back to blogs

Active Plenary

About almost 2 years ago By Paul

Pe Website Blog 04

​Supply? It’s just babysitting isn’t it? Nothing really gets learnt. Right?

Spending sometimes only a matter of minutes with a class you might never see again can sometimes feel like you’re only there to pass the time, but of course we’re not. And wouldn’t it be good to debunk a few of those supply teacher myths by showing some amazing evidence of learning before you leave.

Here are some ideas of how to show the students, the other staff, even yourself; that learning did happen, actually, thank you very much, and here’s some stuff to prove it. Oh, and have a bit of fun too.

Showing you’ve learnt something in a way other than writing it in an exercise book can sometimes give it a little more stickability - if that’s a word, just to make it a bit more memorable. And helps us as supply teachers to add a little variety into sometimes monotonous cover work. For this reason I try to get students active and out of their seats during the plenary, it also helps break up a long lesson of seated work and helps get things moving to leave the room too.

This week try:

Lines of agreement

Blu Tak a piece of paper marked ‘agree’ on one wall and ‘disagree’ on another, ask students to position themselves along an imaginary line according to different statements. They can then give explanations verbally or in writing.

  • ‘Romeo is to blame for Juliet’s death’

  • ‘Average is really the same as mode and median’

  • ‘I can remember the names of 10 colours in German’

  • ‘Everyone should be vegetarian’

This can be run as whole class, or take turns in small groups, pairs or individuals

Students can write answer on a post it note before they leave and stick on the wall of their choice, with their name on and these can be left there for the next lesson or collected up and saved for the teacher to return.

Learning timeline

Invest in a roll of backing paper from B and Q or something similar that can easily stretch out along a wall or set of tables in a classroom. Make it easy to access and write on. At the start of a session write the learning objective or key questions or topic heading at one end. In red pen ask the students to write down a statement of what they already know about it, if anything, with initials next to it.

At half way point in the lesson, or at intervals ongoing throughout, ask students to add to the timeline further along in orange pen with anything new learned (again with initials or name).

Revisit again at the end of the session with green pens with their final learning on the last section of the paper. This should help show progression and give students a chance to walk about as we all know they like an excited to wander. They must have written three things before they can leave though.

Plan starter for next lesson

Not the most active one but a real nice way of making sure the learning today feels part of their normal learning with their usual teacher. Wouldn’t it be great if Miss didn’t have to plan the start of next lesson because it’s already done for her? On a post it note write three questions we could use to test ourselves at the the beginning of next lesson. Stick on the board / door / teachers hand before leaving the room. Leave these on the desk with a note for the absent staff member: ‘starter ideas sorted for when you get back to work. Get well soon, love, Mr Supply’

More heads better than one

Set students into small groups. Take 4 X A3 or A2 sheets (or as many teams as you have) and either put on tables or stick on walls around the room. On each write a different question or topic that has been learned about. Assign one team to one paper. Students write their names along the top or the back.

In their teams students have 2 minutes (or any time limit you decide) to write as much as possible on the set subject / topic / question. There can be a reward for the most answers. This paper can be left on the walls of the room as a glorious legacy of learning for all to enjoy.

Ask the expert

Either as a whole class or in groups assign an expert (or one expert per group) who is confident to answer any question on the learning of the day. Other students then take turns fire questions at them mastermind style. You can help students prepare questions first so they have thinking time. If you have permission and resources you can film this and upload to shared area for teacher / students to watch back next session.

For all this work the incentive can be when you’ve done it and bag packed etc you can be released.

28 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

How to use catch-up and recovery funding effectively

​The impact of the pandemic on education is still being measured, understood, and assessed. What is clear is that it...

Read More
Sebastien Marchand D1h Fw0z Ea Ks Unsplash
23 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

Your May Payroll

​The Bank Holidays are quickly approaching. The Protocol Education Payroll team wants to make sure that you are paid on...

Read More
Summer Older
20 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

A Guide to Summer School Funding and Staffing

​Funding for Summer Schools 2021£200 million of funding has been made available to secondary and special schools (including non-maintained special...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Firstday 1155x575
15 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

Managing Behaviour: Top Tips for Teachers Returning to the Mainstream Classroom

​After distanced learning, returning to the classroom will be a daunting process for everyone involved - from new Year 7...

Read More
Pe Echo Banner 22
14 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

Supporting Children’s Mental Health Week

Last month, Protocol Education supported Children's Mental Health Week, an annual event launched by Place2Be in 2015 to shine a...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Teacher 1155x575
08 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

What support do NQTs need during their first year?

Protocol Education's NQT Pool is helping hundreds of newly qualified teachers find their first teaching job. We will find you...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Firstday 1155x575
29 Mar 21, by Scott Owen

How to write an NQT Personal Statement

​A well-written NQT personal statement is the bridge between you and an interview for the school of your choice. I...

Read More
Protocol Education Easter Pay Dates2021
22 Mar 21, by Scott

Easter Pay Dates 2021

​​Easter is quickly approaching. The Protocol Education Payroll team wants to make sure that you are paid on time, so...

Read More
2021 01 26 14h41 59
29 Jan 21, by Scott Owen

NAVSH Conference 2021

​Protocol Education will be exhibiting at the NAVSH Conference 2021 on the 2nd and 3rd of February.Protocol Education works closely...

Read More
Untitled Design (16)
21 Jan 21, by Scott

Our Educator Webinars

​Please find details of our upcoming and past webinars for educators below. Our educator webinars series cover a wide range...

Read More
Client Webinars
21 Jan 21, by Scott

Our Client Webinars

​Please find details of our upcoming and past webinars for schools below. Our school webinars series cover a wide range...

Read More
Blog Image
08 Jan 21, by James

Protocol Education Flexible Furlough Scheme

Protocol Education's Flexible Furlough SchemeIn the first Covid-19 lockdown, we were able to support our candidates by being one of...

Read More
Annie Spratt Q Ko Op G R9 I Unsplash (3) (1) (1) (1)
14 Dec 20, by Scott

Your Christmas Payroll

​Christmas and the end of term are quickly approaching. The Protocol Education Payroll team wants to make sure that you...

Read More
Tutor2
30 Nov 20, by Scott Owen

The Covid Workforce Fund

​On Friday 27th November the government announced a new funding stream available to schools to help to meet the challenges...

Read More
Video Interview
17 Nov 20, by Scott Owen

Video Interviewing Top Tips

Hiring for January 2021As we head into winter and towards January, maintaining the safety of your colleagues and pupils by...

Read More