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The Supply Teacher’s Guide to Personal Safety in London

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2016 Pixabay

London is just like any major city, it’s a brilliant place to be as long as you are sensible and take precautions with personal protection when you are out and about. You can enjoy living and working in the city as a supply teacher and have a fabulous time by taking basic but sensible precautions. 

Embrace life in the city, see the sights and listen to the sounds. Follow this advice and your time as a teacher in London will be memorable for all the right reasons.

Getting Around the Capital

There are many ways to travel around London in safety so don’t be overawed by the scale of the city. Public transport is your best bet. You can take the tube, travel by bus, or use one of the official (and famous!) black cabs you see driving around.  A visit to the official Transport For London website can be useful as you slowly find your feet.  Here you can plan a journey, discover maps for transport links, learn about Oyster Cards, tube networks, the overground service, and get a general feel for the travel services that are available to you. Cycling around London is another great option to consider. Take the Cycle Superhighway along safe, traffic-free routes. All you have to do is follow the blue bike lanes to get to where you want to go.  Be vigilant, be seen and wear a helmet!  Make sure that you dock the bike properly when you have finished your journey.

https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/santander-cycles/how-it-works

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Walking About at Night

It’s important to use common sense whenever you are travelling around any major city and London is no exception. Always plan your route in advance, especially if you are visiting a new borough for the first time and need to use public transport to get there. Stick to well-lit streets if you are travelling solo later on in the evening. Ideally, you should avoid walking home on your own late at night if this is possible after a night out. If you are out with friends, stay in contact with each other until you have arrived home. Let each other know you got back safely and send a quick text to your pals.

Stay Alert and Aware

Take stock of your surroundings and this can be a useful safety measure when you are visiting built-up areas in London. Keep your mind alert and your senses active to everything that is going on around you. A good tip is to avoid wearing headphones with your hood up. You’ll be too cosy and comfortable, become lost in the music, and be unaware or unprepared for things that are happening around you. Not only does this leave you vulnerable to personal attacks, you could be distracted and unaware of approaching traffic as a pedestrian. Speaking of traffic, remember that cars drive on the left in the UK. If you’re an Australian supply teacher looking for work in Britain this shouldn’t be a problem. It’ll be just like being at home!

Dining Out or Going for Drinks

One of the fun things about living in London is the social scene. There’s so much to see and do and so many bars, restaurants and clubs you can visit during your time here. That’s fine as long as you are aware of what is happening when you have had a few tipples. Always keep a close eye on your drink, never leave it unattended, and beware of accepting drinks from people you don’t know. Be wary of getting home too. If you take a cab, make sure it’s booked through a reputable minicab company or you flag down one of the officially licensed hackney taxis in their distinctive black livery.

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Keep a Close Eye on Bags, Purses or Wallets

Pickpockets are quick to grab any opportunity they can. Mainly they like to operate in busy, heavily pedestrianised areas, where rich pickings are easy to come by. Be mindful of this when you are walking through central city zones in London.  Hide purses and wallets away and never leave your bag unattended for any length of time. Thieves are quick and they’ll snatch and run away with your belongings in the blink of an eye. The same goes for mobiles, tablets and other expensive electronic gadgets. Keep them well out of sight whenever they are not being used.

ATM Advice

Cash point crime is something else you should be of wary of no matter what part of the world you are in. London is no different from any other metropolis, as long as you are forewarned you are forearmed. Look for suspicious devices on ATMs that could be used to skim the details from your debit or credit cards and always shield your personal pin number. If the cash machine looks strange or there appear to be any signs of tampering on the hole in the wall, walk away and look for another machine. Be wary of distraction techniques used at ATMs too. If somebody tries to engage you in conversation as you are using the machine, stop what you are doing and walk away. The same goes for anyone acting suspiciously near the cash point. Use your gut instinct. If something feels wrong, steer well clear.

