Blog

National Supply Teacher Week

Meet Sharon Wood: Founder of National Supply Teacher Week This week (16-22 June 2014) marks National Supply Teacher Week: a week dedicated to celebrating, recognising, and showing our support to supply teachers. As partners of the Week, World Class Teachers have already made a pledge outlining our commitment to the aims of the week. Who better then to interview for our blog than Sharon Wood, supply teacher and founder of National Supply Teacher Week:

  1. What inspired you to start National Supply Teacher week?

In 2005 whilst on supply myself, I set up a support forum for supply teachers, and the same issues crop up now as they did back then!  For all I try and help any supply teacher who contacts me, I wanted to do something more… more long-term I suppose.  Before I started my own forum, I used to frequent another, and so for nearly 12 years now I’ve been hearing about the plight of supply teachers: all too often feeling over-looked and under-valued.  It didn’t seem enough to me any more to simply reply to each teacher who contacted me individually, it wasn’t getting anyone any further forward. I felt if nothing was done, I’d be answering the same questions, hearing the same tales, another 12 years from now.  It’s not all negative, I do hear so many success stories, and stories from supply teachers who love their teaching work, but these wins weren’t being celebrated enough either!

  1. Have you had a positive response?

Last year, and again this year, I have been truly humbled by the response it has received.  There have been a few knock-backs along the way, which I was expecting, but that has made me even more determined to make sure that National Supply Teacher Week positively affects each and every supply teacher.

  1. What are the biggest challenges facing supply teachers in the UK?

I would say – out of school: financial uncertainty, job security (due to the vulnerable position supply teachers are in) and access to quality CPD. In school: access to technology (please give the supply teachers passwords for the laptop!), and lack of communication from schools about specific needs of children.

  1. What makes a great supply teacher?

Enthusiasm, professionalism, keen improvisation skills, confidence and charm!

  1. Lastly, any tips you would give to supply teachers looking for their next position?

Communicate honestly and openly with your recruitment consultant.  The more they know about you, the better they can place you!  And communicate with them frequently.  Keep *you* in the forefront of their minds.  Not so much that you become an irritant, but enough that when the perfect appointment crops up in that fabulous school down the road from you, they’ll know who to call!   If you would like to find out more, you can follow Sharon on Twitter @SupplyTeacherUK.

World Class Sport: Mixed Touch Rugby in London

Love sport, friendly competition, and good old team repartee?

Then World Class Teachers needs you!

Throughout spring and summer, we support our very own mixed touch rugby team in the London In2Touch and O2 touch competitions. Games are usually held at King George Park in Wandsworth or on Clapham Common on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening (depending on the League).

The level of play ranges from social to intermediate, so if you can throw/catch a ball and run around a bit give Amy in the office a call! We are currently looking for subs for our Tuesday team, but you can also just come along to enjoy the sunshine and cheer on your fellow teachers!

Links to info and game updates will be posted on our Facebook page throughout the tournament. World Class T-shirts and post-match drinks are also provided, along with the witty banter and the chance to meet other teachers and TA’s in London.

Last year the World Class Rugby team finished 4th in the competition overall – a fantastic job we say. But, by all means, if you think you can help us do even better get in touch!

 

World Class Teachers Mixed Touch Rugby Team 2014

 

NSPCC Online Survey – Teachers, We Need Your Help!

The NSPCC (the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) are conducting a policy and research project with the aim to improve the ways in which they can offer vital support to abused and neglected children.

As teachers, who work with children on a daily basis, you are the prime target audience to assist with this survey and so we would like to ask that as many of our World Class Teachers take part as possible. By offering your thoughts and ideas for this important cause, you could be helping to enhance the lives of children all over the UK.

The deadline for completion is Friday 30th May 2014, so please take a moment to respond and share with as many teachers as you can.

Details of the NSPCC Survey

NSPCC Logo

Supporting and developing early responses to child neglect in health and education services in England: Teachers
Stage two: short NSPCC online survey

This ongoing NSPCC project seeks to learn more about, and find ways to support, universal health and education services in identifying and responding to child neglect at an early stage.

