At King Solomon Academy in Marylebone, London, a maths lesson is taking place with a class of Year 4 pupils gathered on the carpet at the front of the room.
When a child offers an answer to the decimals question, the students begin to snap their fingers in unison.
Their manager, Beth Humphreys, explains that the click “shows that they are supporting or in agreement, or can also be to show support for someone who is struggling”.
Throughout the lesson, the class moves seamlessly from chatting with their partner to discussing a problem, singing their times tables, working on mini whiteboards, and working independently and silently at her desk, guided by early career teacher Katie Juckes.
Ms. Juckes explains that the clarity of these expectations and the variety of the lesson helps manage focus and behavior.
“When they’re working at their tables it’s quiet and you’ll have a consequence even if you make a little noise, but that’s because when you come on the mat you’ll sing…they have the ability to squirm and squirm. move,” she explains.
Throughout the class, live feedback is provided by her mentor, Skaiste Anuzyte-Becker, who adds that because Ms Juckes has “received this support in terms of teaching and team coaching” she is able to focus on “those little things, which makes those routines crisp and clean”.
The school also holds weekly professional development sessions on Monday afternoons when students finish early. King Solomon serves a region with high levels of deprivation, and so when it comes to lessons, teachers say no second can be wasted.
Ms. Juckes, who is clearly adored by her class, has also benefited from Ark Academies teacher training – this can focus on small details such as how worksheets are distributed.
“Thanks to this, behavior is impeccable in the classroom,” explains Ms. Anuzyte-Becker.
This kind of targeted support, in which a mentor supports their mentee several times a week and gets to know each student in the class and their different needs, epitomizes the kind of support teachers will have access to under the Early Careers Framework, the government says .
In the Schools White Paper, published on Monday, the government confirmed its commitment to providing 500,000 training opportunities for teachers at all levels of the profession during this legislature.
And its Teaching Institute, announced last year, is set to become the government’s flagship teacher training provider, introducing the Early Career Framework – a reform that provides a two-year induction program for new teachers, introduced in September 2021.
“I think one of the really valuable things in the Early Careers Framework…is that new teachers feel really supported by someone who is on their side, but who is also an expert in what they are doing. do,” says Hilary Spencer, chief executive of Ambition Institute, a provider of professional development for school staff.
It’s this finely tuned focus on “teaching focus” that helps early teachers recalibrate their practice, she says.
Ms. Humphreys explains that the routines seen in the lesson are used at all Ark schools and that they have worked with the Ambition Institute on these.
Thinking about how to improve the practice of beginning teachers has also “really evolved”, she says, and there are “practical techniques you can learn” for managing the classroom that are more useful than a narrative of “born teachers”.
“It’s about trying to demystify teaching a bit – it’s not a magic thing. You can learn to be a great teacher,” she says.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “It cannot be said enough that teachers are the foundation of our schools – and as much as any other profession, they have gone above and beyond over the past two years.
“Great teachers inspire every child, and that’s why I’m investing in every one of them through the Schools White Paper.”
“I reaffirm my commitment to starting salaries of £30,000 and pay rises at all levels of the profession; investing in teacher development, with 500,000 training opportunities; and supporting them professionally, with high-quality resources and classroom materials so teachers can spend less time on lesson planning and more time on what they do best – supporting all children,” he added.
“This commitment to teachers will enable us to achieve our ultimate goal for children, of raising the average GCSE grade in English and Maths from 4.5 in 2019 to 5 by 2030.”