As you gear up for the school year to kick in, why not take a break and check out some quick hacks to ease you back into the new school year!
1. Coordinate your classroom
This is never an easy task, especially if you’re sharing your classroom with other teachers, but it will save you ample time if you know where everything is.
Print out giant labels and stick them to boxes (don’t forget to include your initials). Easy-weight boxes are great for storing pupil books and stationary, so make sure you have enough.
2. Get your hands on some giant plastic wallets
Rather than handing out and collecting whiteboards and pens every lesson, place them in a giant wallet on each table.
Ask pupils to check their contents at the end of the day, so that missing stationary can be replaced. This will save you disturbances (and annoyance) during the lesson.
3. Try an ice-breaker with your tutor group
At the start of the school year, ask your pupils to write three predictions about the year ahead. They can be academic, social and personal (give them examples).
Then seal them and keep them safe. At the end of the school year, return them to the pupils and ask them to reflect on their predictions. You can write them too!
4. Know your content
Refresh your memory of the syllabus and reread the texts you will be studying. The summer holidays can affect your memory, so brush up on your subject knowledge before you start planning.
Make a note of key pages, quotes and questions as you read, as this will shape your planning and save you time later.
5. Backward plan
Study the assessment objectives on the specifications and work back from them in your mid-term planning.
Always consider the outcomes of the lesson first and plan tasks that lead you there.
6. Know the mark scheme
Every examiner will tell you this. Know your assessment objectives and marking criterion thoroughly.
The greater your understanding of the mark scheme, the greater the focus of your planning and accuracy of marking.Share the mark scheme with pupils and have them stick it in their books early on.
7. Do the exam yourself
The best way to prepare pupils for an exam is to try it first! Take note of the questions you struggled with, or time constraints, as pupils will probably face the same challenges.
This will inform your planning and help you with your marking.
About our Community Expert
Over 5 years of experience in educational settings throughout London, Madrid and Barcelona. Whilst studying English Literature and Language at King’s College London and the University of North Carolina, she fell in love with her subject - both the study of literature and craft of writing.
After graduating, she completed the Leadership Development Programme with Teach First, whose mission is to provide equality through education, and attained her PGCE in Secondary English at Canterbury Christ Church University. She was then appointed as Deputy Head of English at one of the highest performing schools in England in a London inner-city academy.
Following this, she completed her Leadership and Management MA at University College London (Institute of Education) and became the director of an English Language company based in Barcelona.
Simi is our English Literature and Language Expert.