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Can I please ask for advice - without causing a bun fight?

(59 Posts)
ilove Fri 01-May-15 19:17:51

I will start by saying I am not QTS. I haven't done a PGCE, nor do I have a "proper" degree (I'm a qualified chef).

I work for an agency as a cover supervisor, and have for the last two years. They're fsb, I do two days a week all over Yorkshire, and up until recently it has all been at secondary schools.

Recently I did a course to convert to working in primary school and I'm being sent out as a HLTA, consequently I sometimes get to school and fins that I'm teaching rather than the TA. for secondary I have a huge folder of backup work in all subjects in case there is no work set, and I'm not one who simply sits in the corner ignoring the kids, I actually deliver the work and do my damnedest to teach them. I'm intelligent and educated and if all else fails I'll go for general knowledge stuff, literacy and maths etc.

However with primary I'm a bit stuck to know where I can get the stuff I need as backup, eg yesterday I had Y3 in the morning and reception in the afternoon. Can any of you recommend any websites or anything I can gather to take with me?

PLEASE can we not argue over cover supervisors and how wrong it is that they are there - there's enough animosity towards me in the staff rooms as it is, and I didn't create the job nor the reasons for it - I simply do my best for a low daily rate, and I really do care.


Redlocks28 Fri 01-May-15 19:22:09

What's fsb-is it a type of academy?

ilove Fri 01-May-15 19:23:16

Gah. Fsb should say fab!!!

DoctorLawn Fri 01-May-15 19:23:18

Primary Resources

are the main ones that don't require payment. TES has better resources in general, but has recently changed its site so they are a right pain to download now - you might be best initially looking at Primary Resources.

Redlocks28 Fri 01-May-15 19:29:12

Ha ha-doh, of course it's fab. Sorry!

Primary resources and the TES are good for the dreaded worksheets.

Other websites with good IWB games/activities on that are good are phonicsplay, ictgames, bbc learning clips and Senteacher. Twinkl has good bits on too.

ilove Fri 01-May-15 19:54:36

Thank you so mych. It's a massive learning curve, totally in at the deep end!!!

HagOtheNorth Fri 01-May-15 19:57:29 is a good site for maths investigations, especially for KS2.

Strictly1 Fri 01-May-15 19:59:13

I'd second primary resources and the TES. Woodlands junior has some good links too. I may not agree with it, but good luck. ��

seventeen Fri 01-May-15 20:03:38

When I did primary supply I took a copy of every single worksheet that was left by the various teachers, and filed them all away for emergencies.

So if decent work is left, you can reuse it.

Agree that is your best bet otherwise.

ilove Fri 01-May-15 20:27:17

Thank you everyone x

Thatssofunny Fri 01-May-15 20:35:52

I'm confused. Why are you cover supervising in primary schools?
If you are being sent in as an HLTA, I wouldn't expect you to teach. If the teacher's out, they should get a supply teacher. (If our HLTA is out, when she should be covering a teacher, then we also get a supply teacher.)
I wouldn't expect you (or a supply teacher, for that matter) to bring in your own planning and resources.

I tend to leave art or French. Pinterest is great for easy art activities. Lightbulb Languages provides full (and easy) planning and resources for KS2 French. Mostly, I prefer it if cover teachers don't attempt to teach from my English or Maths planning...I'm very rarely off, though. At secondary school, I used to leave calculated colouring for cover supervisors.

ilove Fri 01-May-15 20:53:59

I'm teaching because that's what I'm asked to do - I'm cheaper than a supply, therefore the schools ask her a cover who can do primary. Sometimes I'm in as a TA, more often than not I'm replacing the teacher. It is really hard sometimes and I need backup stuff I can do with the right levels for all ages, as yesterday for Y3 was really difficult - badly performing school with many issues and told "we don't mind what you do". Really, really hard!

ilove Fri 01-May-15 20:56:24

Also, the school office or whoever books agency staff will often tell the other teachers/TA's that we ARE supply teachers, not that we are cover staff - it's a political minefield unfortunately. But again, I'm not the one responsible for what people are told or what they agree with or not. I just do my job smile

newbieman1978 Fri 01-May-15 21:10:35

So you are a qualified HLTA?

A hlta is able to cover for a teacher and deliver lessons, usually a hlta which is employed by the school. It's pretty poor form for a school to get a hlta in on supply when they actually should be getting a teacher in.

Without being funny, the reason you should not be covering in primary is the reason you are posting on here... You don't know what you are doing.

My advice would be to turn down work you are not capable of until you get the correct training and are capable.

ilove Fri 01-May-15 21:13:35

No I'm not qualified, however I am sent to do work I'm capable of. I simply needed website ideas for backup stuff is all.


