 3. In a weaker teacher this may be quite pronounced. After Y4, children have 2 years to catch up if it all goes to pot and they don't make 2 sub-levels progress.
    That's a theory - based on an idea that children are numbers and tests are king. May I make it clear that though I see the reasoning, I think this theory has some key flaws and I do not agree with it.

  11. This thread is a perfect example of how, on occasion, the teaching profession really doesn't help itself. A question which was asked (presumably) innocently, has turned teacher against teacher in a row to try and discover who works hardest!
    To my mind, the vast majority of teachers try their best and work as hard as they can to ensure the children in their care get the very best educational experience they can. Every teacher has an enormous range of challenges and to try and compare the roles of one year group with another is an entirely useless exercise. Come on people, can't we all just do our jobs and leave it at that?!
  12. I do agree with you. I do notice that while most posters respond to the orignal question, there are posters who take apart what another has said but has not directly answered the orignal question !
    Why don't posters just answer the question in their own opinion instead of a direct attack on how another poster has answered the orignal question !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. It strikes me how much teaching reminds me of parenting - in that, it doesn't really get any easier just that each stage brings it's own joys and challenges and it is all bloody hard work if you really are trying your best - as most of us are - & not that it seems to be getting me anywhere or that the ******* appreciate it!! (Sorry - have stroppy teenagers driving me mad but I lwouldn't be without them) And then... just as you've learnt from the mistakes of child number 1 you realise that child number 2, (3, 4, 5 etc..) is a different kettle of fish. Like teaching you need support more at some stages/ with some children than others) but that doesn't neccessarily make you a weak parent or teacher. My experience has been that the teaching profession generally, and this site is a wonderful example, is extremely supportive of one another .. just one of the many reasons why it is the best job is the world.
  14. Goodness there are very strong feelings about today. I think it says such a lot about all of us that even though we are on holiday we're still thinking and talking about work.
    I have, over the years taught every primary year from nursery to year 6, plus a bit of supply in secondary. I have my favourites but I would not say that any one year is less or more demanding than the others. As has been said so many times already the demands are different and if we want to do our job well - demanding it has to be. I did not go straight into teaching when I left school and worked for a bank, in accounting and foreign business. That was a demanding job too but what it lacked was the real human element - every day in teaching I feel that I have the opportunity to change someone's life, only a little maybe but how wonderful is that!!
    By the way, I do prefer upper juniors. I find them funny and interested and demanding of me in a way I find intellectually stimulating.
  15. I am thoroughly disillusioned at the moment and I do not think this is the "best job in the world". I am what you would regard as a "weaker" teacher having been outstanding in previous schools and being put in a school full of extremely high demands and extremely high flying teachers who still have the motivation to work 24/7 even after about 8 years of teaching (not me; I prefer my life, my partner and my friends thank you very much! Teaching is just a job.)
    Anyway, back to the original question.....!! I think it's all a matter of personality. I loved teaching key stage 1 because I found them refreshing and I found the curriculum far more interesting. I would much rather spend time making resources and creating exciting learning environments for my children than hours and hours of marking with improvement points.
    I am having a bitter time of teaching at the moment and it is definitely the school I am in; it breaks my heart that I left my old school! Anyway I have proved the theory right and have not done a good job of Year 4.
  16. The original question was 'Which year group is the most demanding'. A curious, innocent enough question or so I thought! Hasn't it provoked a lot of negative comments, reactions and feelings!
    I taught Year 6 last year and did find it demanding and difficult and heavy on marking. Your behaviour management skills are challenged, your subject knowledge is challenged, and you have to account for it at the end when the results are revealed and you feel a personal injustice looking at that child who came in at one mark under a level four. How absolutely disheartening is that, not just for the teacher but for the child, whose parents by this stage in their child's education know that level four is average, and their child who got a level 3 (the fact it was only one mark is irrelevant) is now considered to be underachieving as they enter the new stage in their educational career at secondary school.
    However, all that aside, I have also taught in Year 5, 3/4, 1/2, some in different schools and I found each of these just as demanding as the one I have just been through but on different levels. Every class is different, every child is different and every teacher is different with their strengths and weaknesses in all different areas. Every teacher in every school is pushing at some point and some level to prepare their class full of children to make that average level 4 and when they do, thats great, they're average!
    There is definately something wrong with our educational system when so much emphasis is put on numbers and levels and that we are only successful if we get high scores on a league table or if we work harder, stay later, mark more, etc. etc. than another teacher. Let's get back to the question. 'Which year group is the most demanding?' and the answer to the question in my opinion would be ... who was stupid enough to ask that question in the first place.
    Not only did that seemingly innocent question evoke a huge negative response as to who thinks they work harder than anyone else, it also meant clematis now truly believes he/she did not do a good job in Year 4 but it doesn't matter because year 4 is where the weaker teachers are put anyway. How very disappointing is that? The question clematis should have been asked and every single one of us as teachers should ask ourselves is 'Can I look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and say 'Today, I did all I could to be all I could'? and secondly, 'Am I better today than I was yesterday?' because only then will we know that we have made some progress regardless of the achievement of others (KS2 sats). I do hope for clematis that you could have answered yes to both of these questions every day that you failed to get the support from the school of 'high flying teachers', who in my opinion weren't so high flying if you you were left to feel inadequate and unhappy.
    I am sorry to have ranted and raved, but as with many of you I felt slightly outraged by the question in the first place and even more outraged when I saw the direction in which the discussion had turned.
  17. Shellsbells, I totally agree with you. I have been reading this thread and have been very disappointed with a lot of the comments that have been posted. Especially when it makes a teacher feel that they have failed.
    Clematis, you sound a wonderful teacher - rated outstanding. I don't think much of the teachers in your school if they make you feel so down about yourself. Ignore most of the posters on this thread. Every class has its own demands and we are all working to meet the needs of the children in our care in the best possible way. Keep your chin up, dearie, you sound fantastic.
  18. Clematis, I am so sorry that you feel the way you do.YOU sound amazing ,your school on the other hand doesn't.

  19. I think it was me who first mentioned weaker teacher and Year 4 and in hindsight perhaps I shouldn't have- I certainly meant no offence or to cause people to question themselves as a teacher simply on the back of that statement. I was simply musing on a conversation I had recently with a friend who teaches in a secondary school- she is an english teacher so you can imagine the way the conversation went! I have taught every year group in Primary and I 'personally' think Year 4 was the least demanding. I agree that a difficult class is demanding (and draining) whatever their year group and of course the school you are in and colleagues make a world of difference. However, all things being equal I think it is naive to say that Year 4 is equally demanding as Year 6.
  20. Thank you so much for all your positive responses- they meant a lot. I am hoping to start this new year afresh and do as well as I used to; just need to remind myself that I can do it, and can do it well! xx
    Olivia- your comment did hit a raw nerve. As for any year group being the least demanding, as many others have said, surely you put in as much effort with each class you teach. That said, I do think a lot of unnecessary pressure is put on Year 6 teachers, and pupils, alike. In my school, Year 6 missed out on many fun school activities because they were cramming for their tests.

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