To reach this goal, we have been talking to health and education professionals from across England about their experiences and ideas.  The first stage of the project was a number of discussion groups with teachers, GPs, EY practitioners, school nurses, midwives and health visitors.

*This second stage is an online, England-wide survey of these professionals, including teachers.* 

This survey will help us learn from you about best practice and possible opportunities, so we can develop concrete policy recommendations that will improve outcomes for children experiencing neglect.

Please complete the survey if you are a head teacher, deputy head, SENCO, teacher or learning support staff, working in an infant, primary, junior or secondary school. Click on the link below, or paste it into your browser. It will take around 15-20 minutes to complete.

https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=140015921869

Please also circulate the link as widely as possible to all the teachers you can reach.

Please complete the survey by Friday 30th May, 2014.

Teaching Key Stage 1 & 2 in the UK

Britain’s National Curriculum is generally split into four Key Stages, with primary school comprising Key Stages 1 and 2. The two stages help young students develop basic but important skills through a wide range of subjects.

Teaching in the primary school sector can be an incredibly rewarding experience, requiring you to help shape and open the minds of young pupils in their early stages of formal education. As an aspiring Key Stage 1 and 2 teacher, it is important that you have a good understanding of the UK’s primary school system structure and whether you are suited to the general approach for this teaching age.

The Key Stage System Explained

Key Stages were incorporated into the British education system with the enactment of the 1988 Education Reform Act, which also created the national curriculum. The four Key Stages break up primary and secondary school into sections defined by age, whereby each provides the next level designed to enhance and assess pupils’ learning skills. As aforementioned, primary school encompasses Key Stages 1 and 2; KS1 students are mostly aged between 5 and 7 (Years 1 and 2), and those aged 7 to 11 fall into the KS2 category (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6).

The differences between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

Key Stage 1 and 2 share almost the same curriculum elements, with English, Mathematics and Science as core subjects. Through Key Stage 1, the English subject is designed to help pupils work towards being able to read reasonably quickly and puzzle out any new words that they encounter for themselves. They are also taught how to write in complete sentences. In Mathematics, the focus is usually on being able to count, read and write numerals up to 100 and write in words up to the 20th digit. Students are also helped to understand the concepts of ‘more’ and ‘less’ (addition and subtraction), especially on a number line. Key Stage 1 Science aims to develop the learner’s inquisitiveness and observation skills. It also requires students to be able to identify and classify certain things, in addition to collecting data.

The Key Stage 2 English curriculum, which spans a larger portion of the child’s life, helps students to progress from reading with a focus on comprehension to reading to grasp overall concepts through age-appropriate literature. Pupils’ writing skills at this stage are expected to evolve from being able to write well-punctuated and structured sentences to having the ability to express their ideas clearly across a wide range of subjects. In mathematics, the curriculum is structured to enable them to perform long division and multiplication calculations by Year 6. This stage also sees students go from learning purely observable concepts through the Science subject to understanding more complex and abstract concepts.

Are you suited to teaching KS 1 & 2?

Primary school teachers are expected to have the skills to teach in all subjects in the set curriculum and have a basic understanding of the material covered for the Key Stage they plan to teach. Outgoing, personable individuals thrive as primary school teachers as this profession requires a high level of communication with both pupils and parents. A good sense of humour and patience in abundance will also place you in good stead to enter this profession.

World Class Teachers Primary Teaching Requirements

As a teaching recruitment agency, we match candidates who have already begun their careers in teaching with a range of school vacancies across London.

Therefore we require our UK primary school teaching candidates to possess at minimum:

-       A Bachelor of Education or Primary PGCE, with QTS

-       A valid passport and visa which allows you to work in the UK

-       Experience in teaching the UK curriculum, or a curriculum which is very similar

If you want to find out more about our Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, and combined primary teaching jobs across London, visit the respective pages on the website or call us to speak to a World Class consultant.

Alternatively, you can find information on routes into teaching on the National Career Service website.

