Thrifty Places to Buy School Supplies

The average teacher spends hundreds of pounds each year buying supplies for their students. As cash-strapped schools look at ways of saving money, this can often lead to a shortfall in classroom essentials. As a result, teachers have to be prudent with expenditure and find cheap places to purchase stationery and other resources. Here’s our pick of the best, shop here for all those teaching must-haves.



If you’re looking for classroom essentials, this is the ideal solution. Visit the online Staples store for low prices on stationery throughout the year. They provide a price match guarantee and offer FREE delivery on orders over £36 saving you even more money.  With plenty of pens for sale, desk supplies, and special offers on a wide range of stationery products, you’d be wise to shop here for all those classroom basics.  Buy in bulk to make the best savings.

The Works

The Works! The name says it all. The good thing about this online and high street store is you can click and collect whenever you need to order anything. Shop for books, arts and craft or stationery, and collect the items from any of the 400 stores nationwide. With some amazing offers online, you are sure to save money by shopping here. What’s more, you’ll also earn points for every £1 you spend at The Works as a nice little reward.


Whether you want pens and pencils or glues and tapes, you will find all types of deals in-store at B&M. Search for your local store online then pay a visit in person. There’s plenty of paper and lots of craft and design products for an ultra-low price. You’ll find the main website for B&M here. One click could save you a small fortune!


Look for classroom resources at Amazon. You’ll find everything you need right here. There are cheap, ready-to-buy supplies at Amazon and plenty of inspiration for all types of classroom activities. Here you’ll find items like post-it notes, phrase strips and reward stamps which make learning fun and fulfilling. Shop today and make savings straight away. Amazon is full of amazing bargains.


Okay, there’s a lot of junk on eBay but some genuine bargains as well. Search for classroom and teaching supplies, and you’ll be surprised at the types of savings you can make. Many sellers offer free postage for their sale items which means you won’t have to dig quite as deep into your pocket. Some people hate eBay, but others know how great it is for a bargain or two. Take a look if you want to buy pencils or pens and don’t want to spend too much money.


You might not think of Pinterest when you are shopping for school supplies but you should. You’ll find so much inspiration on here for classroom activities, and there are plenty of boards that advertise cheap stationery supplies. Arts and craft projects are popular on Pinterest, and there are plenty of practical DIY tips for the classroom if you want to save even more money.

Pound Shops

You can’t really miss the various pound shops in the UK. From Poundland to Poundworld and Poundstretcher it’s the same old theme, with each store in question selling cheap consumer goods. Visit online or take a trip in person and you will find plenty of discounts on stationery, crafts and other classroom basics. They’re a good option if you have a limited budget to spend on school supplies and you are paying for the privilege.

As a dedicated teacher, it’s understandable you want to provide the very best facilities for your pupils. Ideally, you’ll want to make the classroom interesting and have enough supplies to make it fun. Hopefully, the sites we recommend here should save you money when you go shopping for school supplies next.

Remember, if you are searching for your next teaching role in London we have plenty of options available here at World Class Teachers. Find your dream opportunity by contacting us today or call to speak to us on +44(0)208 579 4501.

7 Fun and Educational Trips in London

Educational trips have a positive impact on student learning, but where do you take a group of children for a day out in London? Read our 7 Fun and Educational Trips in London for some inspirational and educational school excursions.

Shakespeare’s Globe

Watch a live performance of a Shakespeare play in a setting befitting of the bard. Take a tour of the Globe then visit the museum to learn more about the life and work of England’s greatest poet. Built to a traditional design, the Globe is the best possible setting to witness a play performed just as it would be during the lifetime of one of the greatest playwrights.

Ideal for English literature students, you can book tickets and find out more about the globe by clicking this link.


Tate Modern

Where better to take art students than the Tate Modern in London? Home to many temporary and permanent exhibitions, you will find contemporary art with an International flavour at the Tate. Book in advance and make the most of the free facilities. You can go as an independent group or enjoy some of the brilliant Tate-led sessions if you prefer.

Make arrangements for your school party and plan your visit. For more details, visit the Tate web site.

British Museum

It’s free, open daily, and school groups can enjoy self-led visits to the British Museum or take fully guided tours instead.  You can view special exhibitions, displays and unique events at the British Museum, and it has excellent facilities for visiting students. Book in advance and enjoy free visits to all special exhibits.

Want more information? Find everything you need to know about making a group booking at the British Museum today.

Imperial War Museum

Open daily from 10 am, the Imperial War Museum (IWM) has some truly humbling exhibitions with free admissions for school groups. Along with many permanent exhibitions, ranging from the First World War Gallery to the Holocaust exhibition, there are also many temporary displays. Visit the museum to discover the impact of war told through genuine life experiences.

Bookings are being taken for group visits to the IWM in London right now. Request a visit by filling out the form.

Thames River Cruise

School trips on the Thames are perfect for a party of pupils. Offering a guided commentary along the river Thames, the history of London comes alive during a private hire cruise. With so much to see, river cruises are a fun way to learn about the capital and discover more about the geography of the city.