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ICE Contact Details

Make your ‘in case of emergency’ contact details clearly visible to any interested parties by storing an ICE number in your mobile phone. This way, if you feel unwell, can’t use your phone, or become involved in an accident, the emergency services will be able to contact your next of kin. Store useful numbers into your mobile phone for the emergency services too. In the UK the numbers to call for the Police, Ambulance or Fire Service are 999 or 112. To contact the police for non-urgent situations, dial 101.

Working and living in London is a rewarding and enjoyable experience for supply teachers. Follow this advice, stay safe and have fun as you experience life in the city. For advice about teaching in London, get in touch with our world class consultants today.

How Do We Learn to Write?

Picture a classroom of students sitting at their desks. They’re poised over their work books, rummaging through their pencil cases and getting ready to complete the task set by their teacher. But did you ever stop to wonder how children learn to write?

Well, it’s something that we often take for granted, or see happening without really comprehending the enormous number of skills and experiences that have to come together first. There have been entire books written on the subject of how children learn to write, but here’s a basic overview…

First, children to learn to write by discovery. It’s not so much about children learning rules in the early stages, but rather about coming up with their own strategies for writing. It might not look like adult writing that you or I would recognise, but it is a visual representation of the way a child is interpreting the language around them.

The second thing to know is that the foundations of learning to write are laid in a child’s early years. In their very earliest years, a child aged approximately two years old will make lines and scribbles on a page. It tends not to be very ‘refined’, as the movements are large and tend to be the result of movement of the shoulder rather than of the wrist. As children grow older, they strengthen their fine motor skills and better develop their ability to control the muscles in their hands. So, repeated marks appear in their writing in the form of patterns, such as circles, lines and curves.

Third, children learn to write via imitation and example. As children grow older, they start to mimic the ‘grown up’ writing they see in written print all around them. At two to three years old, children understand that this print is made up of repeated patterns, lines and curves. They’re unlikely to understand what these words mean, and they won’t be able to replicate them accurately yet, but they will begin to make up their own written language of lines, curves and patterns before telling you what the word ‘says’. This is a crucial step in learning to write, as it represents the milestone where children understand that drawing shapes – writing – conveys meaning.

Fourth, children learn to write by drawing pictures as well as forming words. By the time a child has mastered the art of purposefully drawing pictures, it shows that they’ve mastered ‘symbolic thinking’ – the understanding that forms on a page can be a symbol of something else. From this point, the foundations are laid for letter and word practice to happen – usually around the age of three to five years.

 

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Finally, as children begin to practice letters and words, copying the familiar shapes of the printed words around them, you’ll notice that their writing changes. Rather than producing writing that takes the form of one long word, the markings will be broken into long and short patterns. It’s unlikely that the letters and words will be ‘correct’, but it’s another key marker to indicate that a child understands that they can interpret and convey meaning with shapes on page. All of this happens before formal writing ‘instruction’ begins. Isn’t that amazing?


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Guest blogger, Naomi Webb,  is a passionate writer who loves everything tech-ed related, always looking to broaden her horizons!

Guest Blogger

Robert Milton: World Class Teacher of the Month

Our World Class Teacher of the Month: Robert Milton

World Class Teachers have been fortunate enough to have had Primary Teacher, Robert Milton working with us since January 2016. Through out this time he has been an absolute privilege to know,  receiving nothing but positive feedback from all who’ve worked with him. We are immensely proud to have him as part of our World Class Teaching team and as our World Class Teacher of the Month!

We caught up with Rob to find out a little more about our man on the month!

Jerome Hilary

Tell us about you!

I have been working at Norwood Green in Hounslow for one and a half terms. I had been a supply at a few different schools prior to this, teaching different age groups but when I was asked to stay longer term at Norwood Green I jumped at the opportunity. I felt as though I instantly settled in, the staff are friendly and I really enjoy teaching year one. Overall it has been a great experience so far.

 When did you know you wanted to be a teacher? 

I didn’t always want to teach as there are so many teachers in my family. I tried to find another direction and create a different path instead of falling back on what seemed to be the default role for a lot of my relatives, but I caught the teaching bug in the end. I realised that it was an ideal way to apply my interests in multiple topics, sports and activities. It is refreshing that every day is different and each day I am able to encourage the children to explore new ideas. It’s good to have a positive influence.