London’s Best Food Markets

Everybody needs to eat, but in London it’s not just a necessity – it’s a passion! If you’re a real foodie, you’ll love the spectacular array of cuisines available in the hundreds of restaurants and bistros all over the city. But where London really shines is its vast selection of different food markets, filled with tantalising aromas and vibrant colours from every corner of the globe. Regardless of whether you are buying your day-to-day groceries or simply looking for a tasty meal while you’re out exploring, you’ll be hard pressed not to find at least one stall that catches your attention.

borough market

Borough Market

Located close to London Bridge on Borough High Street, this market contains sells everything from fresh groceries including bread, meat, vegetables, fish and cheese, to fully prepared and delicious smelling foods. There are plenty of boutique food and drink stalls, with every culinary delight you could ever wish for from around the globe! If you fancy a snack, you’ll see everything from Spanish to Arabic cuisine, with plenty of local, British and seasonal produce thrown in too.

Exmouth Market

Another great market where you can eat for under £5. Exmouth market is between Farringdon Road and Roscommon Street in the Farringdon area of London. French pastries, Mexican tacos, Indian curries and Moroccan tagines are all on offer here, so you can take your pick depending on what tantalizes your taste-buds on that particular day. This market is so popular that some of the permanent restaurants in the area set up their own market stalls offering a sample of the dishes from their menus.

Leadenhall Market

If you’re interested in olden times, head to this Victorian market in the City of London. Flower stalls appear alongside stalls selling fresh foods (such as cheese, meat and fruit) and, as a covered market rather than a street market, it is ideal for days when the weather isn’t too great. The market building is home to several pubs and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat, but you will inevitably pay more here than you would at a street market. Nevertheless, t’s well worth it for the architecture and atmosphere.

Berwick Street market

Berwick Street Market

Berwick Street Market is located in Soho and was established in 1830. During its sizeable history it has gained an excellent reputation for the quality of produce sold here – so much so that countless local chefs source ingredients for their restaurants from these stalls. Visitors attend this market both to stock up on groceries and to try some of the various foods served. Choose from Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, sandwiches, burgers or pizza. Again, you can expect change from a fiver for any of these dishes.

Whichever district of London you are teaching or living in, and whatever you feel like sampling while you are out and about, you’re bound to find a food market in London that will serve at least one thing you like.

Congratulations Team Keane!

Last Friday we sponsored Team Keane as they set off down the Thames to raise money for the Junior Rowing Project, an initiative which aims to give children from all backgrounds and of all abilities the chance to try their hand at rowing.

After the race we received word from one of the Ladies Eight who informed us the race was a huge success. Here’s what Louise had to say:

The row to Kingston was fantastic!  Here you can see us, waiting for the Richmond lock to fully rise, whilst I made a quick phone call!

Team Keane Ladies

It took us 2 1/2 hours and was magical – surprisingly silent, apart from the gentle lapping of (mostly in-time) blades as we meandered past Syon House, Pink Lodge, Richmond and Petersham, squeezed into Teddington lock (very tight) and rowed quickly past the slightly daunting Teddington weir.

Not sure of the full sum raised yet but lots of good PR for Team Keane, thanks to Annie at World Class Teachers’ and some money for much needed new equipment for Junior rowing projects.

Thank you to those of you who were able to offer your support.

Louise
Xxx

We think the ladies did a fantastic job and we’re very proud of their achievement!

If you’d like to know more about Team Keane’s Sculling School as part of the Junior Rowing Project, visit the Team Keane website at http://www.teamkeane.com/ and follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook. You can also read our previous blog post about the Ladies Eight fundraising event to find out exactly what the challenge entailed…

The Junior Rowing Project and Team Keane Ladies Eight

TeamKeaneWorld Class Teachers are proud to sponsor Team Keane in a fundraising event for their Junior Rowing Project this Friday 28th March. If you’re not busy tomorrow, head to the banks of the Thames to cheer on the Ladies Eight as they propel themselves down the 8 mile course – all the way from Chiswick through Teddington Lock to the finish line in Kingston!

All funds raised during the three hour challenge will go towards the Junior Rowing Project, so if you’re feeling generous please text: WECK01 £2/£5/£10 to 70070 to donate and support Hounslow’s children access rowing!

