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Being moved to KS2


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Hi, I am an NQT in a sole Reception/Nursery class in a RI school with a strong EY backgroud (Diploma in childcare, experience and specialised EY PGCE) and in the middle of my NQT year (last term ofsted graded me satisfactory). The Early Years advisor came out and said "I couldn't do a better job myself" My old mentor who loved my work left in December and my new head (my new mentor) started in Jan. She has not liked my ethos from the word go and doesn't like Reception and Nursery mixed (which I have now) she doesn't like the learning to be child led, wants more adult led and wants my teaching to be more like "teaching" if you know what I mean and heavily critised me when the children were "just playing". She wants me to do themes each week chosen by me etc. she said the children and parents can help plan the themes. I used to let them chose the themes etc and follow their lead through observations and they are making really good progress, she observed me once and said I was unsatisfactory and then started supporting me to improve how she wanted it, I am going along with it being an NQT and because of my Ofsted grading I want to be better than that. Then a week later after telling me how to improve I am told I am being moved to Year 4 from Sept to improve my teaching and she is moving someone from KS2 (with no EY training) to Reception as she wants a more experienced teacher in Reception. I don't know what to do I don't want to be in KS2 I want to carry on doing the job I love which I am trained for. I tried to talk her round but she said she said she has spoken to the goveners, the NQT leader of the county council and the deal is done. Just want to give up :(

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Guest tinkerbell

Hi Katherine ,

I am so sorry that you have been treated so terribly when you are clearly doing a great job. It is a sad day when qualified ,talented early years practitioners are pushed out because Head teachers are panicking over 'paper based results' eg elg for writing requires children to write in sentences ... (this was a level 1 requirement of the National Curriculum year1 target)

I recently commented on the need for a 'balance' to get everything done and have spent many years trying to do just that. We are caught between 'a rock and a hard place' here and it needs strength from your head teacher to support you in delivering a curriculum suitable for your children not to make you and them 'jump through hoops!'

Your head teacher has already spoken to govs etc which is a shame when you could have perhaps negotiated mentor advice from a nearby school with a more experienced early years teacher, or indeed the local LEA advisor who supports your practice could have talked to your head teacher.

You are at the beginning of your career and this has been a big knock. You could look for another job or you could bite the bullet and teach year4 the experience will either confirm you definitely want to teach early years or it may widen your horizons for the possibilities in the future.

I don't know the make up of your school but head teachers do have to juggle all sorts of staffing issues and your head teacher may think she is giving you a broader teaching experience and helping you by asking you to teach in KS2.If you like the school and generally get on with staff and headteacher think carefully before you move.

good luck and don

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This is hard. you look as if you have worked hard to get where you are, unfortuately heads are often from upper ks2 and just don't get eyfs. Some are also of the opinion that it is good practice to move staff around to give themexperience. I would speak to the eyf advisor for advice as she has knowledge of your school.

You still have time to look for another post for September in a different school. It may be that you will struggle to get on with this head in the future and may be better off making a fresh start with the NQT out of the way.

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Guest littlemissblonde

Hi

I am currently a early years manager and have been for a number of years but have worked in all year groups within primary school.

Whilst I disagree with your heads ethos regarding early years I understand why she wants to expand your experiences and develop your skills as a teacher. Lots of heads regularly move their staff around and your ks2 colleague will probably be just as apprehensive.

 

I would try to see it as a positive move as a chance to work with different people and develop planning and delivery skills. Take some of your early years creativity and child centred planning and teach ks2 staff a different approach.

 

If you give it a chance you may really enjoy it if not you will have more experience when applying for jobs the following year

 

Good luck

 

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The main thing you must focus on is passing your NQT induction year.

I would advise you contact your LA NQT induction manager (hopefully you have one!) and discuss any implications of the unsatisfactory observation as a matter of urgency, (was this judged inadequate or requires improvement as that makes a big difference). Presumably your HT has not completed the second assessment period yet?

 

I would also contact your Union and seek advice from them.

 

You may not like what your HT wants you to be doing but it is your HT who has to sign off your assessments and you need them to be passing you in the Summer to complete your induction and remain qualified to teach in mainstream. September isn't the issue to be worrying about right now, passing your NQT year successfully is.

 

For whatever reason it's quite normal for teachers to move around as other people may want experience in different year groups, I trained for 3 - 7 but have taught everything from nursery to year 6. For career progression later you really need to be experienced in the 3 different key stages in Primary or you can remain without the broader knowledge and experience required to take on middle and senior leadership roles later on.

 

 

Cx

Edited by catma
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Yes of course I am focusing on passing my NQT year 1st I don't think that is an issue otherwise my head would be discussing that with me and she hasn't so far but I have not had the chance to improve yet as only just been given any instruction and support in the last couple of weeks. Anyway I still don't know what to do, do you think a good early years teacher needs to have worked in other years? I don't want to be head or assistant head in the future I just want to be a good early years teacher.