What is the most interesting day in teaching you’ve had? 

Teaching with a parrot on my shoulder was a good day and was quite surreal, as was den building in outdoor learning.

What is the best teaching advice you’ve been given?

The best advice I have had is to be adaptable. Anything can and does happen and having the ability to adjust to each individual situation has really helped me and enhanced my classroom experience. Also maintaining a work life balance is very important. I think it helps you remain fresh and focused.

What is the best thing about teaching and living in London? 

I really enjoy London. Having grown up in Wales and in a much smaller city I love the continued opportunities here. There is always something new to explore, so much to do and every day is different. I enjoy the varied culture and love that London has so many green spaces as well as the intensity of fast paced city life.


Know any great teachers looking for work in London? Refer them to World Class Teachers and receive a £200 World Class Referral Bonus when they work with us! 

Ten Fabulously Free Things For Supply Teachers To Do In London

As a supply teacher, you already know how rewarding a new teaching role in London can be. London is such a diverse and cultural city steeped in history and imbued with English charm. The city is yours to discover with a multitude of things to do, many of which are right on your doorstep and totally free of charge!  

As you gradually find your feet in London and become familiar using tubes, taxis and bright red Routemaster buses, you can start to explore your surroundings and enjoy the sights and sounds this wonderful city has to offer.

Working in London has so many rewards; take advantage of the following freebies which make living and working as a supply teacher in London a genuine pleasure.    

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Take a stroll along the South Bank

Sat on the opposite bank to the Houses of Parliament, the South Bank sprang to life as part of the 1952 Festival of Britain and was radically transformed later through its striking architecture. Here you will find the home of the National Film Theatre, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the Hayward Gallery.  A stroll along the South Bank on a sunny day is a memorable experience. Expect to see a whole host of free entertainment and plenty of arts to keep you amused between Westminster Bridge and London Bridge.  Walk a little further and you will discover the Tate Modern art gallery and an authentic replica of Shakespeare’s Globe.

Spend a while at Speaker’s Corner

The one thing that quickly becomes apparent when you spend time in London is how rich and diverse the range of free things to do is. Speaker’s Corner is a classic example.  On every Sunday since 1866 a variety of public speakers have proudly stood on boxes at the corner and addressed anybody that cared to listen. Situated on a specific corner of Hyde Park, Speaker’s Corner has witnessed some memorable guest speakers over the years. George Orwell, Lenin and Karl Marx are some of the most notorious speakers that have spoken to the gathering crowds. 

Embrace the culture of Covent Garden

If you like good food, trendy fashion and free street entertainment you will love the atmosphere in Covent Garden. Popular with theatregoers visiting the West End, this diverse district is teaming with bars, theatres and restaurants with plenty of window shopping or street acts to keep you amused.  Pay a visit to the area and you can guarantee some type of live performance is taking place. Covent Garden is a busy, bustling place, oozing with charm and culture. The best bit is it doesn’t cost you anything to watch the street acts perform.

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Have a giggle at the Angel Comedy club

Spend an evening at the Angel Comedy Club if you want a good laugh. This venue offers free comedy seven nights a week delivered through a mixture of new talent and well-known performers. Recommended by Time Out London, shows at the comedy club normally start at 8pm. Be warned, the venue gets really busy so it’s best to arrive early doors to avoid disappointment.

See the guards change at Buckingham Palace

Official ceremonies are something we are rather good at in Britain. Take the changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace for example. Full of pomp and pageantry, changing the guard or ‘Guard Mounting’ outside Buckingham Palace takes place at 11.30am each morning and the good news is, this is totally free. All you have to do is turn up and watch as the old guard changes place with the new guard in true ceremonial fashion. With official music playing in the background, expect to see plenty of traditional red tunics and rather impressive bearskin hats.

