Supply teaching as a choice not a necessity

Posted on March 16, 2020 at 10:43 am

For some teachers supply teaching is only considered if a contracted teaching job can’t be found or if you need your job to fit in with family commitments but there are a growing number of teachers in the primary and secondary sector that are actively seeking supply work as there are a good many benefits to this far more casual way of working.

An initial choice will need to be made as to whether you seek work through one of the teaching agencies or whether you are going to source supply teaching posts independently. Many local authorities will only accept supply teachers who are signed up to an agency, but sometimes smaller schools are more flexible in their approach. Agency work may result in slightly less pay but you may be guaranteed regular work if you want it.

One of the main advantages of supply teaching is that you are in control of the days that you are available for work so for instance it enables you to fit in hobbies or holidays to suit you and your family. This is a major factor in the growing popularity of supply teaching as an employment choice as a contracted teaching job is very inflexible in this regard.

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Help controlling your classroom

Posted on July 25, 2019 at 10:09 pm

If you are going to be teaching a new year group of class when you go back in September it is important that you start as you mean to go on. You need to establish ground rules immedialty but also show that you have a caring and funny side.

You do not have to go in shouting and screaming at everyone on the first day, but you do need them to know that you will not put up with bad behaviour and that you expect them to listen and work hard.

A good way to start on your first day back is to introduce yourself to the class and find out a little bit about them. Get each of them to stand up and say one thing they enjoyed doing in the summer holidays. After that get them all to sit back down and start to go through some house rules. Explain what behaviour you expect from them and what will happen should they break the rules. Children respond well to rewards, so introducing a rewards system can help pupils stay on target. If you find a group of children who are constantly misbehaving together then it is often a good idea to split them up straight away to avoid them getting into bad habits.

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Do exam results have a massive effect on future job prospects?

Posted on February 15, 2019 at 3:24 pm

As a young student at school, you may not realise the importance of exams and not worry too much about them. So exams such as SATs have little effect on future career prospects but when it comes to GCSE’s and A- Levels, you may want to take the time to see what impact these may have.
If you’re not planning on going to college, sixth form or university then you may feel that your exam results are going to have little impact on your career, but you should always bear in mind that there may be a time when you change your mind and decide to return to education. If you have good GCSE’s or A-levels under your belt, you will often find it a lot easier going to university as a mature student.
Exam results are not everything but have a good basis level of education will help with almost any job that you want to pursue in the future. English and Maths are often regarded as the core subjects that most employers like to see a pass.
If you have not got the grades you wanted at school then it’s not too late to do them now. If you have children at school you may even find that they run courses for parents to attend which results in a recognised qualification.

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What will your Year 2 child learn in maths?

Posted on September 30, 2018 at 9:01 pm

With the school term well underway, many parents wonder what their child is learning during their year at school. Over the years learning has changed not only in the way it is taught but also in what they expect children to be able to do. What your child learns in year 2 may be what you were taught in years 3 or 4.

Pupils in Year 2 will learn to add and subtract with two-digit and one-digit numbers. They will learn multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 times tables. If they progress well, they may go on to look at more complicated maths equations. They will learn all about fractions and be expected to know what a third, quarter, half and three quarters are by the summer term.

Often in year two, is when children are taught more about time and how to tell the time. They will learn about different measurements and also weights. These are fundamental skills that they will use throughout their life so it is a very important stage of learning.

During May, year two children will be sitting SAT’s exams. These exams are not done in a very strict exam environment and if the child struggles with the exam then the teacher can use work they have done in the classroom to show their ability. It is important for your child to not worry too much about the exams but just try to do their best and concentrate on what they are being taught in each lesson.


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How to manage a class as a supply teacher

Posted on May 10, 2018 at 9:48 am

Often many pupils will take advantage of the fact that they have a supply teacher covering their lesson, especially if it is a new teacher to the school as they will often not know all the rules. Some children will see this as an opportunity to play up or tell the teacher they are allowed to do something that they are not. As a supply teacher you need not be a push-over, you can still effectively run a class and manage their behaviour as a permanent teacher would and keep the control and level of behaviour you expect.

It is difficult dealing with students that you have little information about and you can never be sure of the sort of classroom environment that you will be teaching in that day, however by following a few simple points you can be as prepared as possible.

Firstly you need to be firm from the start, right from the moment you enter the classroom. When starting the lesson it’s important to show the students that you are confident and in control and will not take any messing.

Remain calm and avoid head on confrontations with pupils. If you notice that the behaviour starts to slip make sure that you are familiar with the schools policies and calmly remind students of this.

