back to blogs

Active Plenary

About over 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.

My Protocol Homepage
21 Oct 21, by Scott Owen

Coming Soon, myProtocol. Your New Candidate Portal

​In November, we will be launching our new candidate portal, myProtocol.myProtocol will become your go-to destination to run all aspects...

Read More
Client Webinars
19 Oct 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
Image of blonde former teacher smiling, having found an alternative job
18 Oct 21, by Alex Schulte

Ex-Educators Tell All: How 2 Teachers Found Happiness in Alternative Jobs

​Teaching is a special occupation. That’s why education will always be a hot button issue for parents and politicians alike,...

Read More
Inclusive practice in a classroom: a teacher helps a boy with Downs syndrome use a microscope
07 Oct 21, by Alex Schulte

How Supply Teachers Can Use Inclusive Practice to Make Lessons More Accessible

​Even if you’re not familiar with the phrase ‘inclusive practice’, you will almost certainly have had to work according to...

Read More
I Stock 000067946649 Large
05 Oct 21, by Alex Schulte

Celebrate World Teachers' Day with These 4 Inspiring Stories of Exceptional Educators

The most sacred date in the Protocol Education calendar is finally here again: It’s World Teachers' Day! Millions of people...

Read More
4 Ways That Hiring Recent Graduates Could Benefit Your School
28 Sep 21, by Alex Schulte

4 Ways That Hiring Recent Graduates Could Benefit Your School

​Experience is surely a top priority for any senior leader when recruiting for a new teacher. Schools naturally want to...

Read More
I Stock 1132124550 Min
10 Sep 21, by Alex Schulte

Start The Year Healthy and Happy: Mental and Emotional Wellbeing Tips for Teachers

​We hope you have enjoyed a successful start to the new term following a relaxing summer break. The return to...

Read More
I Stock 674596436 Min
07 Sep 21, by Alex Schulte

Everything We Learned From The First Year of the National Tutoring Programme

Last year, the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) delivered 90 million hours of tutoring to disadvantaged pupils in need of extra...

Read More
National Tutoring Programme, NTP, Tuition, One-to-one Tuition. Small Group Tuition, Tuition Specialists
07 Sep 21, by Scott Owen

The National Tutoring Programme Year 2: Protocol Education Selected as a Tuition Partner

​Protocol Education is an official Tuition Partner for the second year of The National Tutoring Programme  Protocol Education has successfully been...

Read More
Books, National Read a Book Day, International Literacy Day, Reading for Pleasure, Pupil wellbeing
07 Sep 21, by Scott Owen

How reading for pleasure can improve the mental health of your pupils

​During this week, the National Read a Book, Youth Mental Health and International Literacy Days take place. The three make...

Read More
Sen Pupil
01 Sep 21, by Scott Owen

All The Top Skills You Need To Teach In Special Needs Schools

​Increasing numbers of pupils have been identified as having Special Educational NeedsAccording to DFE figures released in June 2021, the...

Read More
How Supply Teachers Can Earn More Money And Grow Their Careers
19 Aug 21, by Alex Schulte

How Supply Teachers Can Earn More Money And Grow In Their Careers

​Supply teachers play a vital role in keeping schools running and preventing disruption to pupils’ education. From the perspective of...

Read More
Daily Supply Teacher
05 Aug 21,by

​4 Must-Have Qualities of a Successful Daily Supply Teacher

​The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown the crucial work of daily supply teachers into sharp relief. Through all the last year’s...

Read More
Untitled Design (16)
19 Jul 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
One to one tutoring in-class with National Tutoring Programme tuition sessions
19 Jul 21, by Scott Owen

​How to Become a National Tutoring Programme Tutor (and Why You Should)

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) has proved to be a successful and popular response to the impact of lockdown on...

Read More