StupidBloodyKindle Fri 01-May-15 21:23:11

OP your agency might be fab at finding you work..but that's what they are there for and that's what they are getting a cut of your salary for. This sounds wrong. I am QTS secondary PGCE trained and on supply, I worked in secondaries, primaries, sen schools, hospital schools, private schools and quite often, schools in special measures.
I did this for two years at a daily rate of £85 up to £135. When learning cover supervisors and hlta were allowed to cover classes the bottom dropped out the market so I did two maternity leaves then became a permanent learning cover supervisor at 18k a year/1k a month net.

I can genuinely think of only a couple of occasions where there was no work or substandard work left.
I only had to plan, prepare or photocopy resources when it was a much longer absence rather than day to day and when agreed in advance or when I was obviously contracted to do so ie a maternity leave.
Certainly not two random days a week and definitely never as a cover supervisor.
If your agency are sending you in as a qts supply, they are being disingenuous and getting a huge mainscale daily rate not passed down to you. Even as a qts supply in primary, I had work left...a couple of times, I might have had to think on my feet but that was the exception.

Rant over, in answer to your question there are three websites that spring to mind for general ideas (a lot if these are for preschool/reception but you will find some things might cover you in an emergency. I also did what a pp did, namely a big lever arch file of different subjects and took one copy of anything I rated).
enchanted learning
first school
woodland trust
also the most amazing should have been given an OBE by now mandy barrow had a wealth of info, ideas and links on primary homework help/project britain/special days in uk.

good luck x

ilove Fri 01-May-15 21:34:25

thankyou. Yes, often work is set but when I go into a school in special measures, or am called in last minute, they are scrabbling round trying to find something for the children to do. One school I go to (large sec school) often has over 30 teaching staff off in a day. If I have stuff as backup it helps me as well as the children - nothing worse than bored kids who finish the (often badly thought out) small amount of work that's been left for them, or thrust At me in a rush. I do SEN schools too.

I don't usually get given a laptop either so the interactive whiteboard is not useable, meaning I only have the normal one to use.

I enjoy it and sometimes feel like I have made a difference to a child, which is fab.

It isn't fair on the children that cover are sent in, but at least with me they get someone who does more than sit in the corner and tells them to be quiet - which a lot of agency cover staff do.

Schools request me to go back, I get a lot of repeat work, so I must be doing something right!!!

StupidBloodyKindle Fri 01-May-15 21:36:28

Just to be clear OP, am not having a go at you. Rather am concerned for you.
Totally understand the flak you get for what you do - have been there, qts or not, the disdain, disrespect bordering on contempt, lack of appreciation for supply is legendary. Some of it based on supply out there that did not engage, deliver or attempt the work left so gave everyone a bad name. Some born out of disaffected kids on supply #18 who see it as a bloodsport. Some due to mainscale teachers not realising an excessive daily rate breaks down to 18k a year in any case because of the lack of work in dry periods.
Becoming the regular supply in a school helps re the kids, becoming the LCS in a school works very well...nonetheless there should still be work for you there already - mine included starters, plenaries, differentiation when I was a permanent lcr. If it is a one size fits all, it should be a sheet the kids haven't seen before, which isn't a bloody wordsearch or eci (educational colouring in) and there ought to be some continuity rather than a stand-alone each time.

Iggi999 Fri 01-May-15 21:37:10

We don't have this in Scotland at all, only a GTC registered person can take a class at all. Is there not a regulatory body in England?
I use TES all the time, download something and them alter it to suit your level/your students.

ilove Fri 01-May-15 21:40:25

Just to clarify also, the two days a week is my choice - I don't have time to work any more than that as we foster, have four children of our own and I run a children's charity too. I am offered full time/ full term work all the time.

StupidBloodyKindle Fri 01-May-15 21:40:29


Thatssofunny Fri 01-May-15 21:42:19

Sometimes I'm in as a TA, more often than not I'm replacing the teacher. It is really hard sometimes and I need backup stuff I can do with the right levels for all ages, as yesterday for Y3 was really difficult - badly performing school with many issues and told "we don't mind what you do".
This attitude might be the reason why the school is performing badly. hmm

No I'm not qualified, however I am sent to do work I'm capable of.
No offense, but that seems to be your main problem. You are being asked to do a job, which requires a qualified teacher. You aren't qualified. It's not glorified babysitting...or just playing with little kids for the day.

ilove Fri 01-May-15 21:46:40

But if I didn't go do it, then another CS would be sent instead. At least I do my best to teach the children something - and I'm handed every subject too, it isn't ever a straight day of English, or maths. It'll be English, then grog, then French, then science then PE in secondary. That's how they get around the need for QTS, by mixing the cover

ilove Fri 01-May-15 21:49:48

Grog = geog!

Iggi999 Fri 01-May-15 21:51:12

As a union member, this really isn't on.

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