Who are Team Keane and what is the Junior Rowing Project?

Team Keane is a charity organisation which offers specialised rowing coaching with the aim of making rowing an accessible sport and form of exercise for young people. In particular, they have been working closely with schools in the Hounslow area to provide courses where school funding is limited, and hope to expand their facilities to welcome children of all levels and abilities in the future. Ultimately, the charity strives to give young people from all walks of life a chance to row on the river.

Here is a word from Paul Keane, founder of Team Keane:

Our Junior Rowing Project is a programme we are running for local schools to bring the pupils down to the boathouse, and have an introduction to the sport.

Recently I have been working with local schools in the London Borough of Hounslow and long term will be looking to develop this so that all the schools in Hounslow can have an opportunity to come down and row. I would like to further this with special needs and disability groups and are currently in talks with the borough to develop the facility to do this.

Our junior Rowing Project offer a unique opportunity for pupils to just come down and give it a go, we would like to establish a regatta in the summer term where all the local schools can attend and offer the pupils a chance to race as their school in tub/recreational equipment, which is not currently being provided for in the London Boroughs. I am the Team Manager for Hounslow for the London Youth Games which is a voluntary role and we are currently raising funds so there is an opportunity for the kids to come down and practice together and get the chance to pursue the sport further.

These funds will enable our club Team Keane Sculling School to secure well needed resources, so that this project can grow and continue to be a success.

We wish Team Keane all the best for Friday and congratulate them on their wonderful work enabling young people to experience the joys of rowing.

For further information please contact Paul Keane on 07810 553989 or email paul@teamkeane.com

 

Important changes to SEN Teaching

With the forthcoming amendments to the Children and Families Bill, the way that children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are supported is soon to change. Additionally, the government plans to implement a code of practice and has got as far as completing a draft version. At the heart of these changes are the following aims: firstly, to make the pupil himself or herself central to the planning of his or her teaching and support; secondly, to ensure that teachers are given greater responsibility and accountability for the pupil’s progress. With the new system likely to be in place by September 2014, let’s take a moment to consider some of the key factors that promise to make the changes beneficial to all stakeholders.

Greater input from pupils and their families

Reflecting the government’s belief that parents know the best for their children, they will be placed at the heart of the discussions and planning. Teachers will be expected to be proactive in liaising with parents, sharing with them as much information as possible as to how the child is developing. They will also be required to involve parents in the creation of school policies relating to children with SEN. Children will have more rights than previously, and this will extend to teachers consulting them directly from the age of 16 onwards, with the child’s opinion being given more weight than that of their parents.

Education, Health and Care Plans

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans will be introduced to assist children and young adults right up to the age of 25. Over a three year period, the EHC plans will replace the current SEN statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments. They are expected to be more helpful than the current offerings in helping all SEN children to reach their maximum potential.

One School Based Specialist Support Scheme

A single school based specialist support scheme will replace the existing School Action and School Action Plus schemes. This is expected to simplify the system and maximise its effectiveness for all pupils who require such assistance. Teachers will be required to inform parents if a pupil without an existing EHC plan is supported by the scheme.

An Optional Personal Budget

If the pupil and parents wish, they can opt to accept a personal budget, which will be funded out of the high needs funding block. They can then use this budget to purchase the assistance that they feel will be most useful to them. Used in deliberation with teachers and other caregivers, the personal budget promises to give pupils and parents unparalleled flexibility and control of their support to maximise its effectiveness.

Teachers are required to ensure that every pupil progresses

Even if the SEN pupil is supported by specialist staff, the teacher will be held accountable for his or her progress. Thus, the onus will be on teaching staff do be especially proactive in identifying any children with SEN and in monitoring their progression, even in those situations where they are not directly doing all the teaching of and caring for the pupil.

As you can see, the changes in SEN Teaching promise to empower pupils and parents more than ever before. If utilised effectively, they could bring us a few steps closer to the day when every single child, regardless of physical or mental obstacles, fulfils every bit of their potential.

World Class Teachers Tops Tips Competition!

