Pupils to become Teachers of the Future

As Teachers we have a lot of responsibility on our shoulders to help encourage and teach the next generation about the history and society of our world. By allowing students to express their creativity in a controlled and encouraging environment, we help children to develop key social skills, literacy, numeracy and cognitive thinking that will help them to grow and become working, fully fledged members of society. This includes helping to teach the next generation of primary teachers.
primary-tweacher-pupil-300x192Some government officials are stating that children should be scouted as young as the primary level in order to help prepare them for a future in teaching. This is thought to help combat the predicted teacher shortage that has taken effect over the past few years and may get worse as time goes by.
Chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership Charlie Taylor has said that schools should encourage children to start aspiring to become teachers before they enter their teens, in order to ensure that they get the very best teaching opportunities as they grow. Examples include working part time as a ‘Classroom Assistant’ to get a sense of how it feels to be a teacher.
However although this may be a good-intentioned scheme to encourage children to consider teaching as a valid career choice, it is important to take into account each child’s individual preferences. After all, we are here to help children become who they really want to be, not to mould them into what is needed at the time.

Schools No Longer Teaching Creationism

All public schools throughout the UK will now be prevented from teaching Creationism as if it were scientific fact in their classes. Although many public schools already took this into account when teaching Creationism, it has now been announced that all public funded schools as well as any existing and future academies will be following the new rule.
od-300x197The changes come as a result of ensuring that the education sector remains open minded to multiple religions and practises as a part of ‘multi-cultural Britain’. Although Creationism is still relatively important in teaching our young people how the Earth ‘came to be’ it has taken more of a back seat role in religion recently as many mainstream churches and religious traditions even go so far as to reject Creationism as a theory.
Because it lacks scientific evidence – a factor which is becoming more and more crucial every day with each new discovery we make as a species about our world – Creationism must not be taught as scientific fact. However this will not discredit the teaching of Creationism in public schools, it is just important to make sure that it is not taught as a reliable alternative to any scientific theory of our origin.

Out Goes the Traditional Nativity

It’s out with the old and in with the new for School Nativities across the nation this year. With one in three schools hosting a traditional nativity play nowadays many of the adapted performances have been called Winter Celebrations or End of Year Concerts in an attempt to stray away from the traditional Nativity scene while at the same time honouring its memory by replacing the name.

nativity-300x187A more ‘updated’ nativity is now often in place in schools, featuring modernised stars such as drunk spacemen, Elvis, fairies, footballers and even modernised issues such as recycling and global warming. Other nativities host ‘Apprentice Style’ Christmases with ‘Lord Christmas’ playing the lead role instead of Father Christmas.

Although this is a modern take on the traditional Nativity and may have been done to increase inclusion for those not celebrating Christmas as a Christian holiday – or those celebrating other Winter holidays such as Hanukkah and Diwali – many parents are against this new trend of an updated Christmas Nativity, instead preferring to teach their children the story of Christ at home.

However you choose to celebrate Christmas, what it boils down to is celebrating the spirit of goodwill among mankind and being grateful for the gifts you have and the family you can share it with. We at Redbox Teachers hope you have a fantastic time, whatever you celebrate, and Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year.

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.

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.

music

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!

Plan to get Dinner Ladies and Teaching Assistants Fair Pay Deal

A new plan announced by Labour will see school dinner ladies, teaching assistants and caretakers all getting a fair pay deal. Since 2010 dinner ladies and teaching assistants have seen a wage cut of 18% despite them providing many hours of work and effort into providing the very best for the nation’s children.

ady

Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt endeavours to bring back a national bargaining structure, helping to acknowledge the importance of school support staff by calling them the ‘Unsung heroes and heroines of our schools” and stating that they “play a crucial role in delivering the right environment for our children to learn in”

 

It is essential to remember how important and reliable school support staff is in a learning environment and by bringing back the national bargaining structure, Mr Hunt hopes to provide a fair pay deal for those that work just as hard and really need it.

