S1 & S7: Returning after Second School

This is my first week back at my host school after being on placement. I have quickly learned that I had to re-establish myself as class teacher for my year 4 class, along side my mentor. I took charge straight away on the first morning back by taking the register, setting a starter activity and my leading the first main lesson of the day. I have been re-iterating my expectations to the class stating that the class is a safe place to make mistakes, and that I am more interested in the children making an effort. (TS1.1 – Grade 2 – Uses a range of strategies to establish a safe and secure environment, which is stimulating and rooted in mutual respect).

I have stretched and challenged the pupils across literacy and history (topic). The literacy work has been differentiated and challenged the children appropriately. The children revisited features of non-chronological reports after I assessed that they didn’t initially meet the objective fully. With a change of input, they were able to meet the lesson objective. The pronouns lesson went very well, and the children were stretched without it being too difficult. Some children moved on to peer assessing each other’s work.

For topic work, the children were learning about Stonehenge. They used Padlet for the first time which was a success, worked collaboratively in groups of 10 and presented their work to the class. They then considered what building learning powers they had used. The topic lesson was a success with the children being engaged and absorbed in their own learning). (TS1.2 – Grade 2 – Is able to set goals that stretch, challenge and motivate pupils across the curriculum. Uses strategies to support the learning and progress of underperforming groups, across the curriculum).

Throughout the week, I have modelled the positive attitudes, values and behaviour – for example: no speaking when I am, no talking on the carpet except when asked to, hands up if you want to answer the question, tidy classroom when asked, walk around the class nicely, share resources, using manners. I have been calm and confident throughout, and can be firm when required. I have been able to focus that children are here to learn by rebuking one child that he was wasting the learning time of others, which was not fair (which worked well). This week, I have displayed a PowerPoint slide displaying one of the school rules to focus on (Be polite and remember your manners). I gave ideas on how this could be achieved, and asked pupils at the end of the school day for examples of how they have displayed their actions. (TS1.3 – Grade 2 – Consistently demonstrates and models the positive attitudes, values and behaviour which are expected of pupils).

I have focused a lot of attention on promoting and managing behaviour in the class, in order to re-establish myself as the class teacher. At all stages I have encouraged children to behave well, use verbal praise and been swift to challenge poor behaviour. I have given some warnings to children which has worked. I have reacquainted myself with the school’s behaviour policy and I am comfortable with using the escalation procedure if necessary. (TS7.1 – Grade 2 – In accordance with the school’s behaviour policy, takes responsibility for and is able to promote and manage behaviour in the classroom well to ensure a good and safe learning environment. Encourages pupils to behave well in the classroom and around the school and display good levels of courtesy and co-operation and is able to tackle bullying, including cyber and prejudice-based (and homophobic) bullying).

I have set a high level of behaviour and have been firm with children where required. For good behaviour, I have used house points, table points, positive praise, stickers, lining up first. For poor behaviour, I have moved children to another table, moved sitting positions on the carpet, moved children to sit on the carpet away from others, been firm, and have given verbal warnings for their behaviour to change. I have been focusing on the behaviour and not the child. (For example, when WWC moved carpet position as instructed, I then praised his good choice and how he was sitting). (TS7.2 – Grade 2 – Sustains high expectations of behaviour. Establishes and maintains or applies the school’s framework for discipline, using a range of strategies).

I have motivated the children through use of countdown’s, tidying the table first, first to sit on the carpet. I have changed my lessons to make them interesting and motivating (non-chronological reports). For topic lesson, I reconfigured the tables to create space for an imprint of a Sarsen stone (Stonehenge). This created a lot of curiosity and the children were keen to take part in the lesson. They were further motivated by the use of the iPads to conduct their Stonehenge research. (TS7.3 – Grade 2 – Manages a good level of pupil motivation and involvement using a range of approaches appropriate to the pupils’ needs).

I believe I have had a good start to the next stage of my main placement. The children are pleased to see me back. I have demonstrated that I can act decisively and have appropriate authority. Throughout the week, I have not had any serious incidents to deal with. I have a firm belief that low- level disruption should be dealt with quickly to stop anything building up. Having a fun and motivating lesson also helps in preventing any behavioural issues. (TS7.4 – Grade 2 – Demonstrates good relationships with pupils and exercises appropriate authority, and acts decisively when necessary).

I need to keep on focusing on the school behaviour policy. I have re-established myself as a class teacher and they know I am in charge when teaching. I need to make my lessons exciting, fun and interactive, but at the same time make sure that they are learning and being challenged. Before any behaviour starts changing for the worse, look at keeping things fresh with new ideas in order to promote excellence.

 Focused next steps:

More slides focusing on different areas of the school rules – use as necessary

Be firm where necessary

Start the day on a good footing with the children