Taking the step to begin supply teaching can be daunting, whether you are stepping away from the security of a familiar teaching position or starting out as an ECT straight from your training. But it can also be exciting and it is important to be prepared for this new journey.
Finding the right supply agency for you
It is key to find an agency that is the right fit for you, as there are a variety of agencies out there providing services for schools. Things to consider would be:
Preparing for your bookings
When working on supply being prepared is key. Where you have bookings confirmed in advance you will have time to prepare, to ensure you are ready to work and do your best for the pupils and school that day.
Pre-plan your route to the school you are working at and have an idea of where you are able to park. This will allow you to think about your travel time and plan what time to leave so that you can arrive at the school in plenty of time.
It is also useful to know as much about the school as possible before you arrive and therefore it is good to have a look at the school website. The website will tell you about the curriculum they follow, about the school philosophy and values, about the classes and the structure of the school day.
It is a good idea to check the main school policies such as the behaviour and safeguarding policies.
Think about what additional resources you may need and have your supply bag ready to go. Although in most cases planning is provided it is always helpful to have some activities, lesson extensions and time fillers up your sleeve, ready to use if needed. Also have a few stationery items with you, so you don’t have to hunt for a pen or notepad.
Arriving at the school
Schools can be very different and of course they all have their own community which they serve. If you get the opportunity to speak to someone when you arrive at the school then it is a good idea to ask about the school’s code of conduct and if there is anything in particular that you need to be aware of and procedures you need to follow.
It is important to take with you your ID card/lanyard as well as your DBS certificate and some photo ID as schools will ask to see these before you can get into the school.
Ask as many questions as you can so that you are as prepared as you possibly can be, the more informed you are the better your experience will be.
What does the school expect from you:
Relationships are the building blocks of education, but building those relationships can be difficult as a supply teacher especially if you are only in a school for a day or a limited amount of time. However, pupils usually want to please their class teacher so remind them that their teacher is very proud of them and that you want to report back to the teacher about how well they have done.
Teaching Assistants are a great resource so please make use of them if you are lucky enough to have a TA working with you as they will know all of the school procedures and processes.
Have high expectations of the class with regards to behaviour and their learning and set these positively with the class at the very beginning of the day.
Finishing your day and leaving a good impression
It is important to ensure you mark all work taught that day according to the individual school’s marking policy and to leave a note of explanation for the class teacher. Hopefully you will have been provided with a copy of the school’s marking policy, but if not you can ask for a copy so that you will know, for example, which coloured pen to use!
If you have done any activities that day which have resulted in moving tables around then please try to put everything back as you found it. It may be a good idea to take a photo of the classroom at the start of the day to remind yourself of the set up when you arrived. Or you can ask the pupils who will no doubt be able to tell you how the tables and chairs are set up. If you have a TA working with you then they will also know how the room should be left at the end of the school day.
Making a good impression with the school will likely result in you being requested to return for future bookings.
Finally, think about how you are going to look after yourself. Being on supply can be quite stressful as you move from one school to another, so think about how you are going to manage your time, set yourself boundaries and know when to turn your laptop off!
If you are thinking of working as a primary supply teacher in the Devon area then please contact Exeter Supply Partnership:
01392 927171 option 1
Please see below the presentations and resources from speakers who delivered at the Primary SEND Professional Community on Thursday 12th October 2023:
Alison Betts, Whole School SEND Update
An update on the latest developments from Whole School SEND.
View Alison's presentation here.
Rebecca Hewitt, Community Safety & Safeguarding Manager, Teignbridge District Council
Let’s Talk Programme. Sessions and resources for parents and carers of pre-teens and teenagers.
View Rebecca's presentation here.
Links to the current videos and toolkits available:
Let's Talk Toolkits
Let's Talk Teenagers Session 1 Recording
Let's Talk Pre-Teens Session 1 Recording
If you would like to be on the mailing list for future events please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know of anyone who you think would benefit from attending the session for Parents/Carers on growing up in a porn culture please send this link onto them https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lets-talk-about-growing-up-in-a-porn-culture-session-for-parentscarers-tickets-709450705157?aff=oddtdtcreator
Rebecca Skinner, Lead for Children and Young People, Active Devon
Using physical activity and movement to support SEND pupils.
View Rebecca's presentation here.
Physical Literacy Overview
Physical Activity and Movement Follow Up
Thank you for your time and energy during my session exploring our relationship with physical activity and movement. You can view the slides above and a leaflet which gives an overview of the Physical Literacy Consensus Statement. You can also read more about physical literacy here.
The Inclusive Education Hub provides lots of support for you as teachers or school staff to review and improve your inclusive physical education and school sport delivery. It includes the Inclusive PE Self-Assessment I recommended that you sit down and complete with your PE Lead. You answer a set of short and simple questions that, once submitted, provides you with guidance and resources to support inclusive PE and physical activity at your school. We can come in and support you with this if it’s helpful.
There are several School Games events that are designed with inclusion in mind available across the county.
We have two SwimPix packs available for schools to trial (and keep) for free. In return we’d like to create a case study to share with other schools across Devon. If you’d like to review the SwimPix resources for us, please get in touch.
If you have an example of good practice in your school which you’re happy to share across the network, please do get in touch.
If you would like to explore this topic further and discuss future training and support for your school, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:
Fran Brinicombe, Strategic Lead for SEND & Safeguarding, Ventrus MAT
Our experience of the OFSTED process.
View Fran's presentation here.
Alicia Balfour, Educational Psychologist, CourseWeDo
Reach2Teach Action for Inclusion Tool and how it helps to support SEMH.
View Alicia's presentation here.
Thursday 22nd February 2024, 8.45 - 12.00, Exeter Court Hotel
Book your space here.