Get in touch

Job Search

Search for Teaching Jobs in England

Flexible Supply Teacher Lessons

Miranda finds that adaptable and flexible lessons are something that every supply teacher should have up their sleeve.

The most useful things I find are the one or two adaptable and flexible lessons that can be delivered across different year groups with a few minor adjustments. For example, I have lessons on poetry and on myths and legends, which I then tailor according to the year group and the level that the children are at. A quick look at the Literacy books should help you to determine this. With the same basic text on the story of Icarus (rewritten by me, so it works for me), I can encourage Y6 to look at bias in writing and to create a diary entry with contrasting view points for Icarus and Daedalus, I can get year 3 and 4 practicing their script-writing skills, with Year 4 editing their work and making changes – all culminating in a performance – if you dare!

By simplifying the story, I encourage higher ability Years 1 and Year 2 children to consider character traits in the context of the ill-fated decision that Icarus makes, and prompt them to define character in a more complex way, which includes some vocabulary building. For example, making a mistake (by flying to close to the sun) or making the wrong choice (by not doing as your father tells you on one important occasion) might not mean your character is ‘naughty’ or  ‘bad’ or ‘mean’ but may mean that you are  ‘foolish’ and ‘disobedient’  and ‘childish’ or ‘immature.’ With the lowest ability children (and sometimes the very highest), I often use a role on the wall (on a big roll of wallpaper), to support this lesson.  The  main point is that the resources are the same but my delivery with those resources pays flexible heed to the class that I find myself in front of.

I feel better for knowing that I have some stuff under my sleeve – lessons that I know and understand. Most of the day will probably involve working in a new context, with lessons that have been planned for me  or where I need to wing it. So, having at least two hours of work that I know like the back of your hand, is a confidence booster and also – if you get your planned work in early – a great way of showing the children that you know what you are doing. You are the person who is in charge for the day…even if you don’t know where the pencils are kept. 

Do you have a perfect supply teacher lesson? Would you like to share it with your colleagues on our online community? Contact Megan by emailing


Tags: Miranda, Manchester, NQT, Primary

Category: Australian Teachers

Share |

Back to the Blog Home Page

Comments (0)

There are no comments to show. You can add one by using the form below.

Add a Comment

Email (kept private):
Security Code: antispam
Protocol Education Blog

OCTOBER 2017 | "Your teaching agency needs to be transparent"
Jacqui is an Aussie teacher who has just returned from her 2 years in the UK. She got in touch with Mitch from the Sydney office and has been able to...
Read More

AUGUST 2017 | Aussie Dollar vs British Pound
Mitch Jones is Protocol Education’s NSW-based consultant working with Australian teachers in their move to the UK. In his latest blog he chats...
Read More

JUNE 2017 | Taking a long term approach to teaching
Alyce is an Aussie Primary teacher who took part in our September 2016 round of 'Interviews with a UK Principal.' Rather than start her role...
Read More

MAY 2017 | Been to London, Bought the T-Shirt, Back in Sydney
Brad is an Aussie teacher who has just returned to Sydney after spending nearly 2 years living and teaching with Protocol in London! Fair to say he’s...
Read More

A Teacher's Journey to London
Stephanie is a teacher originally from Canada, and in this latest blog she wants to give some advice (and hopefully inspiration) to other teachers from...
Read More