Primary School Jargon for Parents

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In this blog we will look at some of the jargon that your child’s primary school may use and you may feel a little bamboozled by. And let’s face it, there’s a lot of jargon in schools!

If you look at the boy’s response in the image above, it is clear that the boy knows what is going on.

But his dad?

Well, he might not have a clue! So let’s start with the boy. He has had two lessons: ICT and PSHE sometimes called PSHE & C. The former is a now defunct title that has been replaced by ‘Computing’ in the Primary National Curriculum.  It stands for Information and Communication technology and it will be a few years until some schools drop the title and call it by its new simpler name.

The second subject PSHE stands for Personal, social and health education, in some schools it has citizenship tacked onto this. In these sessions, children will be looking at themes such as bullying, making friends, resolving conflict and personal hygiene. You can find out more about the PSHE curriculum here.

There are a couple more subjects which have acronymic names, which most Dad’s will be familiar with R.E., P.E. and MFL (Modern Foreign Languages) which is now compulsory.

One subject which you may be less familiar with is SRE (Sex and Relationships Education) which is also compulsory for all primary aged children. We shall discuss SRE in depth in a later blog…

In the image above the boy indicates that he wasn’t taught by his teacher because she had PPA time. PPA stands for Preparation, planning and assessment time; all teachers are entitled to this time in order to plan lessons, complete their marking and carry out any other administration tasks required. It roughly equates to half a day per week and most schools block it out like this for their teachers.

Do not worry though, most primary schools employ a fully qualified teacher to cover these sessions. Many schools have their PE lessons in these slots delivered by specialist PE teachers and/or coaches from outside organisations. Other subjects such as music may be carried out my peripatetic teachers in this time too.

In some schools HLTA’s may be used to cover the sessions. A Higher Level Teaching Assistant is a teaching assistant who may not hold a formal teaching qualification but has had additional training and met additional professional standards.

There are also other occasions when your child’s teacher may not be in class and this depends on their role within the school.  NQTs (Newly qualified teachers), those who are in their first year of teaching, are entitled to an additional 10% of time out of the classroom in order to continue their own professional development.

In many primary schools the SMT (Senior Management Team) are often class teachers too and may have a contract which means that they teach for 3 or 4 days a week and spend the rest of the time to complete management tasks.

Another role in the school is the SENDCo or Special Needs Coordinator who may also be class based as well as working with SEN (Special Educational Needs) children across the school. There are a few labels which schools attribute to children such as SEND, MLD, EBD, FSM and G & T (No not the drink)

SEND children are those with recognised special educational needs such as dyslexia and autism.  Children with MLD (Mild Learning Difficulties) and EBD (Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties) will also be on the SEND register. Some schools also treat their G&T (Gifted and Talented) children as SEN; they have specific learning needs different to some of their peers and provision is often made for this.

When your child starts school they will be in YR (Reception class) which is part of the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) which runs from birth until the age of 5. Following this they will be in KS1 (Key stage 1) until Year 3 when they will become part of KS2, they will be in KS3 when they start high school and sit their GCSE’s in KS4.

Every couple of years your child’s school should be inspected by Ofsted (The Office for Standards in Education.) Their report should be available to download from the school’s website as this is a legal requirement.

If the school has had a poor visit they may have additional visits from HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate) who will support the school and publish their reports online also.

Hopefully this blog will have clarified some of the jargon used in your child’s school but if you need additional support or have additional questions about schools then please contact the Dadmin.

Save this image, too!

Writtedn by: Rob Smith

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