Tours along the Thames are available to book right here through a specialist river cruise company.

The Crystal

Described as one of the world’s most sustainable buildings, The Crystal hosts the largest exhibition on the future of metropolitan areas. Providing a unique exhibition for a school trip, it challenges pupils to think about cities in a different way. Perfect for science, geography or design and technology students, educational trips to The Crystal can be tailored to your needs.

Plan your school visit and read this brochure for additional information. Pupils love this exhibition!


Welcome to Kidzania, the biggest interactive kids’ city in London. Inspiring fun and learning, kids have over 80,000 square foot of city to explore and 100 careers to try.  Created specifically for children between the ages of 4-14, kids have the opportunity to experiment with over 60 real-life challenges in a host of professions. There’s something to suit all children here, and they get the chance to experience life as an adult in the real world inside this city run by kids.

Want your school to take part? Discover the Kidzania concept and arrange tickets through the booking page.  If you’re a teacher and would like to know more about our exclusive discount offer through World Class Teachers contact us today.

With so many amazing educational sites in London to visit, it’s easy to support student learning and give your pupils something fun and educational to look forward to.

Looking for teaching roles in London? Please contact us here at World Class Teachers if you are looking for new work opportunities, or call to speak to us on +44 (0)208 579 4501.



 Read more

Can arts and culture change young lives in Sierra Leone?

Joe Hallgarten is co-founder of Global Arts Learning Action, and senior associate with the Innovation Unit and has recently joined the World Class team. His experience and contribution as an educator is second to none; here is a fascinating glimpse into his latest work in arts education and culture in Sierra Leone…

I got used to the noise, but never quite adjusted to the heat. Whilst, by the end of my too-short first-ever week in Freetown, I could happily navigate the madness of Lumley Junction, I was still sweating as much on day seven as on day one.

What was I doing hre? I’m the co-founder of Global Arts Learning Action. Our mission is to encourage and enable lower income countries to place arts learning at the heart of their education systems, and to mobilise the world’s educators and artists to support these endeavours. We believe that more, better learning through dance, film, literature, music and theatre can help to transform children’s life chances and give them the skills and qualities that will help them thrive. Art-rich learning can also nurture vibrant civil societies, where creativity and freedom of expression are valued. Unfortunately, arts education remains a very low priority in every education system in the world. Whilst the Sustainable Development Goals are galvanising education reforms in low-income countries, reforms are tending not to prioritise the arts in national curricula, assessments or in depictions of effective pedagogy. Whilst, given the extraordinary and immediate challenges that countries like Sierra Leone face in terms of pupil enrolment, teacher quality and, above all, literacy levels, this may not be surprising; but it may also be a missed opportunity. There is evidence from around the world that high quality arts learning can help address these very challenges.

I was invited to Sierra Leone by two school groups — Educaid and Rising Academies — to explore how our idea might work in a particular context. As well as meeting with teachers and pupils, I discussed our emerging plans with government officials and artists, entrepreneurs and politicians. It was clear from day one that education is an issue which Sierra Leone’s citizens care deeply about. On one day, newspapers led with stories of unpaid teachers. On another, headlines revealed accusations of exam board corruption. I had read about Sierra Leone’s low school completion rates, especially amongst girls, its high levels of illiteracy, and its chronic lack of education funding. But as I saw schools who creatively converted classrooms by day into dormitories by night for the most vulnerable children, or who only had ancient books and blackboards to work with, I far better understood the daily challenges that students and teachers face across Sierra Leone.

As well as encountering the generosity of so many people in Freetown, I was also heartened by the way people engaged with and offered critical insights to what is still a very half-formed idea. It’s so difficult to summarise all my thoughts, but here are three insights:

First, in terms of the arts and culture, Sierra Leone has a rich, impressive history to draw on, and a growing artistic talent base which could be harnessed to support schools. A strong tradition of making great theatre has been undermined by the civil war and Ebola. Visionaries such as Charlie Hafner are doing their best to sustain and grow these traditions, in difficult circumstances. Similarly, Ballanta Academy is keeping both traditional and modern music making alive amongst young people in Freetown. Many people I spoke to, including younger artists and filmmakers, were passionate about Sierra Leone reviving stronger expressions of its own cultural outputs, rather than accepting the increasing domination of Nigerian culture in particular. Global university Limkokwing has recently opened a new campus in Freetown, working with the government to provide scholarships for over a thousand students to study creative and IT-related degrees and diplomas. Everyone from the Minister of Culture to Esther, the young gospel singer I met outside the Ministry, saw the arts as fundamental to the regeneration of Sierra Leone, and to the ongoing quest to promote the civic values that provide the best insulation against any return to civil conflict. As renowned theatre academic and former Minister of Information Professor Cecil Blake asserted, ‘arts can be a powerful force for social change in Sierra Leone’.