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OK, but you did say the HT had graded your observation as inadequate, and indicated they had issues with the quality of teaching and learning which is why they want you to do things differently. That is what concerned me.

 

You may feel that you want to stay in one primary phase now, now but why box your future options off? I also think that having a good understanding of the skills children need to have in future makes you understand where they need to be in your class more. You are more involved in their overall journey then, not just the bit you happen to teach that year.

Cx

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When I first started teaching I could only get jobs with a fixed term contract and I couldn't think beyond just 'being a teacher'. A couple of years in to finally having a permanent contract I felt that I was ready to do more. Even if I never become part of the SMT I have curriculum leadership roles where an understanding of what other key stages and year groups have to do helps.

 

I haven't (as yet!) taught KS2 but I have taught KS1 as well as EYFS and I do find that it really helps me to have a sense of where they're going once they leave me and what they have to do. It can influence how I do things - not that I necessarily change what I do but I might use a particular phrase or vocab or think differently about the sequence I introduce something in.

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Hi Katherine.

I can understand your frustration, I never wanted to work outside of the Phase I trained for either (I trained for early years and my first job was in a secondary school!). In a way you only have two choices, and only you can decide which you want to take. You can stick it out, try another year group and hope that gives you a more enjoyable experience; or you can look for other jobs in early years. The reality is that Heads do like teachers who can drop into any year group. My own view, contentious it may be, is that very few teachers and great in every year group, and most of us have an age group we just really prefer. Consequently we do a better job at it. There is nothing wrong in that, but at some point you will need some experience outside of early years, and if not in this school it will be in another in the future.

 

One consolation for you, though, is that people often say its easier going up than down.. the words spoken to me as I finished my teaching practice in nursery and then took my first job teaching lower set year 10-11 still ring true in my ears.

 

Would I go back to anything but EY now? Nope, not a chance

Did I appreciate the experience of doing it? Definitely. I can hand on heart say I have taught everything from nursery to A level, and I have learned something from every age group along the way.

 

Good luck with completing your NQT year, and with deciding how your future lies. On balance Id stay at least 2 years in one place before moving on.

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Oh dear what an awful situation to be in. The reality is that in a school you might have been employed as a reception teacher as I have but there is no guarantee you'll stay there -my head meets with each teacher each year and tells them where they will be for the next year. It sounds to me like your head has panicked, being new in role and faced with a 'satisfactory' ofsted result which as you know satisfactory is no longer considered satisfactory she has looked for a solution. She obviously has a vision of what she wants reception to look like based on what she has experienced before (rightly or wrongly!) and it is different to what she is seeing from you. There is a massive range in approaches in reception as you will already know and come across on this forum. I was told by my early years advisor that direct teaching and adult planned activities should account for a half of the week in reception and the other half for child initiated and sustained shared thinking and i tend to follow this ratio loosly but the contexts for learning are all child initiated. Much as you will feel this situation is grossly unfair and you have been Ill treated, I think you'll have to live with it. You have half the year left to actively prove her wrong! ( that would be my attitude anyway!) get your early years advisor in to help you and observe you. You are going to need a reference from this head if ever you are going to look for something else in the future, be it this year or not so be proactive.

I do think it is essential for EYFS teachers to have experience of other age groups in a school, although EYFS is its own little bubble, you are still part of a team ensuring a fluid journey for children through their school career and it is a hindrance to not know what comes later. I have taught from YR to Y6 in my teaching career and my home is YR but I thoroughly enjoyed KS2 and I'm sure you will too. Embrace it and inject some child initiated and creativity into KS2. I would also go to the head and ask whether after a year she would put you back in YR again and see what her reaction is.

 

Good luck!

Deb

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Me again! Just to add....I have taught secondary, inc A level, KS 2 KS 1 and early years for the last 6 years. At the tender age of 54, I know I have found my spiritual home in the nursery. As a qualified teacher I know my head can put me wherever they want, but I would not stay very long if moved back to KS 2. I have worked too hard to learn this very demanding, rewarding and special key stage and I am not going to be shoved around just to suit a head's often heard phrase....it's good for your professional development...... Which might turn out to really mean.....this move is convenient for the school.

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No offence, personally I don't think NQTs should teach in the Foundation Stage.

 

Too much skilled and specific knowledge needed that can only come with experience. For effective learning and assessment during CIL teachers need to know the DM statements inside out.

 

Teaching in another Key Stage, developing one's own classroom management style, is best.

 

Just my opinion.

