Teaching in One-Form Entry Schools: Pros and Cons

When looking at schools to work at, the size of the school is definitely something to take into consideration. Especially if you are an NQT, it is worth weighing the pros and cons of different types of schools to see what fits you and what you're wanting to get out of your training year. When I was an NQT, I worked in a one-form entry school in Year 2 and loved every minute of it. However, I can admit that it wasn't easy and I could see the appeal of the two-form entry schools that some of my worked at. I've also worked in very small mixed-year classes and that's a whole other kettle of fish (and another post that I'll write soon!)

That being said, everyone is different. I've concocted a simple list of pros and cons for you to consider. Whether you're an early-career teacher or spent years in the same school, maybe it's a chance to try something new?

one-form entry schools pros and cons

Benefits of Working at One-Form Entry Schools


  • Flexibility and Freedom: Working at a one-form entry school gave me so much freedom to change things around without it affecting another class. Most two-form entry school or more share planning to ensure all children across the year group are taught the same thing - makes sense! However, this means having to stick to a timetable and not 'fall behind'. If you're class struggles with a lesson, it's great to have the flexibility to spend time revisiting that concept before moving on. 
  • More Experience: It is at the least a different experience, but I also feel because you don't have a partner teacher to share work and assessment ideas with, you have more to do and therefore learn more in the process. 
  • Closer community: Fewer people makes for more of a tight-knit community. You have a chance to get to know every adult and child within the school by name very quickly. 
  • More personalised support: Chances are that you are the only NQT in the school and therefore have a mentor who only has you to support. 


Cons of Working at One-Form Entry Schools


  • More Responsibilities: There are fewer people in school than a two or three-form school so naturally there are more responsibilities. This higher workload comes as you must plan everything rather than share with other year teachers. Also, you may have to be the subject lead for more than one subject which will take up more time and energy. 
  • Less support: Without partner teachers, you are the only one responsible for the planning, teaching, and assessment of that year group. Other than your mentor, there are fewer opportunities for the moderation of work (unless you're in a MAT and meet with other class teachers for SATs writing moderation meetings like I did). 
  • Less opportunity for personal development: If you're an NQT, you may benefit more from being in a larger school with more teachers to observe and ask for advice from. 


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