Second, whilst resources and capacity are of course an issue in almost all schools in Sierra Leone, the biggest barrier may still be the curriculum and assessment systems. Although the arts is included in primary schools, assessed through the ‘creative and practical arts’ track at BECE/lower secondary, and an optional strand for the WAACE, the curriculum is in urgent need of an update. It favours knowledge and understanding — for instance, of types of animal hides — over the nurturing of any creative responses or expressions. Young people in Sierra Leone don’t lack curiosity — far from it. But at school, they tend to lack the space and encouragement to pursue this curiosity and express their ideas and emotions.

Third, both pupils and teachers are very keen to experience more arts learning opportunities in and out of school. Many teachers I met told me of the teachers whose arts teaching inspired them as pupils. They were also keen to tell me about their own artistic interests and talents — from rapping to poetry, drawing to dance. They were desperate to bring these interests into their teaching, so they could inspire pupils in similar ways. Teachers in Sierra Leone are widely criticised for old-fashioned methods and a lack of commitment, but the teachers I met were motivated and ready to learn and teach in different ways.

So I returned to the relative cool of London much more optimistic about the chances of success and impact in Sierra Leone. It seems that there is an appetite amongst both educators and artists for a new programme that builds on existing initiatives, is locally owned and encompasses curriculum innovation, teacher training, and new school-artist partnerships. Over the next few months, We’ll be talking to more people in and outside the country. We hope to return in December, having secured support from global foundations and companies, and work with local partners to co-design a programme that can start from 2018.

So imagine if, over the next generation, arts became central to all young Sierra Leonean’s lives, in and out of school. What might be the impact and benefits, for young people themselves and for Sierra Leone’s society? How might we get there? And how could you, as citizens, parents and educators, contribute? As one of Sierra Leone’s most successful musicians Emmerson said to me: ‘we artists are here, we are ready to help.’


Objectives then activities
As a teacher, it can be tempting to think of an activity and then base some learning around it. However, this could mean that you end up wasting time tasking your students with something that has no end goal. Instead, always start with a learning objective and then base an activity around this. That way you can always be sure that they are going to reach their goal.

Think about whether everyone needs a recap
Children are different, and they have different approaches to learning. You are likely to find that some will need a direct instruction in order to get a task completed, whereas others can work alone or in groups. During the lesson you may need to give a recap of the learning or what is expected, however, you may find that this is only necessary for some of the children, rather than all of the children.
Decrease the distractions
Distractions, in whatever form they come in can be harmful to lessons. What you may not realise however is that you may be the one causing the distractions. Sometimes you will need some additions to your standard approach to teaching, but all the flashy extras may end up distracting your students rather than helping them.
Structure your lessons well
One way that you can make the most of your lesson time is to structure it as best you can. Of course, no two lessons are the same, but you will have a rough idea of how a lesson is best organised. A great way to get a lesson underway is start with an activity that is linked to the previous lessons learning. Not only does this get the students focused on working, but also encourages them to think about their previous learning.
Think about lessons as a sequence 
Whilst lessons are separate in the sense of time, they often follow each other in a sequence, with the learning linked. If your aim is to guide students towards an end learning goal, then you will want to make sure that lessons are ordered in a logical way. Not only so that they make sense, but also so you can pick up on any gaps in learning that you have noticed.
Be prepared
There is so much that can be said for being prepared. In fact, teachers can soon learn that a large chunk of their time is taken up, simply by not preparing properly for a lesson. They should have all their resources out and ready on the tables, or at least be prepared to hand them out as soon as the students take their seats. They should also have stationary to hand, the whiteboards premade and any websites that will be used ready to go.
 Structure a routine
The best friend of being prepared has to be the routine. Routine’s offer a consistent approach to lessons, and makes sure that students know what is expected of them, as well as what to expect. Routines can come in the form of passing around lesson material, entering the classroom and leaving the classroom too.
Provide written instructions
Written instructions are important to a lesson, no matter whether they are printed out or on the board. They offer the students something to refer back to, when they need it, meaning that you minimise the time spent re-explaining things and clarifying what they need to do.
Manage negative behaviour
One of the main causes of wasted behaviour for many schools is negative behaviour from students. There are a number of ways that you can manage this negative behaviour and it really will depend on the age of your students, as well as the students misbehaving too. Sometimes all you need is to let them know that you have noticed their behaviour perhaps with non-verbal communication.
Pay attention during the class for feedback
How often do you monitor the work that is being done by your students? Chances are that it isn’t as much as you should. Lesson time is often wasted when a child hasn’t understood the task and is getting things wrong. It may seem like it would take more time to go around and ensure that every student understands what they need to do, but the truth is that this can be beneficial for the students and for their learning. You can tackle issues as they pop up, and challenge students that are finding the work too easy.

No matter which way you go about it, it is important that you try your best to make every minute count in your lesson. Do you have any additional tips for maximising learning in the classroom? Comment below or find us on Facebook or Twitter.