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Six Secrets To Starting A New School Setting

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

This week was the first week back in school of going from teaching Year 3 to teaching Year 6. In many ways, this transition felt like becoming a new teacher again. As a result of moving to this new year group, I found myself thinking about tips I used to share with a range of different ECT support with the transition into a new academic year. Of the different tips I’ve shared in the past these six have truly resonated with me since moving into year six.

thomas blakemore teaching in dubai
First week back in school


Ask questions non-stop:

There is nothing wrong with asking a range of different questions when you first start either in a new year group or in a new school. No one expects you to know all of the answers and even the smallest question can have the biggest impact on your teaching, avoiding little errors and having to go back and make corrections along the way.


Don’t reinvent the wheel:

I’m incredibly fortunate that this year I’ve gone into an established year group where previous years have been planned for extremely well. From the resources from last year, much of what has been created could either be adapted or used again. Not only does this save me time, but it also means that I can see what the expectations were for last year.

Mathematics display
@teachpal does some great resources (seen around the outside)

English teacher UKS2 display
Most of this display is from a teacher who left last year


Use templates:

One tip I always share over and over again is the importance of using templates. I don’t know about you but I always find it a little bit of a challenge to start with a blank presentation. The creativity always stops and the initial challenge moves from trying to create the planning to try to make things look pretty and there are in ways that you can do that. is a fantastic resource which I’ve used regularly throughout the week to get PowerPoint and slides templates so that I don’t get creativity block, don’t have to start from scratch and can spend more time on the planning process rather than trying to make things look pretty.


Be open to advice and criticism:

When entering a new setting, you may come with a little bit of experience like I did however it is also important to seek advice where necessary. Although I’ve marked books in Year 3 and the marking policy is extremely similar from Year 3 to 6, the difference in the work the children produce is quite large and it’s important to seek out advice to support my own well-being and make sure that the children get the best feedback possible.


Take time to reflect:

Taking time to reflect on the day is essential as a teacher as you are always taught to do this anyway. The first couple of weeks after a great opportunity to think about what’s gone well and how we can develop going forward which then links in well to the previous point.


Don’t be too hard on yourself

I am, without a doubt, my own worst enemy at the best of times. Impostor syndrome hit me hard with both teaching and creating content so it’s also important to take some time to reset, relax and talk to loved ones about things that aren’t just teaching at some point within the day. This ultimately ensures that I can go back rested and prepared for the next day ahead

More tips for new teachers can be found here in a collaborative teacher video

I hope you can bring this blog looking at a range of different tips on what time is useful for me this week starting in a new setting. If you have enjoyed this blog, go and check out my other blog which shares a range of different tips to support well-being and prioritisation in schools.

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