The role of the teacher in the two key stages is both similar and different in many ways. These can be established through a detailed analysis and observation of the teachers’ roles both inside and outside the classroom setting. One means of doing this is to look at the teachers’ roles against the heading for the standards for QTS. These headings are Professional Values and Practice, Knowledge and Understanding, Planning, Assessment and Teaching and Class management. Please see Appendix.
For each heading the similarities and differences in roles for the two key stages will be considered. Both teachers exhibit strong professional values and practice. Pollard (2002) stresses the importance of being aware of every pupil’s ‘unique biography’ p. 82. Both teachers observed have considered the diversity of the children they teach in respect of their social, cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic backgrounds and are concerned with their development as lifelong learners.
Both teachers demonstrate and promote positive values, attitudes and behaviour in their classrooms. Pollard (2002) explains that ‘the concept of fairness is vitally important’ p. 119. Although the teachers use different means to promote the positive atmosphere, the values are very similar. Both recognise the role of parents and carers in a child’s learning. Pollard (2002) suggests that ‘if a process for supportive knowledge exchange is established (… with parents… ), the potential for enhancing children’s learning is enormous’ p. 85.
Both teachers involved parents to hear reader in their class or to take groups in school visits. Both teachers share in the corporate life of the school, but in slightly different ways. Both teachers were involved in extra-curricular duties in the school, such as playground duty and after school groups, but at KS2 this was more likely to be in a subject specialism. The main difference in this standard relates to the relationship the teacher has with the class. At Key Stage 1 the relationship is likely to be more parental and nurturing of children’s emerging confidence.
The KS1 teacher spends more time giving gentle reminders to children to organise themselves and listen to each other, to play together and share resources as well as listening to personal stories from them. At KS2 the teacher’s relationship with the class is more equal and based on mutual respect. The child aims to impress the KS2 teacher and gain his approval for his efforts and work at a greater level. The KS2 teacher creates an atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork through a table point system. Humour is used to build class relationships.