7th August 2009 at 01:00

Probation year, P7 class

Posted by zuko

Any advice and tips to help me hit the ground running? I have a P7 class. What should I do to create a welcoming environment? I understand it's best to have displays coming from the children, so what can I do in advance? Why am I terrified and not ready to be a real teacher?!!

Posted by kutly

Get some backing paper up and section off your walls into areas for display and put headings up such as ICT, maths etc. If you're having a class library, set that up with book posters. Your local library might have some spare. First dayweek activities - I have written letters to the children, saying how glad I am to be teaching the class and a little about the work I have planned and, if you know them a little, you could add in personal things such as I hear you are good at artfootballswimming. You could make it like a pen-pal letter and ask them to reply, telling more about themselves. I have also done a "How well do you know your teacher?" quiz - favourite food, sport, pet's name. The kids love to find out this useless information and get a buzz when they guess correctly. If you have the Apodo pod, there are good team-building ideas in that.

Posted by nollag

I had P7 for my probation year. On the first day, I got them to write letters to themselves, which we would open on the last day - about their hopes for the year, worries, what they were looking forward to, anything they were nervous about. The letters were confidential (we discussed the need to be "sensible") and sealed in envelopes, and I held onto them. They provided many laughs on the last day; children commented on their handwriting and were amused at things they had been nervous of. We also did a big circle time, introducing ourselves, mental maths games, simple times tables revision etc. Art is good for afternoons.

Posted by leesey

You can set up displays like days of the week (possibly in French), resource labels, golden rules, class corners such as ICT or library, maybe A Curriculum for Excellence wall, golden wall (showing anticipation of excellent work), eco wall. These can have coloured paper and borders with a title, the ones you expect to put work up on can be blank. If you want behaviourformative assessmentcitizenship posters, check with your school to see what resources are available, or download them from teaching resource websites - or make them yourself! "All about me" brochures and time capsules are good activities for the first days., then Forums, then Opinion or Probation.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today