Becoming a Primary School Teacher in the United Kingdom

A primary school teacher teaches fundamental concepts and courses to students according to the objectives set by the school curriculum. In addition to developing a close relationship with students in the classroom, a teacher is also required to evaluate the progress of students and track these records. They encourage learning and want to mold a student.

A person who wants to become a primary school teacher must have patience and a caring nature above all. The students the teacher will be teaching will be very young, and this makes patience very important as a small mistake the teacher does can result in a lifetime of dislike in schooling. As this is a teaching job, it needs a very high sense of organization, since tracking the homeworks & exam results of many students can quickly become impossible if it is not managed properly. An ideal teacher will be firm but she will also be fair – this is the age in which the usual employer – employee relationship is set in the student’s mind, and the teacher must not be too harsh or too mild.

To be eligible for becoming a primary school teacher in the United Kingdom you must be first have Qualified Teacher Status. To get this status, you first need some basic requirements:

  • Clear police background check (CRB)
  • Numeracy, literacy and ICT tests.
  • In the GCSE examination you need to have scored a C in mathematics.

In addition, doing voluntary work in a school is very beneficial for your application if you want to become a school teacher.

If you meet these requirements, then there are three ways you can pursue:

  1. If you have a bachelor’s degree in education, you can be a primary school teacher. There are different programs for different age groups that you would like to teach to.
  2. If you have a bachelor’s degree in another field, there is a course (and exam) you can take in order to become a primary school teacher: Post Graduate Certification Exam. This is a course that runs for one year.
  3. You can apply for QTS with a Graduate Training Program or Registered Training Program. The RTP can only be taken by people with at least two years of higher education.

The requirements are actually not that though. If you think you are good with small children then this is the perfect job for you! So this is how to become a primary school teacher in the UK in a nutshell!

Why Virtual Learning Environments Are Useful in Primary Schools

The popularity of a virtual learning environment in educational institutions has been rapidly increasing. However, the actual use of a virtual environment in the primary schools has not really taken off, although it is widely popular in college and universities. According to the experts, a full-fledged use of virtual platform in primary schools requires generous support from teachers and learners.

The advantage of using a virtual platform is that it gives students and teachers an immediate access to a wide variety of learning materials, such as notes and handouts, practice tests or exams, PowerPoint presentations, video clips, and links to useful websites. Thus, using a computer system and internet connection, students can extend their knowledge base in a far convenient way.

However, the main hindrance to the usage of virtual environments in the primary schools is the lack of interest among staff members to adopt technology solutions for their own benefits. Apart from these, most of these virtual platforms are designed for training institutes or for the institutions that offer professional training. Besides, the price of such virtual systems makes it hardly available within the reach of average primary school.

Nowadays, a lot of software providers are designing virtual platforms specifically to cater to the demands of the primary schools. The ideal virtual learning environment (VLE) for schools should be easy-to-use, so that young students can understand the instructions without any glitches. Apart from this, a learning system for school should facilitate simple and easy administration, which reduces workload for teachers and school admin staff alike.

Consider the situation of a primary school teacher, who has to manage a class of fifty pupils. Now, every time she sets homework for the students, no matter how simple it is, he or she has to make a copy of thirty task sheets and check each of them. The entire process involves a lot of manual work. With a virtual learning platform, a teacher can automate the entire process and that too, within a short span of time.

With a learning system intended for primary school, teachers can forward the document to the entire class just by a single click. Accordingly, students can log into a system at their convenience to complete the assignments. To keep the students engaged, these platforms are featured with colorful buttons, themed class images, and a simple interface, so that a six-year-old student can easily comprehend the entire process. Most importantly, such online platforms record the performance of each student in the secured database, which makes it easier for administrator to track the class performance.

According to the experts, the new trend of using a virtual environment for primary schools should be started in order to achieve efficiency in the learning procedure.

Languages And The Law In Primary Schools

It is currently only compulsory to learn a foreign language from the beginning of secondary school, at age 11 and pupils can stop learning languages from the age of 14. Sadly, this has lead to a dramatic decline in GCSE language entries, resulting in a significantly lower number of students who are competent in a foreign language by the time they leave school. By comparison, in European schools, children encounter another language when they are much younger, at the age of eight. Restricting the compulsory period of time for language learning to just three years in British secondary school means that approximately one tenth of primary schools don’t teach a language, and even those that do, only offer it to some year groups.

From 2014 a new primary National Curriculum will be effective, and it will become a statutory requirement to teach a foreign language from the age of seven. All primary schools will have to teach one of the following languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Latin or ancient Greek. This is only the minimum requirement and schools will be encouraged to offer further options which do not necessarily have to be taken from the compulsory list. Because of this, there may well be an extremely diverse range of languages taught across the country. Having no restrictions on the second language could see some schools teaching languages such as Russian or Arabic. The hope is that by introducing children to languages earlier, they will have a better foundation to continue learning at secondary school in order to become fluent in their chosen language. To this end, by the age of 11, pupils will be expected to be able to speak in sentences, understand basic grammar, use appropriate pronunciation and express simple ideas clearly.

Far from just being a measure to improve England’s standing in Europe with regard to our competence in foreign languages, the new curriculum should bring many other benefits. Statistics have shown that younger children tend to grasp new languages more quickly than adolescents and adults, which increases their motivation to carry on learning. Furthermore, learning classic languages such as Latin and ancient Greek can increase students’ understanding of other modern languages, including their mother tongue. Because of this, it is expected that conversation and literacy skills in English will also thrive under the new primary regime. Latin and ancient Greek have been added to the core list to try and spark a resurgence of classics studies in schools.

Schools will undoubtedly have to adjust to the new curriculum by making sure they have enough suitably trained teachers and that they can build in sufficient teaching time to reach the required standards. However, language learning can be intertwined with other curriculum areas by employing the embedding technique. For example, cultural learning can be incorporated into language classes by teaching about stories, poems and songs in other languages. Vocabulary can also be reinforced in maths classes by using foreign words for numbers, times and dates.

Ultimately, the introduction of this new legislation brings the hope that children in England will vastly improve their everyday language skills in other tongues.