Diary of an NQT: Saying goodbye to year 11

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Yes, in a similar boat to you; will be going to school for results day with thoughts of the results ...

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As his year 11 students begin departing for study leave, our NQT diarist begins the countdown to results day

This week has seen my final three hours of curriculum time with my year 11 students. On Friday, they will go on study leave and, although I will be hosting revision and intervention sessions for certain members of the class, this is the last time that I will teach them together as a full group.

My lessons with this group of 24 young adults have been some of the happiest times throughout my NQT year.

Taking over as their GCSE teacher half-way through the course was daunting but the students have made my life incredibly easy. They are a studious, engaged and lively group, and it has been a real privilege to teach them and see them progress throughout the year.

It has been a challenge delivering the GCSE curriculum to these students, although one that I have relished. Being thrown in at the deep end with a year 11 group has certainly had a positive impact upon my practice as a teacher.

The first topic that I had to deliver to the group was Health and the People, which focuses on a thousand years of medical history. This is not an area that I have ever studied myself and so I was required to do a great deal of private research to ensure that my subject knowledge was of a sufficiently high standard to deliver the content.

I am pleased with how the topic went and the students seemed to enjoy it, although I anticipate that I will be much more confident in my delivery when I teach it to my current year 10 students next year.

The second topic that we studied focused on Norman England. I studied medieval history at university and therefore felt a lot more confident in my ability to deliver the required content. Along with another NQT in my department, I wrote the scheme of work for this topic, which was a very satisfying task to undertake. Planning the entire scheme from scratch gave me a very firm grasp of the topic and I feel that I delivered it well.

My students enjoyed studying the topic as it is very different to the other aspects of the GCSE course.

As this will be my first year 11 class to sit their GCSEs while under my tutelage, I will await results day with a mixture of anticipation and nerves.

I am desperate for my students’ results to reflect the hard work that they have put in over the course of the year and will be disappointed if any of my students do not reach their potential. I will be attending our results day during the summer as I want to share this important moment with my students. Whatever their results in history, I will still be very proud to have had a hand in their education.

Next week, the history department will be running revision sessions both after school and during our freed-up curriculum time. This is a final push to ensure that our students are as well prepared as they can be for their final exams.

As well as recapping content, we are focusing specifically on exam skills. History is a very hard subject as it involves the retention of so much knowledge as well as defined skills for each individual question.

I will always remember my time with these year 11 students. They have welcomed me as their teacher and made my first experience of teaching year 11 a complete joy. I sincerely hope that they have enjoyed my lessons and that they will all be happy when results day rolls around.

  • Our NQT diarist this year is a teacher of history at a comprehensive school in the North of England.

Yes, in a similar boat to you; will be going to school for results day with thoughts of the results validating good teaching/learning...
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