Don't do what I did - 'We had more movements than Beethoven'

10th April 2009 at 01:00

I was exuberant. My lesson was going to be so exciting. Planned down to the most finite detail, it couldn't possibly go wrong.

It was a sound trail lesson as part of our science topic. I took the register - that went fine. I sent them to the cloakroom to get their coats to record the sounds outside. First plan ... a video to be watched on the interactive whiteboard. But that broke down. A teacher nextdoor said we could swap classrooms. So we did. Wearing coats. The children were a bit hot under the collar, but no worries, they would soon be outside.

After numerous moans I let them remove their coats. Then they put them back on. I let the teacher know she could have her classroom back (with 30 children in tow) and we went outside for the sound trail. By now it was riotous. We had more movements than Beethoven's Fifth and we weren't past the first 15 minutes of a two-hour long afternoon. Off to the playground. All I could hear was 30 excitable children. I told them they needed to be quieter to hear the birdsong and the wind rustling through the trees ... with a screech.

The next part of the lesson was the indoor sound trail. I had timed this perfectly so we could hear the bell, but we missed it.

Then it got worse. The head was in the foyer with an important-looking person. I did my best to get the children together, abandon the sound trail and get back to class.

Then it was time to record our findings. This was more creative writing than science. Apparently we had heard helicopters and aircraft outside (we hadn't).

I've learnt from my experience. I never move the children more than once a lesson, and if the whiteboard fails, we cope without.

Louise Everist is a reception teacher at St John's CofE Primary School in Walsall Wood, West Midlands. If we publish your NQT story we'll give you Pounds 50 in MS vouchers. Email

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