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Knowledge about knowledge is power

Miranda sheds some light on what supply teachers truly see when visiting numerous schools even though you may feel it's a drag going to 3 to 5 schools in a week...

Supply Teachers you are in an excellent position. I always say this – look on the bright side, it’ll soon be August.

Everyone is getting their tights in a twist about the new primary curriculum, possibly with good reason. History all the way from the year dot? Maybe they’ve got a point. Most children believe the world begins with Henry VIII and ends with WW11. Why didn’t Ann Boleyn hide from Henry in a bunker Miss Yates? Roman Numerals – what the VXXI do we need all that for? How many of us are actually going to be required to list the footnotes in our Phd thesis? Reading poetry out loud from the tenderest of ages too. It’s all rather sweet. I love poetry and wish that we’d done more at school…as I gazed out of the classroom window, making up free verse about trees and boys. But that propensity is why I earn what I earn and why I don’t earn more than I earn. So beware the recitations I say.

Anyway, whatever the content; what us supply teachers have to offer is/will be/could be said to be, especially in interviews for long-term positions…a broad overview of how schools are coping with the rigours of introducing the new material, and approaching the new approaches.

Yes, we will see at first-hand what primary teachers (sorry) siloed in their current perm jobs may not have the space and time to see:

  1. that most primary schools are worried about what other primary schools are doing
  2. that a lot of in-house training has focussed on timetabling to ensure the humanities knowledge is corseted in
  3. that most lit coordinators are at home cramming the grammar and will impart their knowledge in due course
  4. that we will all clearly get there in the end because we’re all in the same boat, and we just will
  5. that the net is groaning with crib-sheets galore from teachers who've already attended 'secrets of the new primary curriculum' courses paid for by school

Supply people, you get to see all this. It’s a privilege (now how is that word spelled?) that doesn’t grow on the money tree. But, you know what they would say if they knew: knowledge about knowledge is power...

Do you have something you want to share on the new National Curriculum? Contact our Teacher Services team by emailing

Miranda is a primary teacher working in schools in Manchester. She was working as a supply teacher but has recently taken on a long-term position. Miranda is a regular blogger and often her blogs provide us with a great laugh!

Tags: Miranda, Manchester, National-Curriculum, change, supply

Category: Australian Teachers

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