The London Eye lit with pink lights against the night sky

http://www.flickr.com/photos/90443791@N00/1420425746

Are you a budding or expert teacher? Do you love to write about your experiences in the classroom for the benefit of other wonderful teaching professionals? If so, we’ve got a fantastic competition and we’d love to hear from you!

Together with popular blogger network The Bloggers’ Lounge, we’re offering you the chance to win a World Class Teachers’ T-shirt PLUS one of two fantastic prizes*:

- A Champagne London Eye experience for two (*UK Winners Only)

OR

- A $50 Amazon gift voucher!

Plus, the lucky winner will be featured here on our World Class Teachers’ blog AND on the Bloggers’ Lounge!

How to Enter

We want you to write a blog post on your top 5 tips for keeping kids engaged in the classroom, via one of two categories of entry:

- Top tips for keeping primary school children engaged

- Top tips for keeping secondary school children engaged

Tips can be as creative or unusual as you like, but they must be tried and tested by you or someone you know!

Please email rebecca@bloggers-lounge.co.uk if you’d like to enter and don’t forget to mention World Class Teachers in your post.

Additionally, if you’d like to Tweet about your competition entry, don’t forget to mention us @WCTeachers and @Blogger_Lounge and include the hashtag #WCTeachTips.

Entries close on the 3rd of April…don’t miss out!

—————————————–

Terms & Conditions
The competition opens on Monday the 3rd of March and closes on Thursday the 3rd of April.
World Class Teachers and The Bloggers’ Lounge will be judging the winners. A winner will be selected on the basis of the quality and content of their post.
The winner will be awarded EITHER two tickets to the London Eye (winner must be in the UK) or a $50 Amazon voucher (to be sent to international winner via email). Winners will be contacted within a week of the closing date via email. The prize must be claimed within 10 days of notification.
This competition is closed to relatives of those at the Bloggers’ Lounge and World Class Teachers.
No purchase necessary.

Calling all Chocoholics!!

It’s no secret that we love all things chocolate here at World Class Teachers! Naturally, we were very excited when one of our lovely teachers, Erik told us about his work with Fairtrade company ‘Divine Chocolate’.

Who are Divine Chocolate?

Divine Chocolate has been selling Fairtrade chocolate bars in the UK since 1998 and now has over 50 products on offer around the world. This company is particularly unique as its majority owned by those it aims to help: Kuapa Kokoo – an organisation set up by the cocoa farmers in Ghana. Premiums through the sale of their Fairtrade products not only go towards helping farmers and their families, but have also been used to build schools throughout Ghana, which makes this a cause truly close to WCT’s hearts.

divine-chocolate

Why are we telling you?

In just a few days’ time it’ll be the start of Fairtrade fortnight (24th February – 9th March), which takes place every year to increase awareness for Fairtrade products and ethical trading. Divine Chocolate will be doing their bit by hosting some exciting workshops where you can try your hand at making that delicious treat we all know and love! Find out more below:

Divine Chocolate During Fairtrade Fortnight

The Divine Chocolateers are hosting a series of free chocolate making and tasting classes from our pop-up shop in London’s seven dials during Fairtrade Fortnight.

Do you love chocolate?  Come and join the Divine Chocolateers on a journey from West Africa to your tastebuds.

Taking place on Saturday the 1st & 8th of March, Erik & Gloria will be each hosting five workshops at the shop at 53 Monmouth Street.

The chocolate workshops will take participants on a full sensory tasting, teaching them about the subtleties of chocolate tasting. Erik and Gloria will also be making some delicate mint chocolates, delicious handmade truffles and other goodies that guests can take home.

There are five classes available both Saturdays with 10 free spaces at each event.  To book a place at one of the workshops visit http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/divine-chocolate-6018880287

Before you go…

Divine Chocolate also host presentations and workshops for schools, organisations and corporations, which include the educational and compelling ‘bean to bar story’ as well as demos and chocolate tasting.

If you’re looking a special event for your pupils, or a great team building activity for your teaching staff, get in touch with the team at chocolateers@divinechocolate.com and pay a visit to their website at www.divinechocolate.com

 

divine_chocolate_love_ahero_A1