It is important to enter into a career that you enjoy, however it is equally important that you can sufficiently support yourself in that career. That is why at Redbox teachers we strive to provide excellent primary teacher job opportunities with fair wages for teachers and teaching assistants throughout London and the surrounding areas.

New Curriculum Starting in September 2014

A challenging new curriculum has been implemented for the start of this new teaching year that could see pupils completing tougher tasks that will hopefully help to develop their Maths, English and computing skills. This will not affect children going into Year 2 and 6 as they will be sitting their national tests at the end of the year. The rewritten curriculum is a nationwide change affecting both key stage 1 teachers and teaching assistants and pupils, that hopes to challenge pupils and prepare them for life in modern Britain.
fraction-300x270 (1)Changes include children from ages 5 – 14 will be taught computer programming, a foreign secondary language will be compulsory at primary school and the use of calculators on tests may be phased out for 11 year olds.

A spokesman said that the aim was for ‘all children to learn the core knowledge in key subjects, which are the ones that both universities and employers value the most’.

However, The Association of Teachers and Lecturers have expressed concerns that many of its members feel their schools are not fully prepared to teach the newly implemented curriculum.

Will this change be for the better? Or are we trying to force too much on our children from a younger age?

Teachers’ Pay linked to Performance in Bristol Schools

[redbox] school news blog

Schools in Bristol have announced that from September 2014, newly-qualified teachers will have their pay linked directly to classroom performance. To an extent teacher’s pay will depend on the performance and growth of their pupils.

Many parents and teachers are in favour of this, particularly those who feel they go the extra mile when it comes to teaching their classes, and why shouldn’t they be? It is thought that this will be a direct incentive for teachers to put more effort into improving pupil’s willingness to learn performance in examinations.

On the other hand, this new system could drive NQTs to teach outside of Bristol as the criteria for pay may be inconsistent. In addition, the new system could also see a reduction of teachers willing to teach at tougher schools as performance of the pupils and their engagement may not be as good as other schools.

However, how easy is this system to implement? How would the efforts of the teacher and the pupil’s growth be measured objectively? Will this be a reliable and valid system? Would this be putting more pressure on pupils as they would be partly responsible for their teacher’s pay? It is not black and white when it comes to the education of children. Certain examples are as follows:

teacher pay perf

“If a pupil does well in an examination subject is this the result of the work done by his or her Year 11 subject teacher or his or her primary school teachers who taught the pupil literacy and numeracy? Which teacher should get the credit for examination success?”

 

Quotation taken from article: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Plan-link-teacher-s-pay-pupils-results-branded/story-21210185-detail/story.html

Plus there is also the issue of how to measure a pupil’s ‘level of success’. An individual may feel that they have made substantial progress over the year; however they may still be falling slightly short of the ‘average’ performance level for their year.

Red Box Teachers is always on hand to provide great opportunities for supply teachers and teaching assistants in and around London. What are your thoughts on this new scheme? What do you think this means for teachers in Bristol schools? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments!

Useful Websites

At Red Box Teachers we understand how important it is for teachers and teaching assistants to have as much information and resources to hand. That is why we have compiled a list of useful websites and texts, including inspiration, hints and tips and tricks of the trade that you might find useful when teaching your class. Enjoy!

