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I am an NQT, going to be teaching foundation part time :). Could do with some advice about what you usually get ready for September over the summer holidays? I have had a look at planning and putting children into groups, what else??


Good luck everyone!




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Hi Hannah,


I know how you feel as I am also feeling a bit worried about what I need to do.

I'm also going into a reception class and have spent the last couple of weeks trying to sort my classroom into areas of learning and getting rid of the million tables that were in there.

Over the past few days I have been trying to sort my class into groups, labeling, making numberlines etc for displays but not sure what you do on the first few days the children are in.


All a bit scary - so ANY words of wisdom will be gratefully received :o


Net xx

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Hi both, I am a Reception teacher. I've done my groups in the holidays and prepared things like a welcome letter (explaining what they need to have in school e.g. PE kit, water bottle, what our topics are for the year etc), class list. I've also made sure my class is tidy and organised and done my planning (I've changed my topics this year). First week or so, I tend to plan getting to know you activities, decorate their books, make an "Our Class" display and organise their initial assessments. Hope that helps x

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I'm a Reception teacher and getting my head back into school mode! Going into school on Monday to re arrange some areas of the classroom just to make things a little different from last year.


My advice would be not to spend too much time planning before the start of term. It's good to have a basic idea of the sort of activities you would like to suggest to the children but the most important thing is getting to know the children e.g. their interests, strengths etc and building relationships with them. I normally spend the first day playing with the children and then at the end of the day my TA and I discuss the popular activities chosen, discussion subjects etc to support my planning for the next day. It's not really worth trying to plan too far ahead at this early stage.


The most important thing is to enjoy meeting your first 'real' class and becoming tuned in to their thoughts and opinions.


Have fun!

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I'm an NQT and I have Nursery, although I have already done half a term as an unqualified teacher so I'm not nervous about starting now - I'm excited and I want to be more prepared than I was when I started in June!!


I'm looking forward to sharing ideas and hopefully getting some (and give some) support through my first year! :o



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Hello people


I am an NQT starting in Reception. The advice I've been given is like that of bgfrancis - to spend the first 2 weeks getting to know the children and generally settling them in, carrying out assessments etc. I took some pictures of the children last term when they came to visit me on transition days so I will make a display of these to make the children feel welcome.


I am lucky that I have 2 days in school with my TA and the rest of the Reception team before the children start to arrive so I can get a lot of classroom stuff done then. I have some nice stories about making friends and as my class intake is staggered I have a lot of time to really get to know the children before the whole class are in together :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

It's nice to know that there are some other NQTs here!!!


First 'proper' post on the forum and sorry it's sooooo long to read !! Could I ask for advice?

I'm in an odd situation as I was only offered my job as a nursery teacher 2 weeks ago due to the nursery deciding that they were going to split their intake into 2 classes and thus needed an additional teacher. I had my induction day and got to meet parents last week, which was a bit of an intense day! I was also told that I'm having to share a classroom with the other usual teacher while they are building my additional classroom as an extension!!! :o I start on monday (morning children are in and afternoon is inset though!!!) and have no idea of what to do!!!! I don't know the staff, daily routines (some children were movedup to preschool class in april and others have been in through the holidays with some of the staff), i dont know how the registration system works, what their current planning looks like or anything!!! The general plan is to share responsibility for planning between the teachers and , but the other teacher is away til tuesday, nothing is decided upon at all except the topic (All about me) which the nursery staff are all supposed to be going to help put ideas into to inform planning later next week. I half think that I should be going in with at least the first week or few days planned and at at least knowing routines. No one else seems to mind, and all are very supportive, but I feel so unprepared!!! I have a class list, staff have taken care of pegs, labels, displays, planning sheets displayed by areas of provision etc for new term already!!! Do you see anything else that I should be doing?


I've been told that I could ask the other staff to do morning introduction/register and show me the usual routines on monday if I want, but I don't know if that's a good idea or not! There would usually be 2 teachers and 4 nursery assistants. Monday there will be me and the 4 usual nursery staff.


I'm expected to plan an activity for carpet time, and I think I need to plan an adult-led activity for myself to do with the children (as I usually would need to do!) but I don't know if I need to plan anything for the other staff?! I've been told that they sometimes decide on their own activities and run them. Should I let the other staff support me and jointly try to do morning routines, should I let them show me, or should I try to be more assertive and just get on with it myself?!


I also think that I'll plan something simple like a name game for carpet time and an activity where I get children to find their name cards, then choose their favourite colour pen and I model writing their name on a label for them (Just to help me get to know each child!!!!) I don't know what resources are there really except the basics so it's difficult thinking of ideas!!!!! (I'm usually full of amazing ideas, but I think I'm a bit shocked still after the getting the job/induction/parents meetings all last week!!!!


The other teacher didn't seem too worried about me doing wonderful planning everything from day 1, just that i should 'get to know the children'.


I like to be organised, but should I be so worried?! Should I just plan carpet time and the one adult-led activitiy and go with the flow when I get there?! I'm starting to go into 'panic' mode now and any advice or ideas on what other's would do if you were in this situation would be very VERY welcome!!!! Thanks in advance for any advice you could give me!!! :)

Edited by Guest
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I'm afraid I've never been a nursery teacher so am probably not much use and I've only just seen this post so in a way am too late but wanted to say 'don't panic!' getting to know the children is just fine. It's exactly what I shall be doing when my new reception children start tomorrow.


Not knowing routines and organisation stuff seems like a huge thing at this stage (and it bothers me too) but it's amazing just how quickly it becomes second nature to you. All will be well!

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Congratulations to you all and good luck for your first teaching posts! I'm just starting my 4th official year of teaching but did a couple of years of supply before doing my NQT year so have been around the block a bit now! It seems really odd though because it only seems like 2 minutes ago that I was an NQT!

Anyway... a nice activity for the first week is to make time capsules. Some things you can put in are:

- Hand and foot prints

- Writing or annotated drawings about favourite things (toys, stories, songs etc)

- Attempt at writing own name

- Targets (I would like to get better at...)

- Photograph accompanied by self portrait

- Measurement sheet (height, head circumference etc)


Give each child a kitchen roll tube to decorate or let them decorate a piece of card and roll it into a tube. Roll up all the papers and put them inside, seal the ends with tissue paper and elastic bands and put them away in a cupboard until the end of the year.

This is a really nice way to spend some 1:1 time with them, chatting and having fun, and so getting to know the children individually. It gives you some ideas about their interests and so could give you starting points when deciding on topics (make sure to keep a record of the targets they come up with before they get sealed up!). It's equally as nice at the end of the year when they open up their time capsules and can see how much they've achieved in the year and how much they've grown. Some of the activities can be repeated at the end to be compared, e.g. Writing name, hand prints, favourite things.

I hope this is helpful... I'd actually forgot about this activity, might do it again myself!

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