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All Change at the Chalkface

There are changes ahead and Miranda thinks that her supply teaching experience has prepared her well. 

My primary supply teaching experience this year has really helped to set me up for the months ahead when all primary practitioners will be taking on the new primary curriculum. As ever, through supply work, I have had the opportunity to see how different schools have taken on the challenge of delivering to the new curriculum.

Some schools have identified and divvied up the new areas of the curriculum so that one teacher can then cascade her knowledge to other staff members, while others schools have simply plunged in early  or introduced new learning in core subjects only. I also know of a number of schools who have left it to the teachers to figure out by themselves over the summer ‘holidays’.

I’ve seen some great practice in teaching discrete grammar sessions already  with a number of schools taking a phonics style approach to organising the lessons – a  fast and furious 15-min session, based on the revise, revisit,  teach, practice and apply method. Of course, as a supply teacher, unless you have just walked out of university a couple of months ago (hello and welcome!) then we have to educate ourselves and do it now.

One thing I plan to do to prepare – other than to swot up on my history timeline – is to buck up my grammar, making sure that I really do know what makes a subordinate clause subordinate and can explain it clearly to someone else; and what exactly is the nature of a fronted adverbial (I notice that many teachers have already digested the terminology and are bent on pepping it up into something more child-friendly. I’ve seen foodie displays on ‘sandwich sentences’ which refer to the subordinate clause as a ‘filler’ to add flavour to the sentence).  

Aside from swotting away at home, there are also plenty of brilliant courses around to support teachers in delivering the new primary curriculum. The NUT has its finger on the pulse and has set about bridging gaps in confidence and knowledge for teachers, by offering courses on ways of teaching history, teaching reading for pleasure and updating skills in information technology. Some of these are free for members. Many supply teaching agencies are also running free courses over the summer.

Good luck preparing everyone! But most of all enjoy a little r and r before returning to the chalkface to start chipping away again. 

Miranda is a primary teacher who has worked with Protocol Education and is a regular blogger for us.

Tags: Miranda, Manchester, NQT, supply

Category: Australian Teachers

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