For some children literacy and
specifically writing fills them with dread and the thought of writing a story
causes a great deal of anxiety to them. This may be for a number of reasons
such as fear of spelling the words correctly, fine motor skills issues that
make it physically difficult to write or struggling for ideas, whichever of
these reasons is causing the pupil to be reluctant to write it is the teacher’s
job to try to help and support these children so that they can become confident
writers in the future.
Motivating children to want to
write is a key principle here and different stimuli work for different
children. It is thought that boy writers are more inclined to prefer
non-fiction writing such as instructions or reports and girl writers are more
motivated to write stories however this is a generalisation and is not always
the case. Boys may be motivated to write a story if it is an adventure story or
if it is set out as a graphic novel or cartoon strip and girls may enjoy
writing a non-fiction booklet about a topic that interests them.
Once a suitable purpose for
writing has been established many children will overcome other issues as long
as they are given praise and encouragement for their efforts along the way.
This Christmas is going to be like
no other. Although we are all hoping that we will be able to get to see at
least some of our loved ones, it is likely to be a lot quieter than usual.
Schools are having to have a rethink about how they do all of their usual
activities on the build up to Christmas as many of them will either have to be
scrapped completely or changed to allow for social distancing.
Christmas plays in many schools
have been cancelled or some have decided to just do them per class and film
them for the parents to watch from the comfort of their own home. Another tradition
that has had to be rethought is the Christmas disco that many children have at
their school. These again will not be able to take place as they normally
would, but many are having a small party or film day in their own individual
class bubbles. Christmas fayres will not be able to go ahead but the school may
still be able to run a raffle etc. Although you as a parent may feel like your
child is missing out, they actually on the whole seem rather excited that it is
something a bit different this year.
Teaching has had to change
drastically this year with strict Covid restrictions coming in to play. Often
as Christmas approaches teachers are busy planning Christmas plays and winding
down the class ready for the break but it is very unlikely that Christmas plays
will be going ahead this year and if they do, they will be somewhat different.
You may find it hard to get the
children to concentrate as much as they often start to get excited and may
easily become distracted but rather than getting stressed by this, embrace it
and start to bring Christmas in to your lesson plans. Think of way in which you
can incorporate Christmas to plan an exciting and creative lesson that the
children will love getting involved in. For example, you may set a task that
they need to write a letter to Father Christmas or using math work out how long
it would take him to visit every child in the UK on Christmas eve.
It is also important to teach
children the background behind Christmas and where it all started from as many children
may simply think it is all about presents etc.
For a number of years now many
teachers have complained that too much is expected of them and that they should
have more help in the classroom and also time to prepare, plan and mark work.
Most teachers have a TA working with them but often they do not have a TA with
them all day. IF the teacher needs to go out the room, they cannot leave the
children unattended so this makes it very hard for them if they have no TA.
A teaching assistant can sit with
a small group of children or sometimes one or two individuals to help them with
the task that has been set. It is their job to ensure that the child
understands what they need to do and to possible help them explore the answers.
IF you are struggling to control a
disruptive class then you may decide to split the class up and ask the TA to
take a group so you can concentrate more of your attention on the ones that may
At present, although they want to
limit the number of teachers that have contact with the students, they also
need to ensure that they have adequate cover should a teacher go off ill or
There are a
wide variety of primary schools in the UK ranging from large academies catering
for in excess of a thousand pupils to small rural primaries which have just two
classes and a total of less than fifty pupils on roll. It is a matter of
personal choice which setting suits you as a primary school teacher with some
teachers starting out at one end of the spectrum and changing their preference
as they progress with their career but does it make a difference to your career
progression and is a larger school better to work in if you have set your
sights on a headship?
The most obvious
variance is that a larger school will usually have a higher turnover of staff
giving the current staff the opportunity to apply for other roles in the
school. On the other hand, it is easier in a smaller setting to take on extra curriculum
responsibilities giving teachers the chance to develop their leadership skills
in a less threatening environment.
for CPD, that is continuing professional development, in a small school may be
insufficient to allow staff to undergo a wide range of training each year thus
restricting the opportunity to access the qualifications needed to enable
career progression. This should not hold back an ambitious teacher however and
promotion prospects should be explored at the annual professional review that
each teacher is entitled to.