Curry Half and Half Helps Children Understand Diversity

A celebration of the cultural heritage of the popular food dish ‘Curry Half and Half’ started early last month as a means of teaching Welsh children about the importance of diversity in today’s society. The project has been devised by the EYST – The Ethnic Youth Support Team and features a teaching pack filled with information, including a CD about how food and food heritage affects our lives.

The ‘tester’ school used for the project was St Helen’s Primary School, where it was launched officially on the 13th July. The project is supposed to reinforce beliefs already put in place by the school itself, about each child’s responsibility to be kind to others and to think about the affects their actions and words may have on others.

The dish itself is a classic Welsh dish and is a curry dish that comes with both chips and rice. The teaching pack is designed to look bright and accessible to children and serves to help children better understand the positive benefits of diversity.

Imagine how Britain would be without the immensely diverse range of recipes we see in restaurants and take aways, even in our supermarkets today. There would be no pizza, no spring rolls, no onion bhajis, no omelettes! Many of the foods we see and eat today, we owe to multicultural Britain, and it is important to remember that.

The Importance of Learning Times Tables for Primary School Children

New plans revealed by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will see children expected to fully know their times tables by the time they finish primary school. This will be done using an ‘on-screen check’ examination which is being piloted by around 3,000 students in 80 schools this year. If the on-screen check is a success, the test will be fully implemented countrywide in 2017.

It is said that both children and teachers will be judged by the results of the tests. And while people may not see a useful ‘application’ of the times tables in everyday life, once you start to dig a little deeper, it becomes apparent that Maths is as much an essential part of our life as the concept of energy in – energy out. The introduction of these tests will continue to bring to light the crucial role that a good maths education will play for children coming into the world as capable adults.

UntitledMixed Responses

While the introduction of these tests could spell out a new focus given the importance of the times tables, there are those who have expressed doubt at the method of learning being used. While tests are currently one of the only ways to accurately gather data on how children are learning and progressing, some primary teachers are worried at the introduction of yet more tests to the syllabus.

Increase of Primary School Pupils in Recent Years

Recent statistics have shown that the Primary School population in England has reached its highest level ever since the 1970s. With around 94,000 pupils attending Primary Schools across the country this year, this is putting increasing strain on finding teachers for these pupils and creating more places in local schools.

There has been an estimated increase of about 200,000 children to Primary Schools in two years, which is showing as a result of the rising population over the past few years. This has presented a fairly large challenge to Primary Schools as they try to adapt to the growing number of pupils in their classes. Around 87 Primary Schools throughout England now have over 800 pupils.

If this doesn’t slow down within the next few years, there could be a serious placement shortage for Primary School children from all walks of life. A further 460,000 extra pupils have been predicted within the next five years, which is a staggering number when compared to the last few years.

Soon enough, this population boom will also reach Secondary Schools, which is a major cause for concern when it comes to understaffed teachers. Now more than ever, it is essential that more students are encouraged to study degrees in teaching, and there is a higher demand for teachers, substitute teachers and teaching assistants than ever before, nationwide.


Children’s Art Week

creative artsWith the SATs over and the Summer holidays on the horizon, this week promises to be a week of fun and creativity with Children’s Art Week. Organised by the National Association for Gallery Education, from the 13th to the 21st June teachers and teaching assistants can get involved by taking children on school trips to local galleries hosting events, or create their own activities.

The week is designed to give children the chance to experience the visual arts for themselves and perhaps even participate, giving them access to much needed arts activities. Last year over 100 activities were held throughout the UK during Children’s Art Week and this year promises to be even bigger.

The importance of the visual arts is showing that children can express their creative selves without being told what is right or wrong. Arts are a way of expression so there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to express yourself. It gives them a chance to stretch their imagination and takes their mind off more literal thinking and problem solving; which can be heavily stressed upon in education today.

Were you thinking of organising something this Children’s Art Week? Perhaps you could follow the lives of a famous artist each day, or have a running artistic ‘theme’ throughout the week. There are so many things you can do to celebrate Children’s Art Week, so get going!

Mixing up the Classroom Seating

Seating arrangements are a great way to encourage quick order in your class, however it can get boring sitting the same pupils next to each other week in and week out and your class will more than likely have a few troublemakers that like to stir things up. So what can be done?
download-300x160Why not try this simple exercise? Give each child a piece of paper to write on and ask them to write down the names of four children they would like to sit with the following week as well as a student that they feel has been a good Samaritan that week. You can get them to write the papers anonymously or you can ask them to write their names on the top.
hold-hands-300x292What this does, aside from giving your pupils a position to strive towards – Good Samaritan – is it will highlight children in your class that may be having difficulties making friends. It will show who was popular last week and who may not be so popular this week. It may even help to highlight those students which may be bullied, or those that are struggling with their class work.

After all, a cry for help is not always done in the form of a literal, verbal cry for help, and reading between the lines with exercises such as this is a great way to see, even as a supply teacher how your pupils are really doing when it comes to building friendships and relationships which are going to be essential life skills as they grow older.

