UK curriculum/schools for non-UK teachers

Post Reply
jimmycajun
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:56 am

UK curriculum/schools for non-UK teachers

Post by jimmycajun »

It seems like there is a heavy preference for UK schools to hire UK teachers...more so than American schools hiring American teachers, for example. Through your experience, is there any truth to this? Not being from the UK and no experience with the British system, I have been somewhat hesitant to apply to British schools as the postings often specify UK experience as a requirement or preferred. How different are the secondary curricula to teach and does someone stand a realistic chance without UK experience at a British school?
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

The differences have little to do with content differences and more importantly about meds/peds and organizational structure and management.
At school leaving level subject areas are congruent across curriculum. Biology (other content subjects) are not significantly different from A levels to AP, to IB HL.
The difficulty in recruiting across curriculum is that ISs can be selective, and they dont have to settle.
shadowjack
Posts: 2054
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: UK curriculum/schools for non-UK teachers

Post by shadowjack »

Jimmy,

it is possible, but you nee to be able to construct your units/outcomes differently and be familiar with content and flexible about it. I have taught in the UK system and terminology, focus, assessment were all quite different. It was interesting.
shadylane
Posts: 133
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:11 am
Location: SE Asia

Re: UK curriculum/schools for non-UK teachers

Post by shadylane »

@shadowjack

What would you say are the main differences? And what for you would be the main advantages / disadvantages of the system for a US educator?
shadowjack
Posts: 2054
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: UK curriculum/schools for non-UK teachers

Post by shadowjack »

Main ones? Everything is based on predicted grades. EVERYTHING. Value added are words you will hear lots of. Being familiar with the keystages and ICGSEs as well as their outcomes. AQA or edexcel or ? Wgat SOWs to use. Do your SOWs incorporate the learning outcomes. Predicted grades from early levels. Different lingo. There's a start.

If you are flexible, non-linear (the curriculum is narrow and focused rather than broad and dissipated), adaptable, you can do OK.
shadowjack
Posts: 2054
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: UK curriculum/schools for non-UK teachers

Post by shadowjack »

Main ones? Everything is based on predicted grades. EVERYTHING. Value added are words you will hear lots of. Being familiar with the keystages and ICGSEs as well as their outcomes. AQA or edexcel or ? Wgat SOWs to use. Do your SOWs incorporate the learning outcomes. Predicted grades from early levels. Different lingo. There's a start.

If you are flexible, non-linear (the curriculum is narrow and focused rather than broad and dissipated), adaptable, you can do OK.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

Having aloo trained and worked in the UK, None of those reasons are content, they are meds/peds and structure.

Predicted grading is just performance based ZPD in the States. When students arent performing at or within their ZPD the IT gets asked to resond and form corrective intervention.

You will hear "value add" in US and any other western Pop.Ed.

In the UK exams for the GCSE (a school leaving certificate) are provided by outside organizations (boards) that each have their own version of exams. Much like the ACT and SAT, these exams and the corresponding results determine which bids or offers a student will receive for various universities (as well as graduating). The most popular examination organizations are OCR (Oxford/Cambridge/RSA [RSA is Royal Academy of Arts}) is the "University" exam board. EdExcel (Education Excellence) is owned by Pearson and is the "for profit corporate" private exam board. AQA (Assessment and Qualification Alliance) is a conglomerate of the former government regional examining boards, it is the "non-profit" exam board.

SOW means Scheme of Work, it is essentially a class outline of the course syllabus, In IB its called a "Planner". In AP education its a Unit Plan.

Learning Objective = Learning Outcome or your statement of Objectives "The Student Will..."

This is nothing more than lexicon and structure, which you would find transitioning from any curriculum system. None of it, none of it changes the domain competencies for subject mastery between curriculum. You may not have understood what those terms meant, but nothing about them changes cellular respiration, redox, musical scale, the color wheel, the literary cannon, kinesics, the rise/fall of the roman empire, or how to factor a polynomial.
jimmycajun
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:56 am

Re: UK curriculum/schools for non-UK teachers

Post by jimmycajun »

Thanks for the clarification. Definitely not as daunting as I initially thought.
MaryAnne
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 9:21 pm

Re: UK curriculum/schools for non-UK teachers

Post by MaryAnne »

Others have discussed differences in curriculum, jargon, and reporting, and my experience reflects those. I would say emphasis on exam results is all-encompassing. These differences are all manageable - content very much the same, though perhaps generally taught at different stages or in different order. However, I have found the culture and teaching environment to be very different, almost indescribably so. The management structure in the British School in which I teach is both strange, and counter-productive, in my view. Very top-heavy in administrative staff. "Line-Management" very important and cumbersome - means there is virtually no communication between regular classroom teachers and senior management. Generally teachers are not trusted to do their job without constant scrutiny and checks. Very rigid in demands and expectations. Huge amount of paperwork, "data" collection, checklists - far more than I ever saw in America, and I thought it was bad there. Enormous number of forms generated, lots of paper seems to have more to do with "scrutiny" of teachers rather than anything to do with actual real students. This, coupled with an almost funny belief among senior management and several colleagues that the only possible way to do things is the way it has always been done in Britain. Words like "accountability" and "insubordination" have taken on a whole new meaning for me. I am assured that it is much worse in the UK, where OFSTED rules supreme, but the top-down, "one size fits all" approach is disheartening nevertheless. There is collegiality and support in abundance among people of the same "rank" but not between ranks - very military, I think. After a number of years here, I believe the culture to be a factor of the "Britishness" rather than the school itself - though several individuals seem to be trying a bit too hard to be frightfully British. It seems from what I have heard from colleagues that schools where there is a policy of hiring only British people into senior management positions, (like mine) are very different from those British schools where there is a good mix of nationalities, and experience among the management staff. And, for the record, this is not "sour grapes". I have been deemed "outstanding" in my many appraisals, and I have generally not been micro-managed to death, though I have seen many colleagues who are. BTW, Salary and package generally excellent.
shadowjack
Posts: 2054
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: UK curriculum/schools for non-UK teachers

Post by shadowjack »

Tredicted grading on a very different scale than North American teachers are used to.... LOL
Post Reply