Explore: Education

Reception Teacher
Fairstead House School

info Issues viewing the video?

Kelly A

0.00.00 My name is Kelly A. I’m a reception teacher at Fairstead House School where I’ve been for the last six years. The job involves obviously taking the children when they come in at some of them just past three years old and hopefully by the end of year producing some children who can read and write and do all their math sums and just be really individual competent children. I think I’ve always wanted to be a teacher.

0.00.30 I love being with children, working with children, chatting with children, playing. It was always going to be between being a teacher or being a doctor and the doctor took eight years at university and the teacher didn’t. So I decided to be a teacher. I was born in Calgary, Canada and I went for five years to university in Calgary, took the Bachelor of Education degree, working a couple of jobs while I was doing it to make sure that I could come out without any student loans and taught in Calgary for a year and then came to England, which was supposed to be for a year and it ended up being eight years now.

0.01.00 I think I learned that a lot of life skills aren’t taught at university, that it’s its own little bubble of, of, I don’t know, it’s like a little cocoon for people and it’s a very safe place to be and you, you can be tested and you can be pushed and you can really flourish but one of the first things I would say about university is I think I could have done with a practical course where they would have said to you this is

0.01.30 how you set up a classroom, this is how you take a register, these are the things you need to do in the morning, which would have been helpful because they gave us all this wonderful ideology and theology almost about teaching and children and then they put you in a classroom and say, now go. And we all went and do what? I think the turning point came in deciding that yeah, I’ll go for the interview and see if they want me to go and teach abroad, I think that’ll be great. My cousin was teaching in Korea and he said it’s great fun,

0.02.00 come for a year, so I was going to stop over in England for a year and then go to South Korea and teach with him. And I just, I absolutely love it here and I haven’t left since. Getting on that aeroplane was probably the hardest thing that I’d have to do. I’ve left my family, my friends, I didn’t know anyone in England. I just decided to go for it. I wanted to travel. I wanted to see things and to work and travel would be the only way that I could have afforded to do it and teaching is the excellent job for that. You’ve got, you work very, very hard during teaching time but then you have all the holidays that you can go and see the rest of the world really.

0.02.30 It’s a very transferable skill as well. Everybody needs teachers everywhere in the world and if you have a good degree behind you and a good letter of reference then lots of doors are open for you. I came over to work in a school outside of London in Harlow. And I stayed there for a term. And then I came to Cambridge for a day which was a lovely day out and thought this is where I want to be.

0.03.00 So I lived in Cambridge and I sort of stumbled into the job at Fairstead House because Debbie, the head mistress, was at my agency looking for a reception teacher to do a maternity leave cover. I was rung while I was having coffee in Cambridge and the lady said would you like to come down for an interview right now and I said well, okay, but I’m no way dressed or prepared for an interview. And she said that’s fine and Debbie and I just sat, the head mistress, sat and chatted for about half an hour and she said I’d love you to come and work and I just stayed.

0.03.30 I spend my whole day talking. We talk to the children, we tell stories. If they talk to us we speak back to them with using appropriate grammar and all of that and we just talk all day long. So on the days off it’s very nice to go for a nice long walk or just to have a quiet chat with a couple of people instead of 23 children, because when you’re a teacher you don’t stop, you just, you get, I get in at 7:30 in the morning and I don’t sit down until gone half past three in the afternoon. We just go all day long, so it’s quite nice to just relax.


Kelly A is a Reception Teacher at Fairstead House School, Newmarket. She trained in her home city of Calgary, Canada. “Everybody needs teachers everywhere in the world and if you have a good degree behind you and a good letter of reference then lots of doors are open for you.”

More information about Primary and nursery education teaching professionals

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

13%  male 
87%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Primary (and middle school deemed primary) and nursery education teaching professionals plan, organise and provide instruction to children at all levels up to the age of entry into secondary education.
Entry is with a first degree that provides QTS (qualified teacher status) or, in Scotland, TQ (teaching qualification); or other relevant degree followed by further postgraduate training (most commonly PGCE – Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Education, or, in Scotland, PGDE – Professional Graduate Diploma in Education). Further and higher professional qualifications are required for some teaching posts.
  • Prepares and delivers courses and lessons in accordance with curriculum requirements and teaches a range of subjects;
  • Prepares, assigns and corrects exercises and examinations to record and evaluate students’ progress;
  • Prepares students for external examinations and administers and invigilates these examinations;
  • Maintains records of students’ progress and development;
  • Supervises students and maintains classroom discipline;
  • Teaches simple songs and rhymes, reads stories and organises various activities to promote language, social and physical development;
  • Undertakes pastoral duties;
  • Supervises teaching assistants and trainees;
  • Discusses progress with student, parents and/or other education professionals;
  • Assists with or plans and develops curriculum and rota of teaching duties.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Education 456245
Services to buildings 11007
Employment activities 9770
Public admin. & defence 6471
Other personal service 4043
Retail trade 3273
Office admin. 2467
Film &  music 1734
Health 1710
Food & beverage services 1477
Employment status

From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way

Explore more videos by: