Month: October 2021

Managing ADHD in school setting

This month is ADHD Awareness month, a time to promote awareness and raise the profile of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) across the UK.  It is an often misrepresented and sometimes misunderstood disorder that affects between 2% to 5% of school-aged children in the UK.

Therefore, teaching staff need to ensure that they adapt the classroom to suit those suffering from the disorder and understand the common behaviours. 

We have put together some top tips to help you manage ADHD in a school setting. 

Educate fellow pupils 

Educating the class on the behaviours of certain children in the class will help them understand if they are treated slightly differently. Maybe involve the child who has been diagnosed with ADHD in the discussion, so they can explain how they feel. 

Establish a routine  

Make a routine and stick to it so as not to confuse the child and keep them on task. Establishing rules will keep every pupil in the class engaged and under control. 

Make tasks interactive 

A child with ADHD may find it difficult to sit still and focus on a full lesson. Making tasks more interactive will help keep them engaged. Letting them hand out equipment for the lesson will give them a purpose in the lesson and release some energy.  

Create a quiet area 

Consider making a quiet space where the child can take some time out from the lesson if they are feeling overwhelmed. Create some activities there that may take their mind off their anxiety. 

You can find out more information about ADHD here.


Beth – My Teacher Training Journey

Hello, my name is Beth and I have recently made a career change and decided to train as a primary school teacher. This blog is intended to document some of my experiences and hopefully inspire you to consider a career in education too.

For me, it had always been law. I had been deeply inspired by my sixth-form college A-Level law tutors. I went on to study a law degree and eventually qualified into the family law team, but I always felt like something was missing. I never truly had that sense of satisfaction that I so desperately hoped a career in law would give me and I started thinking about what I was truly passionate about and what I could see myself doing for the rest of my life.

I had always missed school. My friends and I reminisce frequently about the happy times we had, all the way from primary school to sixth-form college. You see, the teachers were such a huge part of our positive experience at school. I still remember some of the spellbinding, awe-inspiring lessons I was a part of in primary school (which I actually ended up talking about in my teacher training interview!) and these had clearly left a lasting impact on me. The thought of being able to create the same safe, inspiring and enjoyable learning environment that my teachers created for me moved me and I knew I had the skills to do it.

Part of my reason for going into law was to help people, and to have that rewarding sense of satisfaction at the end of the day, knowing you have made a difference. I knew this is something I would get every single day within a school environment. Then I started to think, maybe my A-Level Law tutors had inspired me in more ways than I realised. Yes, they inspired me to pursue a career in the law, but truthfully it was their masterful teaching that had had the biggest impact on me. That is probably when I realised that I had a genuine passion for a career in education.

The next step was deciding at what level I would want to teach, and where would be the best fit for me. I toyed with the idea of secondary school but I knew I would have to pigeonhole myself into one subject and I just couldn’t choose! As such, it came down to primary. I began my applications as soon as possible. There are many different routes to initial teacher training but having a degree is essential; the one-year course I am undertaking is a post-graduate qualification.

To clarify, the “teacher training” course refers to two things: the PGCE element (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) and QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). The one-year course has several different routes available. I am taking the School Direct route, but there are also University-led routes and salaried routes and I would encourage you to look into these. The School Direct route is generally run by a school or a training provider (who work with lots of schools) and are partnered with a university that awards the PGCE element of the course. What School Direct means in practice is that I spend the majority of my teacher training year within a school environment, rather than being at university and going out on block placements. I felt this was the best option for me as someone with very little experience in an education setting. I feel learning on the job is the most effective approach for me personally and it enables me to truly get a feel for the school environment.

In terms of the other students on my course, I was relieved and very pleased to discover that our future teachers have such varied skill sets that can all contribute positively to educating our children in some way. Having teachers who can think critically, challenge their own viewpoints and methods and work closely with others who offer something different will surely have a positive impact on our education system.

Although I have only been in school for a couple of weeks at the time of writing, I know for sure I have made the right choice to take the plunge and pursue a career in teaching. Every day is challenging, rewarding, exciting and different. In next month’s blog, I hope to take you through how the type of training I have had so far and what I have been doing in school.

In the meantime, if you are considering a career in teaching, I would recommend the following:

  • Arrange some work experience. Although this has been difficult due to the pandemic, contact a local school, or friends who are teachers, and ask if you can spend some time observing in class. This way, you’ll truly get a feel for the school environment and whether this career is for you.
  • Think about what age group you would like to teach. If you are really passionate about one particular subject, maybe consider secondary or beyond. If you (like me) enjoy teaching a mixture of subjects, maybe think about primary.
  • Research initial teacher training courses. You can do this via the Get Into Teaching website or the government ITT website. Think about which route best suits you and start getting an idea of the course requirements.

See you next month,



Affinity Announced as NTP Partner

Affinity Workforce Solutions is delighted to announce we are an approved tuition partner on the National Tutoring Programme (NTP).

The NTP was set up by the Department for Education, as part of the Government’s £1 billion funding package, to help students whose education has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and offers extra support they need to succeed.

As a Tuition Partner, schools can work in partnership with Affinity Workforce Solutions to provide one-to-one and group tuition for pupils in specific subject areas, across Primary and Secondary schools and academies, either face-to-face or via our brand-new online platform.

Alex Champion, Group Operations Director at Affinity Workforce Solutions, said: “We are delighted to be a supplier on the NTP to support pupils to continue to grow, develop and learn. The pandemic affected the younger generation massively and we are committed to ensuring that students have access to specialist tutors so they can achieve their potential.”

Affinity Workforce Solutions has recently launched their online tutoring platform, Affinity Tutors which features interactive tools so pupils can work collaboratively with the tutor. All of the tutors on the platform are experienced educators who have extensive tutoring skills, are currently working within schools and academies and have up-to-date curriculum knowledge.

Alex added: “We believe learning should be fun, that’s why we have incorporated interactive tools on our tutoring platform so our tutors can deliver fun, exciting lessons to engage and motivate students from Key Stage 1 right the way through to Key Stage 4/5.”

For more information about Affinity Tutors click here


Shaping a future – Carolina

“Small steps for a brighter future”

Those are the words of Carolina, a TA who has been registered with Sugarman for 7 years and currently works across a number of SEN schools across London.

Working on supply fits in perfectly with Carolina’s lifestyle. She has a love for the arts and regularly facilitates women and young people at various drama groups. Having this flexibility allows her to share her passion, whilst using her theatre skills to contribute to the classroom.

She explained: “Reading the room and taking note of someone’s body language has helped me understand pupils better. I put myself in their situation and think how would I respond to that? Sometimes you need to be hands-on but respect their boundaries. It’s about communicating on different levels.”

Having worked in both mainstream and SEN Primary schools, Carolina has had to adapt to a different way of teaching and try new approaches to lessons, which wasn’t easy to begin with.

“I have always taught drama within an education setting, but I’m not from this country and never went to school here. So it has been a completely new experience for me going into schools with special needs. It’s a different world and has definitely given me a different perspective on life.

“I’ve never been to a school where 90% of people have special needs; wheelchair uses, autistic, it’s opened new doors to me. It has been an intense learning process.”

Carolina describes how the smallest tasks can really make a difference to the development of a child with special needs and the day may just consist of helping them with everyday tasks, such as crossing the road or learning to share. All to enhance their social skills and build confidence.

She explained: “In SEN schools, you can spend an hour with a pupil just trying to get them from A to B. It’s about helping them with their basic needs and keeping them calm and engaged. You never know what the day will be like so it’s never boring. You always have so much to learn from children.”

Born and raised in Brazil, Carolina fondly remembers a teacher from her school days who has inspired her to work with young people and bring a new dynamic to her teaching roles.

“My philosophy teacher in Brazil really inspired me and opened me up to a whole new way of thinking. I am where I am today because of her. She taught me that there are so many possibilities and people are so unique and there are many ways we as people can contribute to society.”

With her many years of drama experience, Carolina has found unique ways to communicate with pupils in her class, for those that may not work well with a pen and paper, as well as some students who are non- verbal. Using various forms of expression has allowed her to form close bonds and bring out the best in the child.

“I wasn’t a brilliant student. I think better when I move around, which is why I chose arts to express myself. I can identify when a child may need extra help. I will find other ways to teach them, such as using a sensory room or doing some role play. You see them slowly improve and enjoy being there.

“It’s more about encouraging them to take risks and being confident enough to try. The exchange between yourself and the child is so powerful. You see them as an individual and not just part of a classroom.”

With Carolina’s many years of experience in the education sector, there are many reasons why she recommends this career path and has no plans to stop now. The work she has received from Sugarman Education has helped her develop her skills and provide a number of great opportunities.

“I would encourage anyone to work in education. Life is raw and real and you see it firsthand. You really grow as a person and can bring those skills to any work you do. I learn so much from other teachers and how patient they are.

“Bianca my consultant at Sugarman is lovely – I love her! I have tried different agencies and it’s just not worth leaving her! She is so kind, very responsive and understanding. I have never had any issues.”

We asked Carolina if you could give one piece of advice to someone considering a role as a TA, what would you say?
She replied: “Forget everything you know and just be open to learning new things. Be patient. See things with fresh eyes.”

If you want to help shape a future for the next generation, take a look at our current vacancies.


Black History Month – Septima Clark

Septima was a teacher and civil rights activist Septima Poinsette Clark was instrumental in founding nearly 900 citizenship schools, which ultimately helped African Americans register to vote.

The second of eight children, her parents encouraged her to get an education and she qualified as a teacher in 1916. She was unable to find a job at the time, as they did not hire black teachers in public schools in Charleston. 

A few years later, she joined the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, in trying to get the city to hire African-American teachers. By gathering signatures in favour of the change, Clark helped ensure that the effort was successful.

As she continued her teaching career, Septima worked with the organization Thurgood Marshall on a case that sought equal pay for Black and white teachers. She described it as her “first effort in a social action challenging the status quo.” 

Clark then directed the Highlander’s Citizenship School program. These schools helped regular people learn how to instruct others in their communities in basic literacy and math skills. One particular benefit of this teaching was that more people were then able to register to vote, as the lack of literacy skills had prevented this in the past. 

In 1961, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference took over this education project. Clark then joined as its director of education and teaching. Under her leadership, more than 800 citizenship schools were created. 

Clark retired in 1970 and was awarded the ‘Living Legacy’ award. Over her long career of teaching and civil rights activism, she helped many African Americans begin to take control of their lives and discover their full rights as citizens.


Benefits of working on supply

As part of our recruitment campaign ‘Shaping a future’, we have been speaking to our candidates about the benefits of working as a supply teacher with Sugarman.

As a supply teacher, you play a vital role in supporting schools with staff shortages, whilst having the chance to experience a variety of teaching environments that you may not have the opportunity to do in a more permanent role. This a career that you can fit around your lifestyle, without some of the pressures that a full time teaching role may bring.

Are you considering a change in your teaching career? Here are some of the reasons why a job in supply teaching may be for you…

This is key benefit that draws people to the role. You have the luxury of choosing your own days and hours to suit you. You may have another job outside of education or extra-curricular activities that you do not want to miss out on due to work. With this in mind, your dedicated consultant will find work that fits into your schedule, whether you are free one hour a week, or 3 days a week, there will always be work available.
If you specialise in a particular subject and only wish to teach this, this can also be discussed during the registration process. Everything is tailored for you to decide what suits you best.

No paperwork
As all teachers know, the job involves a lot of paperwork! When working on supply, you tend to miss out on those long nights of marking papers or organising lesson plans. You may only be at a school for one day, so that school will more than likely have the lesson organised for you when you arrive, leaving you to simply enjoy the teaching part. This provides a much better work/life balance.

Many of our candidates have told us that it is the variety that appealed to them when they took on a supply role. If you find that you get bored easily, this a great opportunity for you to try your hand at a different type of school, maybe you have never taught a particular subject which you would like to learn more about? Every day is different and most gain skills that they may have never picked up in the same role.

Further Development
By working on supply, you could be mixing with different teachers, pupils and schools every day. By doing so, you will further develop your skills and most definitely learn from others. A teacher may provide learning resources you did not know of, or highlight behaviour management skills that have proved successful for them. Mixing with many different teachers and their processes can only enhance your learning. If you are an ECT, this could be the perfect opportunity to prepare you for your own classroom, allowing you to see what works for you and what you enjoy the most before committing to a full time role.

If you are interested in hearing more about working in supply, or would like to hear about our latest vacancies, contact your local branch today.