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TES Trainee teachers - Forum

This is the place to share your experiences and to get support and advice from your peers. We’ve also got our teacher training expert ready to answer your questions online on topics including school placements, mentors and lesson planning.

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What does single form entry mean?

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     Hi, dumb question

     

    What does single form entry in schools mean?

    Does it mean there is only one class in each year group?

     

    thanks! 

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    Yes, as opposed to two-form entry (two classes per year), three-form entry (three classes per year) etc.

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    That's right.

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    Was replying to the OP not Alex! His post hadn't appeared before I submitted mine!

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     Thanks a lot!

     

    What would you consider best for an NQt taking up their first post- a single form entry school or a double one for example?

     

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    Great thing about single-form entry school is you have your class all the time. They become your class and your pupils and you can develop a very close relationship. Major shortcoming is you are stuck with your class, and if you have a small number of miscreants, you can't swap them with another class. The major advantage of multi-form entry is that classes can be divided by ability, and evidence suggests pupils usually do better in classes of about equal ability. Also differentiation becomes easier. It's nice to be able to swap classes sometimes, for a foundation subject say, to stop you getting stale. And you have colleagues in the same year group to plan together and rely for mutual support.

    I'd say on balance you may think it's more advantageous to be in a multi-form entry school. But NQTs have done very well in small schools, and it really depends on how supportive the school is.

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     Many NQTs do very well in smaller schools or one form entry schools, especially if there is a good induction programme and a supportive staff.

    There is something to be said however, for being in a team within your year group. I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders when I took a job in a 3 form entry school. Even though I am the year leader and have the ultimate responsibility, it's brilliant to have 2 other teachers and several TAs in the team as well.

    We share the planning, help each other with ideas,do joint displays and assemblies and just genberally share the workload etc etc etc. Barely a day goes by when we don't steal ideas from each other or lend a whizzy resource we have made or a smart notebook file.

    I prefer it that way, personally but it depends on the school.

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    As an NQT I can safely say that starting in a two form entry school is preferable as you have the support of a year group partner and can share the very heavy duty of lesson planning.

    Those NQTs I know who have gone straight into single form entry schools have found that 7 days a week are not enough to keep up with all they have to do. I won't even go near the stress of teaching mixed-age classes!!

     

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     Thanks for the input. I Think i would prefer a 2 or 3 form entry for plannign and support reasons ... 

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    Just to reiterate what others have said, it's really all dependent on the school.  My friend did her NQT year in an awful 2 form entry school and got no support whatsoever, just very critical SMT who would come in and observe and tell her her behaviour management was poor and that if she didn't fix it she would fail.  On the other hand, I can understand how in a well-managed and well-run school, having 2 classes per year would be very beneficial.  I have only ever worked in one form entry, which is great as you have complete freedom of planning and do not have the burden of planning for others.  Personally, I find it virtually impossible to teach from someone else's planning.

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    mantakin

    Personally, I find it virtually impossible to teach from someone else's planning.

    So do most teachers.

    But in a multi-form entry school, you don't teach from someone else's planning. You plan together, and you share resources and ideas, but the actual lesson you end up teaching will be yours, with your stamp on it.

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