13th July 2001 at 01:00
Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

Any ideas about what I can do to get my first year of primary teaching off to a good start? Should I go into school at the end of term?

Yes, it is essential that you visit your new school. Plan this carefully and think about how you want to come across. Take a notebook with a list of things you want to achieve from the visit. Meet people you are going to be working with, including the all-important non-teaching staff - the secretary, the cleaner, the premises officer, and so on.

Above all, meet the pupils. Try to come across as friendly but firm so they look forward to having you, but still see you as an authority figure. Grab any opportunity you have to work with them. This is a good way to get to know them; get a feel for what they can do. Asking them to write you a letter telling you all about themselves is a good way to achieve these things.

You need to find out what you've got to teach, and what the planning systems are. Take schemes of work away with you.

Find out key dates for the next term, especially when you can get into the school before term starts. Arrange some meetings with your induction tutor and planning partners.

Then have a good rest, see all your friends and build up your stamina for what will be a great but exhausting term.

Email your questions to Bubb's book, A Newly-Qualified Teachers' Manual: how to meet the induction standards, is published by David Fulton, pound;15. She regrets she cannot enter into personal correspondence. More of your questions answered at

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