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Jobs for the boys - and girls - at Whitesheet

by Michael Ford last modified 14 Oct, 2015 09:21 AM

It’s never too soon to start preparing young children for the big wide world out there. If recent experience at Whitesheet Primary Academy in Zeals is anything to go by, these children have a head start.

Jobs for the boys - and girls - at Whitesheet

Mr Freeman, doing a grand job

Children in Year 5 and 6 at the Academy were surprised to see a number of job vacancies advertised on their classroom door when they arrived at the start of the school day.

The Academy was, apparently, advertising for a new headteacher, classroom subject teachers and support staff, for September 2015, and the children all had to apply!

Coaching began immediately – both in how to write a letter of application for a job and how to submit their applications. The applicants were interviewed by a panel including current Headteacher Karen Brooker and a member of the Governing Body. The questions were tough, but the panel were surprised at the confident and thoughtful answers provided by the children.

The successful candidates duly arrived in school the next morning dressed ready for their new roles, and then had to perform in the classroom. Mrs Brooker was astounded at the level of skill that the children demonstrated in teaching throughout the Academy.

"They had well prepared lessons, all resources were ready before the lesson and the marking was up to a qualified teacher’s standard," she said. "It was truly impressive."

All the pupils were engaged with their lessons and not one child took advantage of the new teaching staff.

"It was such a brilliant experience for them all," said Mrs Brooker. "My office was taken over by Floyd Freeman, aged 11, who was appointed head teacher for the morning."

Mr Freeman entered into the role with considerable enthusiasm. He sent e-mails, contacted governors, wrote a letter to parents and carried out monitoring, including playtime. He questioned his young teaching team very thoroughly about their lessons and reported back that he found lesson quality to be good.

Mrs Brooker deemed the experiment – entitled Swap Day – a huge success and a valuable addition to the Academy’s curriculum.  "It is very much our intention to repeat this exercise every year for our older pupils," she said.

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