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Report on Preliminary School Experience.

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Introduction

Report on Preliminary School Experience. I undertook my preliminary school experience in the Spring Bank Primary School, Headingley, Leeds. Sprig Bank Primary has 198 pupils on roll. Children in this school come from different cultural and ethnical backgrounds, 30 per cent of children speak English as additional language, and 15 per cent of children are entitled to free school meals. Children are taught in mixed abilities age groups. During the first week of my preliminary school experience I mostly observed children in Year 2, while helping the teacher with the range of activities including working with small groups during Literacy and Numeracy hours as well as helping during other subject lessons. The second week I mostly spend observing teaching and learning process in Year 6, while working with a pupil with mild learning difficulties. This arrangement gave me an opportunity to observe a progression in teaching the National Curriculum not only within one year group but also within different age groups and different Key Stages. Year 2 and Year 6 groups were particularly interesting as they are going to take National Tests for Key Stage 1 and 2 at the end of the academic year. My main teaching subject is mathematics and I was particularly interested in the National Curriculum for mathematics. The school follows the National Numeracy Strategy and the Framework for teaching mathematics from Reception to Year 6 published by the Department for Education and Employment. ...read more.

Middle

After returning to the same topic during the next two years Year 6 pupils will be able to find the difference between a positive and a negative number. When learning to calculate, Reception pupils are begin with relating addition to combining two groups of objects and subtraction to 'taking away'. In Year 2 multiplication is being introduced as repeated addition and division as repeated subtraction or sharing. In Year 3 children learn to recognise that division is the inverse of multiplication. This way teaching of the more complicated methods of calculations is based on the using the simpler ones, which children already know. Throughout their years at the primary school children are progressing from simply calculating results to be able to estimate and check them. Year 2 pupils are starting to check results of their calculations repeating addition in different order and by Year 4 children should understand concept of inverse operations and to be able to use it to check results. At the same time they are starting to approximate results beforehand. By Year 6 children should confidently use different strategies for estimating and checking their results such as checking with inverse operation when using calculator, checking the sum of several numbers by adding in reverse order, using their knowledge of properties of odd and even numbers. In Reception children are starting to learn about measures by making direct comparisons of lengths or masses and by filling and emptying containers. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the end of the academic year all the children are taking SATs, which are statutory in Years 2 and 6. Results of those assessments allow to follow progress of each child throughout his or her time in the primary school. All teachers are supplied with the same Framework document, which gives details on what should be taught and how from Reception to the Year 6. This allows teachers to either come back to the objectives taught last year or to provide teaching materials and learning activities for the more able pupils within the same framework. Teacher in Year 6 is supplied with teaching plans and examples for the Year 7, which she could use for the pupils working on the level 5 of the National Curriculum. The Framework for teaching Mathematics is designed in a way that progression is included in it. If the whole school is following the same scheme of work then progression is implemented automatically. As all primary schools are adapting similar system of teaching mathematics it should make easier transition of children from primary to secondary schools as well as transition of a single pupil between different primary schools. I found my preliminary teaching experience very interesting and beneficial for my future training as a secondary teacher. During two weeks I learned a lot about the system of teaching in a primary school, about the National Curriculum and about children themselves. I believe it is important to be aware of live in a primary school in order to teach successfully in a secondary school. ...read more.

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