Resources

www.primaryresources.co.uk

There cannot be enough praise for this website! You arrive at a school, there are no plans left but at least you know the topic o use this website for Power Points, Smart board files and activity word documents.

www.tes.co.uk/

Above is the TES main page where you can search for resources where there are many great ideas for what to teach within all subjects for each of the different year groups.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/

A range of resources including articles, radio and video clips as well as activities for all of FS, KS1 and KS2. There are a diverse range of topics which are covered so this is well worth a look.

http://resources.woodlandsojunior.kent.sch.uk/teacher/

A primary school website which has a fantastic range of resources for subjects across the curriculum.

http://www.beasupplyteacher.co.uk/

A list of ideas for the different year groups is included in this helpful guide.

http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/files_uploaded/uploaded_resources/12212/mathspuzzlesall.pdf

Mathematical challenges for able pupils for each of the year groups 1o6.

http://jollylearning.co.uk/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Djz82FBYiug

A guide to the phonics programme ‘Jolly Phonics’ and a very good Jolly Phonics video which could be used in Reception or Year One.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5vmLvOf6fg

Pie Corbett’s video of Mr. Zigger and Mr. Zagger

Support Information – Recommended Reading

http://www.tes.co.uk/section.aspx?navcode=494

The TES (Times Educational Supplement) has a good range of articles under the heading, ‘A Supply Teacher’s Survival Guide.’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/teacheronetwork/2012/jul/23/supplyoteachingoguide

Written by a former supply teacher, this article offers, ‘practical hints and tips’ for new supply teachers.

http://www.aspirepeople.co.uk/candidates/supply_teaching_tips

A good set of tips for new supply teachers.

www.educationengland.org.uk/articles/21supply.html

Gillard, D. (2003) The Supply Teacher’s Lot

This is an amusing article about a day as a primary supply teacher. In the article, the author asks the children to ‘sit at their tables’ which, as you can imagine is not a clear enough instruction. Instructions need to be given very clearly by: defining the seats to sit in, a reminder of what to do when sitting down and if it is not done correctly it will need to be repeated.

Printed texts

• Rogers, Bill (2003) ‘Effective Supply Teaching’ Paul Chapman publishing, London

Full of very informative case studies of aspects of a supply teacher’s day. Although parts of the book focus on High School aged students the advice is still relevant and useful within a primary context.

Dougherty, Martin (1998) ‘The Art of Surviving in Supply Teaching’ The Cromwell Press, Towbridge

This guide begins with outlining the need for temporary staff as well as how to get started and look for work. A useful guide for anyone who wishes to become a supply teacher.

Vickers, Alison (1995) ‘Supply Teaching o Bright Ideas’ Scholastic, Warwickshire

A brilliant guide to the different year groups with ideas listed in topic format.

Selman, Mary Rose and Baird, Mary (1986) ‘Primary Teachers’ Handbook’ Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh

This slightly older guide is very similar in content to the one written by Alison Vickers. It still holds some useful tips and information such as, “the secret of enjoying supply teaching must be in being organised, enthusiastic and confident in what you are doing.” Another good piece of advice it contained was, “the greatest assets of a supply teacher are adaptability, flexibility and a sense of humour.”

Cowley, Sue (2010) ‘Getting the Buggers to Behave’ Continuum International Publishing Group, London

‘’This book provides plenty of information on the basic of behaviour management, lots of tips for controlling your classes, and ideas for managing the physical aspects of the classroom environment. The ideas and advice given are based on common sense observations and strategies that have worked for me,” Sue Cowley.

The Times Educational Supplement (TES)

This is published once a week and contains up to date articles on a range of educational issues. Most schools have a copy delivered but you can also pick it up from any good news agents.

 

Photocopiable Resources

Checklist for arrival, photocopiable resource

– The class timetable

– What planning and resources have been left

– The behaviour policy

– The school layout (where the toilets, staffroom is etc)

– The fire policy

– Where the register is kept and how it is completed

– Where the children are collected from at the start of the day

– The TAs and LSAs in the class

– A list of pupils with SEN

– A list of pupils with EAL

– Any health needs in the class

– Who the school first aiders are and the Health policy

 Hopefully this’ll be helpful for those starting out at a new school! With excellent resources and the facilities available to be able to connect qualified supply teachers and teaching assistants to schools and colleges within their local area. Red Box Teachers also offer a variety of accommodation in and around London for those needing a place to stay for the duration of the teaching assignment.