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 Appreciate the art in The National Portrait Gallery

Open daily from 10am, The National Portrait Gallery houses some truly beautiful works of art. It’s been cleverly thought out and is the home to the World’s largest collection of portraits dating from the Middle Ages right through to modern times.  Visitors to the gallery are greeted by the works of many famous painters, whether you like Holbein or Hockney you are sure to enjoy a few hours walking around The National Portrait Gallery. Thanks to the free admission, you can spend as long as you like looking at every single painting.

Listen to the chimes of Big Ben in Elizabeth Tower

Standing tall and proud next the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben is one of London’s most infamous landmarks. Renamed Elizabeth Tower in recognition of the Queens 60 years of service to the Commonwealth, Big Ben is a gigantic bell set within an imposing clock tower. Take a selfie with the clock tower in the background and listen to the infamous chime of the great bell. Reassuring and reliable, Big Ben has rung loud and proud across Westminster since 1859.

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Make a picnic and spend the day at Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace stakes a claim to being the birthplace of TV after hosting the first ever television broadcast. This is a stunning Grade II listed building built in Victorian times and set within 196 acres of gorgeous parkland. Home to many concerts and public events, Alexandra Palace is free for all. It’s a brilliant place to enjoy a picnic whilst savouring some truly amazing panoramic views of London. Take a cooler box filled with goodies and a travel rug, or look for the latest events taking place within the grounds.

Watch entertainment for free at The Scoop

Live entertainment is something London isn’t lacking. Where do you go if you don’t want to pay to be amused, though? Try ‘The Scoop’ outdoor amphitheatre. It’s close to City Hall and visitors here get to watch loads of fun stuff for free.  Whether you pop along to listen to free music, catch a play or watch a free film during the evening, there’s always a good choice of entertainment available. The Scoop is a popular setting for the summer and a good option if funds are a little tight, or you simply want to grab a quick fix of entertainment with no costs involved.     

 

Learn about life in Victorian classrooms at the Ragged School Museum

Ever wondered what life used to be like for children in classrooms back in the late 1800s? Find out and visit the Ragged School Museum where you will discover a reconstructed Victorian classroom totally authentic in every detail.  See how teaching has changed over the years and take a step back in time to the East End of London from the 1880s to 1900. The setting for the museum is in a warehouse which used to house Barnado’s largest ragged school for poor and underprivileged children. Pay a visit and learn about housing, education and work life in Victorian London, you can compare how teaching standards have changed over the years.


Hopefully, you’ll try some of these suggestions during your stay in London. Amazingly, we’ve only just scratched the surface of free things to do if you are a supply teacher spending time in this wonderful capital. Enjoy! 

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summer jobs for supply teachers – hiring now!

Working as a supply teacher in London is great fun! The holiday periods are especially fun if you are nipping across the boarder to France or Amsterdam for a summer vaycay. However, if you’re looking to save your pennies this end of academic year our friends at Ultimate Activity Camps have some summer jobs hiring now to keep you working in the interim!

Ultimate Activity Camps run exciting, fun and inspiring activity holiday programmes in the Easter and Summer Holidays through the South of England. This summer they will be running five camps in the London area and still have some positions available. If you are looking for a fun, varied, outdoor job in the summer with industry leading pay, there is no better way to earn money in the Summer!

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Please visit http://www.ultimateactivity.co.uk/work-for-us/ to find out more about the camps and to apply online. If you would like any further information please don’t hesitate to contact their office at work@ultimateactivity.co.uk.

Job Details:

Camp at Sutton High School (SM1): 18th July – 26th August 2016

Camp at Holy Cross Prep School Kingston (KT2): 18th July – 19th August 2016

Camp at Handcross Park School near Crawley: 25th July – 26th August 2016

Camp at Surbiton High School (KT1): 25th July – 26th August 2016

Camp at Brentwood School: 25th July – 26th August 2016

Roles available:

Camp Manager – Qualified Teacher, specialising in PE desirable, or with experience in similar field

Early Years Manager – Level 3 or above in EY qualification

Early Year Instructor – Some qualification or experience in EY settings required


Follow World Class Teachers on Facebook and Twitter for this and many more teaching job opportunties in London.