It is extremely important to ensure that you prepare thoroughly for the job you are applying for and that you spend time looking at a wide variety of schools. You may have in your mind the type of school you would like to work in i.e. this may be a large school or a small rural school, but try not to narrow your search and be open minded about the schools you visit.
Make sure that you have a good look around the school website which will tell you about the curriculum the school follows, the policies school has and will give you an initial sense of what the school is like.
If you get the chance it is also really helpful to go and visit the school and take the opportunity to meet the headteacher, the senior leadership team, teachers and pupils. Take time to look around the classrooms, look at the displays on the walls and look in the pupil’s books. Ask questions of the senior leadership team which will help when the school receive your application form and remind them of the great conversation and discussion they had with you.
Working on supply is a great way to ‘try before you buy’ and allows you to spend time working in a variety of schools to find out what works best for you. Link here to find out more about working on supply in primary schools -
Your supporting letter
Help the panel by organising your letter into headed paragraphs, for example:
It is useful to have a copy of the national curriculum to hand and take resources which can be edited for use in a variety of year groups. Have some resources and lessons prepped that are quick and ready to use and maybe keep these in a folder with ‘go to’ lessons. Think active learning throughout and be really clear about your lesson objective and keep referring back to it. Have clear expectations with regards to behaviour and be positive. Make the lesson active and use modelling as well as quick check in’s during independent learning tasks. Circulate the classroom with purpose during independent learning tasks and include mini plenary sessions if required and share any really good work. Ensure you bring the learning together at the end and thank the pupils for their hard work.
Have examples ready and don’t be afraid to keep notes written on a piece of paper or in a note book and take it into the interview with you.
Take your time in between each question. Breath and try to relax. Use a glass of water to help slow down proceedings whilst you take a sip.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to ask the panel to repeat a question or a part of a questions.
Prepare for the interview by thinking of examples you want to share with the panel from your own practice. Refer to your visit to the school, to your own experience, for example how you have supported SEND pupils and examples of good behaviour management.
You need to ensure that the school is the right fit for you so ask questions about how you will be supported in your teaching career and about anything else you feel you need to know before you make a decision about whether this is the right school for you.
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Katy recently relocated to Devon and previously worked as a class teacher and SENDCO at a primary school in Lincoln. Katy has also held the position of SENDCO in two primary schools prior to this and is extremely proud of her inclusive ethos which has impacted on both pupil outcomes and on staff development.
Why did you choose to become a supply teacher?
I wanted to experience teaching in different schools in the area because I was new to Devon and wanted to find out where would be a good fit for me and where I would be able to best utilise my skills.
Why did you choose Exeter Supply Partnership?
I found ESP from an initial Google search where it came up at the top of the list. I also chose ESP because it is a non-profit organisation which was appealing to me and because of the high percentage of schools in the area that use ESP. I was also very pleased with the service I received and the contact I had when I initially signed up.
Working as a supply teacher means that you are walking into a new situation every day and don’t know what your day is going to look like or what you will be teaching.
In most cases planning will be provided by the school, however it is always useful to have some back up ideas ready in case a lesson needs adapting, the planning isn’t detailed enough, an extension activity or time filler if needed.
There are lots of websites available for teachers with lesson ideas and resources, here are a few that our teachers recommend.
BBC – Teach
Premier League Primary Stars
The World of David Walliams
White Rose Maths
STEM Learning Maths resources
Natural History Museum
The PE Umbrella
BBC Super Movers
And there are lots more!
If you’re looking to return to teaching you may be wondering where to start. No matter what stage you’re at, supply teaching can be a great way to regain confidence in the classroom.
Perhaps you’re a qualified teacher who took a few years out to go travelling, or maybe you took a longer hiatus to pursue other career avenues before realising teaching is where your passion lies.
Whatever your reason for leaving teaching, one thing’s for sure: the industry will welcome you back with open arms.
Schools are crying out for more teachers, especially teachers with experience already behind them so, if that’s you and you’re wondering where to turn next, we’ve got some top tips to help you return to teaching.
How to return to teaching
Every year thousands of trained teachers leave the profession, be that to retire or change career.
Whatever a teacher’s reason for leaving a school, if you’ve got a burning desire to get back into teaching, there are a few things that will help you.
There is no doubt about it – nursery practitioners have one of the toughest, yet most rewarding jobs going.
Responsible for supporting and guiding children through their preschool years, it is a career that requires dedication, passion and sensitivity.
It goes without saying that you will need to enjoy being around young babies and children if you want to become a nursery practitioner; however, there’s much more to it than that.
Here we explore just what it takes to become a great nursery practitioner.
Nursery practitioner qualifications
More often than not nursery practitioners begin their career working as an assistant within a nursery setting. As an assistant you may be working under supervision and therefore no formal qualifications are required, or you may be working towards a qualification for example completing an apprenticeship.
Continuing professional development is important in all industries, but for teachers it’s especially vital to ensure effectiveness in the classroom.
Not only that, it can increase teacher motivation and confidence and stand you in good stead when moving between schools – something supply teachers know all too well.
CPD for teachers helps keep you up to date with your chosen specialism, if you have one, as well as stay abreast of the latest approaches to teaching.
It’s easy to get swallowed up in the day-to-day busyness that being a teacher inevitably attracts; however, investing in CPD can put you head and shoulders above the rest, as well as making sure you offer the best possible teaching environment for the students in your classroom.
What is CPD and why should you do it?
So, what exactly is CPD training for teachers?
Put simply, continuing professional development is the practice of engaging in activities which develop your professional skills in a given industry.
It encourages teachers to take an active role in their career, enabling them to keep their qualifications up to date and even train in new areas.
It is of huge benefit to supply teachers because not only does it strengthen your professional credibility, it can also boost your confidence levels and allow you to be more creative in the classroom.
An additional benefit, and one great reason why schools and supply teaching agencies promote CPD, is it underpins high teaching standards and ensures everyone in a school is working towards the same goal.
Finally, CPD ensures teachers are compliant and up to date with the Department for Education and Ofsted’s requirements, which are continually evolving and changing.
Primary supply teaching offers qualified teachers a flexible working arrangement with greater variety than a permanent school placement.
It can be a great option for those wanting to dip their toe into teaching after qualifying, for anyone wanting to work more flexibly around their family or for teachers looking to wind down into retirement.
Being a supply teacher means less responsibility when it comes to lesson planning, a greater variety of classrooms and the chance to plan your own work schedule.
But, as with any career move, there are a few things you need to consider before jumping in the deep end.
For anyone thinking about becoming a supply teacher, it can be hard knowing where to start, which is why we’ve put together our top seven tips for getting into primary supply teaching.
Primary supply teacher qualifications
If you’ve found yourself reading this article the chances are you’ve already got the necessary qualifications to be a supply teacher.
You’ll need to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), so if you’ve already gained your qualification then you’re good to go in terms of primary supply teaching.
If you’re in the middle of your studies you may be wondering if supply teaching is a good option for you.
Many newly-qualified teachers use supply teaching as a way of dipping their toe into the water before taking on a permanent placement with a school, while others choose to return to supply teaching after completing their statutory induction, working on supply for the remainder of their career’
Whatever your position, so long as you have QTS, then primary supply teaching is an option available to you.