Why teaching primary is important
For the vast majority of primary teachers, you are the main teacher for your class and will be with them all day every day. Primary teachers can teach young children from the ages of five through to the age of eleven.
As a primary classroom practitioner, you will be expected to teach all of the National Curriculum subjects as well as providing pastoral guidance and support with the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and moral development of the pupils in your class.
It is such an exciting time, and every day is different! For example, you could be teaching about fractions and amounts in mathematics, moving swiftly onto modelling the use of fronted adverbials in English, to then investigating the polar regions and the effects of global warming in geography on the afternoon.
Teaching primary children is such a privilege and responsibility. We are given the task of developing those effective relationships with children’s first educators (their parents), igniting, and instilling a love of learning to establishing the building blocks of learning through classroom routines ensuring our children are secondary ready for comprehensive school. Whilst endeavouring, our children develop respectful attitudes, are culturally aware and become model citizens for the society we live in.
The qualities that make an outstanding primary teacher
To become a high quality successful primary teacher you need:
To have high aspirations and want the best for every child you work with as they only get one chance at education!
To be a reflective and an adaptive practitioner as each child is a unique individual.
To be flexible and be able to think on your feet as a primary school is a ‘live’ place and things can change at a fast pace.
A deep understanding of the subjects and curriculum which they teach. As such, you need to be driven to improve your subject knowledge, engage in pertinent educational research and model life-long-learning.
An engaging classroom presence.
To be committed, enthusiastic and passionate.
Great communication skills and be organised
Empathy, caring and patience
Subject knowledge needed to teach primary
Prior to starting the course, you will have access to a reading list of both core and subject-specific books which you will access during your training year. As part of our interview process candidates are asked to complete a subject knowledge audit. This can be used by the trainee before starting the course, not only to develop subject knowledge in key areas of the primary curriculum, but also to build upon this knowledge throughout the training year.
Researching the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 & 2 and Development Matters (non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years’ foundation stage) can also be most helpful. We also ask our new trainees to sign up with subject specific organisations and leading educationalists to ensure they are kept fully informed of latest research and developments.
Overview of our primary course
Sept: Core training and mini placements
Oct: Subject-specific training, core training and first teaching placement preparation
Nov-Dec: First teaching placement (6 weeks) and Newcastle University Teaching Conference (1 week)
Jan: Core training, subject-specific training and mini placements
Feb: Subject-specific training and second teaching placement preparation
Feb-May: Second teaching placement (11 weeks)
Jun: Personalised mini placement and QTS (qualified teacher status) interview
Ongoing, bespoke subject-specific SCITT Tutor support is provided throughout our programme. Our SEDD (Subject Enhancement and Delivery Days) programme enables trainees to work with outstanding primary subject leaders and teachers in all National Curriculum subjects.
Whilst on teaching placements trainees are supported by expert classroom practitioners and school subject leaders too. Our primary SCITT team have the privilege of supporting you personally every step of the way on your journey to becoming an effective, high-quality Early Career Teacher.
Brush up on your subject knowledge
You may be eligible for a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) programme before you start your teacher training year. The programmes are available to enhance or refresh subject knowledge. Find out more information here.