Teaching Primary Children Code

As primary support teachers, we endeavour to teach our pupils a range of subjects designed to help give them a general understanding of the world we live in, while helping them to develop their own strengths and give them positive encouragement to continue to learn. Essential subjects include Maths, History and Languages, however Computer Science has taken a back seat in primary learning and it is becoming more important than ever that this is changed in our classes.

code-300x23215 years ago we were on the cusp of a technological revolution.

Information Technology started to creep into our everyday lives and although we as adults began to learn and incorporate IT into our daily routine, it has only garnered interest from younger children in the past few years, with the rise of mobile technology.

In order to ensure the future success of the technological age it is important that we teach young children Computer Science as soon as possible, as it opens up countless new job opportunities when you are Computer literate.

Plus, within Computer Science you will also gain a broader understanding of a number of other subjects including Literacy, Numeracy and the ability to express ourselves creatively.

Children are fast learners and are ready to absorb everything that comes their way. Why not introduce them into a world full of new opportunities with a comprehensive Computer Science course, even if it is just for one hour a week?


uniced-300x199Hundreds of schools across the country took part in a UNICEF campaign which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. These rights were created in order to better protect youngsters and improve a sense of community. Rights include providing what a child essentially needs to survive and grow in order to fulfil their true potential and these rights are given to every child regardless of age, race or gender.

Young pupils at Aberchirder Primary took part in a nationwide celebration of children’s rights by walking through the town on Thursday 20th November and delivering messages to local passersby about what the 1989 UN Convention meant to them and their individual learning. It was a new and exciting opportunity for the children to pass on what they had learnt about the convention as well as expressing their own views as to how things can be improved in the future.

The pupils have been praised for taking an interest into equal rights for all and it is encouraging to see young children taking an active stance in raising awareness for underprivileged children who still struggle all over the world. As teachers, we fully support the idea that every child should have the right to a professional education that helps them to grow as an individual. Why not apply for a substitute teaching position today to make a difference in a child’s life?

Children Interview War Veterans for Project

Legion Scotland, the veteran’s charity has called on Aberdeen primary pupils to research their community’s involvement in World War II. The charity hopes that it will highlight the importance in listening to stories told by local members of society as it helps them to relive and learn the past through the eyes of a child in the Great War.

veteran-300x187It will show what it was like to be a child living in the Great War. Primary pupils will need to conduct a series of interviews with local people, honing in on one individual in particular to help shape up their understanding of living in World War II.

As well as interviews, the children will need to use photography to document their research, source historical artefacts and write a 500 word piece.

These projects will be collected to create an archive of first hand Scottish stories from World War II and to place emphasis on the importance of remembrance.

Whether you are looking for a part time teaching position or a permanent job as a teacher or teaching assistant, why not join Redbox today to work alongside many other world class teachers in order to provide children in schools in and around London with the support they need to grow and develop.

Longer School Days for Children?

Suggestions made by the Department for Education to combat underachievement in children from working-class backgrounds have included allusions to a possible ‘longer school day’ in order to give children more time to complete their work in a supportive environment.

imagesHowever many teachers and parents have lashed out against this theory stating that children need to have a life outside of school in which they can relax, unwind and enjoy some quiet time before going to bed.

As it stands children who come home from school after 3:30 are already pretty tired and making the school day even longer may damage their attention span and could even have the adverse effect on concentration.

With autumn settling in, a longer school day could mean that children may have to make the walk home in the dark, which not many parents are happy about.

Plus it could be a bad news for teachers, particularly those who teach in London and nearby as classes are already over saturated and a longer working day will mean less time to mark work and plan future lessons among other things.

There have been other suggestions brought forward to help combat underachievement including the establishment of a possible ‘homework club’ but it has been expressed that it would be better if it were run by parents and volunteers otherwise the concept of ‘home-work’ would be completely nullified.

What do you think? Longer school days which give children more time to think and study? Or is this just adding more strain to a possibly already over saturated system?

Children to be Taught Classical Music

In order to alleviate fears that children are not being taught about classical music, ten pieces of classical music are going to be introduced to the syllabus by composers from Beethoven and Stravinsky among others.


The project is known as Ten Pieces and will be introduced into lessons through a film.

Around 150 arts organisations have signed up to the scheme and will visit schools in order to assist with the running of interactive workshops regarding the composed works.


In addition, there has also been interest among members of BBC orchestras to concerts being held at schools. This project has stemmed from the idea that not many children will have had the chance to listen or react to classical music, so to incorporate it into schools will be a great way to inspire children with classical music.

Classical music has been known to increase creativity and have a positive impact on behaviour in children, so it is important to give these children a chance to experience the music for themselves at a younger age.

With a wide range of different teaching jobs available for schools in and around London, Redbox is a professional teaching agency dedicated to helping you to find your dream career. Send in your CV to us today!