Edited by ChrisAR
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Have to disagree with you Chris. Although as an NQT I have a lot to learn I do know the DM statements inside out, just because you are an 'NQT' it doesn't automatically mean you don't have any prior knowledge or skills of the EYFS, I am not 21 with no life experience I am 35 and have two children of my own. I have been studying the EYFS for years and have a very good knowledge of observations etc. teachers in other classes will not. Also how are you ever going to learn the EYFS requirements outside the Foundation Stage? Experienced doesn't automatically mean being an expert.

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I'm also an NQT but I've spent 9 years before doing my PGCE working in a preschool, where I was variously an unqualified member of staff, a level 3, a deputy, an acting manager and the EYP. I also have three children of my own, and I've taught undergraduates on a foundation degree in early years practice. I know the DM statements better than the teacher of twenty years who is also teaching some of reception in my school because she might not be an NQT but she has never done early years.

 

On the other hand, despite doing placements and assignments in KS1 I don't know the National Curriculum inside out at all. For me that knowledge would only come with using it day-in-day out. NQT certainly doesn't mean not experienced in early years, and experience doesn't come directly with expertise.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it is really sad to be pulled out of a year group that you are trained in and 'experienced in'( I would very much value your life experience as 'experience' and see no issue with you being an NQT in your role)

 

If there was an issue then you need to fix it, with support in post, not moved to a year group where you are going to be teaching in a very different way in a very new curriculum.

 

Unfortunately too many managers and heads feel they need to 'fix' reception by bringing in more formal learning, that's not what we are about. We are getting them 'ready' for school not teaching them in year 1, grrrrrrr

 

As for moving year groups - it is a good thing to do, although quite traumatic - but not one I would do until you had a few years in one place! I taught in KS2 for 12 years and asked to have some time in KS1 - i was offered reception (or nothing) and have never looked back. In fact I wish I had done it sooner, but then my life experiences (having two kids) has clearly shaped my FS work, and it may have worked out differently if I hadn't had them first!

 

Just wondering how the Year 4 teacher feels about going into your FS class - it might not be their dream come true either?

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Apparently thats what Ofsted wants to see these days, more formal structured learning whereas I like the more individual approach if you know the goals then you know how to teach them in a playful way with things that interest them and I know it works better that way as I have seen it. Makes me wonder if they actually do have a clue. At the end of the day my children have made outstanding progress, the EY advisor came in last week said I was doing an amazing job and if I was moderated there would be no issues as I have all the evidence and couldn't believe it either.

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Guest LornaW

KatherineH I would have to disagree with you as regards Ofsted and EYFS. Had a meeting just recently with an Ofsted inspector to ask what they are looking for and it was NOT formality. They wouldn't expect to see the children on the carpet for too long, are looking at adult interactions with the children in CI time and also the deployment of the additional adult. They have not set ideas on planning and often do not even ask to see it!All good stuff as far as I can see and of course each inspector varies but we have a responsibility to ourselves and to the children to work in the way we know it best for children. If your Ofsted team don't undeerstand then we must stand up for what is right.

 

For those with SLT and HT who don't know anything about EYFS then keep offering them articles, give them their own copy of DM etc drip away at them ask them to go on traininng etc etc.

 

Go on you know what it right!!!!

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When I say more structured learning I don't mean sitting on the carpet I mean more adult initiated learning rather than child initiated for example they want to see adults directing play / always have an adult focused activity going on inside and outside which the adult is leading not the child I am getting that impression anyway which may be wrong I don't know?

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It is however in the Statutory Framework in para 1.9 There is an ongoing judgement to be made by practitioners about the balance between activities led by children, and activities led or guided by adults. Practitioners must respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction. As children grow older, and as their development allows, it is expected that the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1.

 

Cx

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Guest LornaW

As children grow older, and as their development allows, it is expected that the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1.

 

Agreed but there is still place for child initiative and what they are looking for during that time is shared sustained activities!

 

Lorna

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Hi I have recently been on training in my area of quality child initiated play and was told that there have been a lot of issues recently with a spate of Ofsted inspectors not having the appropriate knowledge and understanding of EYFS when assessing Foundation stage and this has been complained about by my County Early Years team. I honestly don't think I have been judged accurately and my Early Years advisor agrees with me. There should be a 50/50 split in child led and adult led during reception and I believe that Year 1 should be getting ready for reception not reception getting ready for Year 1 and this is the only error in the new EYFS. If you have no CI time at the end of reception you won't be able to report on the Characteristics of learning or be able to make an accurate judgement on the children reaching their ELGs. The CI time should not have an objective we should be supporting, scaffolding and getting enthusiastic with children about their learning. I have learnt soooo much this year as awful as the last few months have been, I hope I can now find a school that understands Early Years and supports my knowledge.

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