So that’s it, I’ve survived my week long placement at a primary school. On Monday morning I was terrified, and at 5pm on Friday I’m sighing with relief that the weekend is rushing towards us. The week went quick, in all honesty. There weren’t any aspects of the placement I particularly disliked, besides the forced smile at 9am when I’d much rather still be in bed…
So what did I get to do?
Well, because I wanted an all round classroom experience, I told the head teacher that I’d like to be placed in all the years over the week. Though she didn’t do this in order… On Monday I was with reception and then Year 3; on Tuesday I was with Year 3 and then a mixed class of receptions and year 1s; on Wednesday I was with Year 5s and 6s; on Thursday I had the joys of Years 4, 6 and another mixed class of Years 1/2 and finally today I was with the Nurture group, the mixed class of Years 1 and 2 again and finally, Year 2.
The best part about seeing all the years was seeing how the curriculum varied through a child’s life in primary school. For example, in reception they were asked what they’d like to learn about “Water, Water Everywhere” which was the topic for that half term. However, this lasted a short 15 minutes and was followed by a long play session before break time. The Year 6s on the other hand had a much stricter timetable of play (in set groups and activities) before Literacy, Maths, Science. One thing each year had in common was guided reading, which I helped with in Year 3 and Year 2, and distracted half the class while the mixed reception and Year 1 class did theirs.
Comparing it to high school, or at least my memory of high school, I can see I barely remember primary school at all. I doubt I paid much attention besides faking illnesses to go home and using any excuse to sneak into the staff room- Yes, now that was a strange experience being allowed in there at lunch time.
One thing that I really struggled with was controlling the class, or at least the group I’d be assigned to. On the one hand, I knew screaming at children constantly would get no response on the other acting like their friend wasn’t too great either since it was usually me causing the chatter! Another matter was memorising names and I’ve got to admit, it would be near impossible for me to recall more than a handful even now.