msxo
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Hi,

I am really passionate about teaching children and doing a primary PGCE, however, the only thing that is TERRIFYING me is the fact that I have to be decent at maths. Maths has always been my weakest subject, and I was always put in the lowest set, despite the fact that I did pass my GCSE Maths FOUNDATION with a C (which btw was YEARS AGO) probs forgot it all by now, but I am just so scared that the maths in Primary PGCE is really hard...

I don't mind teaching any of the other national curriculum primary subjects, but maths for me... just scares me... Any advice?

Thank you
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Get into Teaching
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Hi msxo,

I totally understand that you may be apprehensive about teaching Maths at primary level. This is not uncommon, having been a primary teacher myself I can tell you that Maths for me wasn't my strong point, but I did love teaching it! I strongly believe the best teachers are the best learners, so see this as an advantage not a disadvantage. As you will break the Maths down so not only you understand it better, but your students inevitably will as well. It's good to have a challenge sometimes and feel out of your comfort zone. Do have a look on the BBC bitesize website so you can have a look at the content of Maths you would be teaching. There are also many programs schools use to help them to teach the content of the Maths curriculum, have a look on school websites to get an insight into these as they often offer resources and planning to help.
Hope that helps
Olivia
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by msxo)
Hi,

I am really passionate about teaching children and doing a primary PGCE, however, the only thing that is TERRIFYING me is the fact that I have to be decent at maths. Maths has always been my weakest subject, and I was always put in the lowest set, despite the fact that I did pass my GCSE Maths FOUNDATION with a C (which btw was YEARS AGO) probs forgot it all by now, but I am just so scared that the maths in Primary PGCE is really hard...

I don't mind teaching any of the other national curriculum primary subjects, but maths for me... just scares me... Any advice?

Thank you
Could you find some of the old numeracy tests for QTS? Or some maths past papers. If you are able to cope with those, then primary maths will be no problem, I'm sure.

I do think it's important you don't communicate your fear of maths to the children.

Have you thought about secondary teaching in a subject that would let you avoid maths?
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msxo
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Could you find some of the old numeracy tests for QTS? Or some maths past papers. If you are able to cope with those, then primary maths will be no problem, I'm sure.

I do think it's important you don't communicate your fear of maths to the children.

Have you thought about secondary teaching in a subject that would let you avoid maths?
(Original post by Get into Teaching)
Hi msxo,

I totally understand that you may be apprehensive about teaching Maths at primary level. This is not uncommon, having been a primary teacher myself I can tell you that Maths for me wasn't my strong point, but I did love teaching it! I strongly believe the best teachers are the best learners, so see this as an advantage not a disadvantage. As you will break the Maths down so not only you understand it better, but your students inevitably will as well. It's good to have a challenge sometimes and feel out of your comfort zone. Do have a look on the BBC bitesize website so you can have a look at the content of Maths you would be teaching. There are also many programs schools use to help them to teach the content of the Maths curriculum, have a look on school websites to get an insight into these as they often offer resources and planning to help.
Hope that helps
Olivia
Thanks very much for your reply! Really appreciate it. I really like the way you see it actually, in terms of me breaking down the maths to teach the children, that would help me understand it even more. I guess I'll just have to hope for the best.

Had a look at BBC Bitesize, really useful!

Thanks very much.
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msxo
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Could you find some of the old numeracy tests for QTS? Or some maths past papers. If you are able to cope with those, then primary maths will be no problem, I'm sure.

I do think it's important you don't communicate your fear of maths to the children.

Have you thought about secondary teaching in a subject that would let you avoid maths?
Thanks very much for your reply!

Yes, I've done that, some questions are doable and some are not! Guess I just have to keep practicing.

You mention a very good point about not communicating my fear of maths to the children, will keep that in mind.

Regarding your last question, I prefer Primary PGCE as it is diverse, and I am the type of person to get really bored easily so teaching one subject only for secondary will bore me! I like the diverse exposure you get in different subjects for Primary, also, I prefer teaching children in general really since they really see you as an authority figure.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by msxo)
Thanks very much for your reply!