One of the main ways to ensure that the classroom is run productively and that students behave is to keep them busy by ensuring that you have a back-up plan of extra work should the lesson plan be completed early.



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What is the year one phonics screening test?

Posted on March 5, 2018 at 11:33 am

Despite many schools and parents being against them, in year one your child will have to undergo a phonics screen test. The test is not done in exam conditions but is still marked and the results sent off to the department of education.

The test will usually take about four to nine minutes per child and is usually done in June. Currently the test consists of 40 words which will be displayed on a sheet for the child to red. Some of these words are real words and others are made up. The idea is to check that the child can read and pronounce the words correctly, even the words that are made up. The made up words are usually denoted by a picture of an alien next to them.

Many parents and teachers say that it can actually mean that children that are very good at phonics may end up scoring low as they will often try and turn the made up words in to words they know and finding it hard to pronounce words that they know are not real.

The pass mark is usually about 80% which equates to 32 marks out of 40. If the child fails the test they will usually be tested again the following year.

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Help bridging the gap between education and work

Posted on November 20, 2017 at 11:43 am

If a person decides to leave school in search of employment, it may be a matter of weeks if not months before they are even invited for an interview for a work placement. During this time often young people claim benefits such as job seekers to see them through but this is having a massive financial strain on our economy.

Over the past 12 months, the government have been looking at ways in which they can improve this situation to allow students to be able to leave school and star a job immediately.

With more and more resources going in to help apprenticeships, this has now improved the amount of vacancies on offer and the variety of industries has improved.

Careers offices are needed in schools to work between the students and the employers to try and help them line up a transmission from one to the next. If this could happen it would mean that a huge number of people would not have to sign on to receive benefits as they would be working immediately. When the government changed the laws to say that pupils needed to stay in education until they are 18 unless they have a job lined up, we saw a massive increase in the number of students staying on to do a levels.

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Helping your children cope with exam stress

Posted on May 16, 2017 at 11:09 am

Students are being put under the pressure of exams from a fairly young age now and this is a cause for concern for many parents. SATS are going on throughout this week and many 10 and 11 year olds have been worrying for some time as to how they will perform. Many students may do well in a classroom situation, but it can be very different in an exam environment. Some students tend to panic in the exam room and simply their mind goes blank, they cannot concentrate and they end up not finishing on time.

As a parent there are things you can do to try and take some of the stress off your child. Firstly do not put too much pressure on them, every parent wants their child to do well but you have to remember that they are only exams and your child’s health and well being is far more important.

Make sure that building up to and during the exam period your child is getting plenty of sleep, eating well and having time away from the books, ideally outside in the fresh air.  Help your child develop a revision timetable so they know when to spend time working and when to do something else and they can physically tick off each day.




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Are we too quick to label children?

Posted on March 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm

If a child is struggling at school in general or with a particular subject, many parents and teachers are often too quick to label the child with having a learning difficulty such as Dyslexia or ADHD. Many people like to have a reason for a child struggling and putting some sort of label on them can give the parent or teacher some reasoning behind their struggles.

It may be that the child does have a learning difficulty but it also maybe just that they don’t find that subject easy or simply that they are understand other subjects more so than others. Before assuming your child has some sort of learning difficulty, try and access if a little bit of additional help may just be needed to get them back up to speed. Often we don’t realise that different personalities and hobbies can make us better at different subjects. For example if you have a child that loves to read and write letters, then they are going to most probably be better at English than a child who loves to be outside playing and building. Unless your child is struggling to the point where they are becoming distressed or there is major concern from a number of people in the educational environment, then I would suggest just waiting a while and carefully monitoring the situation.


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Working as a Teaching Assistant

Posted on November 30, 2016 at 10:47 am

Finding a job that fits in with your family can be extremely challenging. If you have your own children, finding child care through the long summer holidays can be costly so working in a school is an ideal solution.

Many schools encourage parents to volunteer to hear children read and this is a good way to become familiar with the school, staff and children. It is a good idea to speak to the Head Teacher if you would like to be considered for a Teaching Assistant post and ask if there are any relevant courses you could attend that would help your application.

Although Teaching Assistants are employed to help the Teacher fulfil their role, often they are asked to support a particular child or a small group of children struggling to keep up with the majority of the class. This can be very rewarding especially when you witness the progress that such children can make with extra support.

You will be expected to take a full part in school life which may include playground duty, however this is a good opportunity to get to know the children outside the classroom. If you have a few games up your sleeve, you will be very popular.


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