Yes, I've done that, some questions are doable and some are not! Guess I just have to keep practicing.

You mention a very good point about not communicating my fear of maths to the children, will keep that in mind.

Regarding your last question, I prefer Primary PGCE as it is diverse, and I am the type of person to get really bored easily so teaching one subject only for secondary will bore me! I like the diverse exposure you get in different subjects for Primary, also, I prefer teaching children in general really since they really see you as an authority figure.
A large amount of primary teaching is maths and English though- these days. I understand wanting to teach a mix of subjects, but one you will be teaching is one you actively don't like?

What do you mean by "they really see you as an authority figure"?

There are a lot of primary teachers out there who are not great at maths, so I'm sure you will be fine BUT as a secondary science teacher I also spend a lot of time working on basic maths skills with students who struggle. On a personal level, I do think the standards of maths teaching in primary schools are too variable, and that concerns me, but from a career point of view, you will probably be fine.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by msxo)
Thanks very much for your reply!

Yes, I've done that, some questions are doable and some are not! Guess I just have to keep practicing.

You mention a very good point about not communicating my fear of maths to the children, will keep that in mind.

Regarding your last question, I prefer Primary PGCE as it is diverse, and I am the type of person to get really bored easily so teaching one subject only for secondary will bore me! I like the diverse exposure you get in different subjects for Primary, also, I prefer teaching children in general really since they really see you as an authority figure.
Have you looked at these: https://www.gov.uk/government/public...test-materials

Most Primaries have a Maths co-ordinator who will help. If you choose a school with two form groups in a year you can plan together. There are a lot of great resources such as *****ng sticks, number lines etc
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msxo
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
A large amount of primary teaching is maths and English though- these days. I understand wanting to teach a mix of subjects, but one you will be teaching is one you actively don't like?

What do you mean by "they really see you as an authority figure"?

There are a lot of primary teachers out there who are not great at maths, so I'm sure you will be fine BUT as a secondary science teacher I also spend a lot of time working on basic maths skills with students who struggle. On a personal level, I do think the standards of maths teaching in primary schools are too variable, and that concerns me, but from a career point of view, you will probably be fine.
Thats very true. Guess it all depends on what year group I could potentially be teaching in Primary and that determines how hard the maths will be!

I meant that at such a young age, the children are more likely to obey your rules more, and conform to what you say.

I guess we'll have to see, I really appreciate your advice thank you very much!
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msxo
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Have you looked at these: https://www.gov.uk/government/public...test-materials

Most Primaries have a Maths co-ordinator who will help. If you choose a school with two form groups in a year you can plan together. There are a lot of great resources such as *****ng sticks, number lines etc
Ohh, that website/resource is very useful! Thank you very much for this.

Thats very true, thank you!
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by msxo)
Thats very true. Guess it all depends on what year group I could potentially be teaching in Primary and that determines how hard the maths will be!

I meant that at such a young age, the children are more likely to obey your rules more, and conform to what you say.

I guess we'll have to see, I really appreciate your advice thank you very much!
But equally, especially in KS1, you'll potentially have children in your class who just cannot conform to your rules and expectations. I think you see a different kind of challenging behaviour in primary, but if you go in thinking all young children will automatically conform, you're likely to be in for a shock.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by msxo)
Ohh, that website/resource is very useful! Thank you very much for this.

Thats very true, thank you!
I don't know what is wrong with c o u n ting sticks ... honestly TSR sometimes!
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Kingston University
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(Original post by msxo)
Hi,

I am really passionate about teaching children and doing a primary PGCE, however, the only thing that is TERRIFYING me is the fact that I have to be decent at maths. Maths has always been my weakest subject, and I was always put in the lowest set, despite the fact that I did pass my GCSE Maths FOUNDATION with a C (which btw was YEARS AGO) probs forgot it all by now, but I am just so scared that the maths in Primary PGCE is really hard...

I don't mind teaching any of the other national curriculum primary subjects, but maths for me... just scares me... Any advice?

Thank you
Hi,

I am in my third year studying a Primary Teaching degree and there are so many people on y course that were unconfident in teaching maths when they started. You learn so much in the degree to help you and you also have opportunities to learn the content yourself when on placement, which is good. BBC Bitesize is a good one to look at if you are really worried about it, I used that when practicing for my skills tests prior to uni as I hadn't done maths in years.

Can I just ask - have you already got a degree? Or were you thinking of doing a degree and then PGCE after?

- Verity
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msxo
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(Original post by Kingston University)
Hi,

I am in my third year studying a Primary Teaching degree and there are so many people on y course that were unconfident in teaching maths when they started. You learn so much in the degree to help you and you also have opportunities to learn the content yourself when on placement, which is good. BBC Bitesize is a good one to look at if you are really worried about it, I used that when practicing for my skills tests prior to uni as I hadn't done maths in years.

Can I just ask - have you already got a degree? Or were you thinking of doing a degree and then PGCE after?

- Verity
Hello,

Thanks for your reply! It made me feel better!

It's just the fact I haven't done maths in ages, and the fact that I was really bad at it in school too.

Yes, I already have a degree, now just looking to do a PGCE in Primary.

Kind regards,
Magd
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bwilliams
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Yes, as Muttley79 has said. All primaries have a Maths lead that is also a class based teacher (usually). They are there to help you and they are usually in the Maths lead role because they are confident with maths and enjoy supporting colleagues in this subject area. You will be thoroughly supported throughout your training year. PGCE providers acknowledge that many trainees enter the course with anxieties surrounding maths teaching - many of my colleagues still experience this! In my experience, for example, I've led some maths subject knowledge workshops for teacher/TAs to attend. These workshops are available once you start your career or 20 years in - and are usually free for NQTs.

From what you're saying, I think you'd probably be more suited to the PGCE (3-7) which focuses your training on the EYFS and KS1 (Nursery - Year 2). As also mentioned above, you will certainly be in for a shock if you think children will conform to your rules. There are many children in primary that present as a challenge to staff. This will hopefully be something you explore in your PGCE.
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msxo
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(Original post by bwilliams)
Yes, as Muttley79 has said. All primaries have a Maths lead that is also a class based teacher (usually). They are there to help you and they are usually in the Maths lead role because they are confident with maths and enjoy supporting colleagues in this subject area. You will be thoroughly supported throughout your training year. PGCE providers acknowledge that many trainees enter the course with anxieties surrounding maths teaching - many of my colleagues still experience this! In my experience, for example, I've led some maths subject knowledge workshops for teacher/TAs to attend. These workshops are available once you start your career or 20 years in - and are usually free for NQTs.

From what you're saying, I think you'd probably be more suited to the PGCE (3-7) which focuses your training on the EYFS and KS1 (Nursery - Year 2). As also mentioned above, you will certainly be in for a shock if you think children will conform to your rules. There are many children in primary that present as a challenge to staff. This will hopefully be something you explore in your PGCE.
Thanks for this! I'm glad you mentioned the Maths lead, definitely needed.

I was thinking to apply to Early Years only, but I thought to myself I don't wanna limit my opportunities by just focusing on Early Years, so I thought. I would just apply for Primary PGCE as a whole, if you get what I mean?

I understand that some children may be very challenging of course, experienced it first-hand, but generally speaking I am more comfortable teaching kids than secondary students since this is the age when you can shape them. They are at their purest form.
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bwilliams
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(Original post by msxo)
Thanks for this! I'm glad you mentioned the Maths lead, definitely needed.

I was thinking to apply to Early Years only, but I thought to myself I don't wanna limit my opportunities by just focusing on Early Years, so I thought. I would just apply for Primary PGCE as a whole, if you get what I mean?

I understand that some children may be very challenging of course, experienced it first-hand, but generally speaking I am more comfortable teaching kids than secondary students since this is the age when you can shape them. They are at their purest form.
I agree. PGCE early years is too limiting. I wasn't talking about that - the Primary PGCE normally asks you to specialise (note here that specialise doesn't limit you to a specific age, just gives you more knowledge within that age range). This is normally split into 3-7 and 5-11. For example, https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/courses/p...te/primary-3-7. This will also qualify you to teach year 3,4,5 and 6. Hope that helps.
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