Month: February 2022

How to relax during the half term break

Half term is upon us and it is time for teachers to reset for the next term. Teaching is a demanding role and can take up a lot of your energy. It is important that you take the time to switch off and prepare for the rest of the school year.

Stick to your plan – You may not be able to completely forget about school and there may be some work you need to catch up on before you return. Be sure to dedicate a certain amount of time for work only and stick to it, do not let your workload take over your break.

Rest – Make sure you get enough sleep to feel refreshed and recharged. Try not to sleep in too late though – you will find those early mornings much harder when you are back at work!

Plan a trip – Having something to look forward to during the school break will keep you going through those tougher days! Why not book a city break or even plan a day out with friends doing something you enjoy?

Enjoy a hobby – You may not always have the time for your favourite things when you are working. Whether it’s walking, reading or going to the theatre, take the time to do something that you enjoy. Getting outdoors and taking your mind off school will help you to destress and relax.

Disable communication – Unless you have some urgent work to attend to, turn off your emails and work phones so that you can truly shut off during your well-earned break. Having regular access to your colleagues will make it harder to wind down.

We hope you enjoy a well-earned break and are ready to take on the new school term! If you are looking for work this school year, have a look at our latest vacancies online.


Affinity Workforce Solutions to present at the Schools & Academies Show 2022

Affinity Workforce Solutions is delighted to be presenting at this year’s Schools & Academies Show 2022 on 27th April.

Alex Champion, Group Operations Director at Affinity Workforce, David Parsons and Corinna Holden, from our marketing-leading recruitment brands CER & Monarch Education, will be presenting in the Trust & Trustees Theatre between 11.50am-12.20pm.

Members of our Senior Leadership team will discuss how Trusts can attract and engage the best talent through a managed service. The session will also include:
•    How Trusts can improve the quality and consistency of supply workers whilst making significant cost savings
•    The processes and technology Trusts can implement to reduce the administrative burden
•    The improvement to a Trust’s financial and strategic planning due to easy access of management information data

Alex Champion commented: “Affinity Workforce is a supplier on the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) ‘Deal for Schools’ Frameworks. We support its ambition to transform the landscape of education supply wholeheartedly with a transparent and ethical approach.

“We are delighted to be able to present at this year’s Schools & Academies Show 2022 to give Trusts an insight into a managed service and the ground-breaking, transparent way of operating with supply staff being paid more and academies charged substantially less.”

Take a look at Affinity Workforce’s managed service offering or email us for further information.


Teacher Training Diary – Part 3

Christmas feels like a lifetime away now but, as promised, in this month’s blog I reflect on the run-up to Christmas in my home school and the transition to my new school in the New Year.

Christmas in school was the time of year I was most looking forward to. After having two years of COVID, schools were really hoping to have a bit more normality this Christmas. Christmas time in schools comes with a lot of joy; making Christmas cards, putting up decorations and Christmas parties. However, this means that there is a lot of disruption to the usual timetable and so as a trainee teacher, you need to be adaptable and sometimes just be ready to ‘go with the flow’.

“Goodbye for now”

Christmas was also a sad time for me, as I said “goodbye for now” to my home school. On a School Direct placement, you spend a term in an ‘alternative’ or ‘away’ placement. This is a placement in a different school in the alternative key stage. As you know, I have been in Year 1 in my home school.

As such, in my away placement, I knew I would be placed in KS2. I was really looking forward to seeing a different side of teaching. One question I always get asked is, “Do you want to teach in KS1 or KS2?”. I always find this difficult to answer, because until you’ve had experience in both key stages, it’s simply impossible to know! Perhaps this is a question I’ll finally be able to answer in the next instalment of my blog.

I found out that I was going to be in Year 3, and I was really excited! In order to prepare, I brushed up on the Year 3 programmes of study within the National Curriculum over the Christmas break. I also contacted my new school to introduce myself to my new mentor and find out more about the expectations for my upcoming placement.

Academic Work

The majority of my Christmas break was then spent writing my essay for university. In order to obtain a PGCE, our university requires us to complete two essays. One is worth 20% (which was due in November) and the other 80% (due in January). Of course, every university may be different, but you will have to complete some element of academic work in order to obtain the PGCE qualification.

We could choose one core subject pedagogy and one foundation subject pedagogy to critically analyse. As such, there was quite a lot of freedom to discuss pedagogies you found interesting. This directly fed into my own practise too, as I was analysing what I had seen in the classroom and the theory behind the practice. This allowed me to reflect upon my own teaching and how I could improve.

A New School

With Christmas over, essay submitted, bag packed and laptop charged, I got ready for the first morning on my new placement in a new school. We started with an Inset Day which involved some phonics training and assisting the subject-leaders with some preparation for the upcoming term. I have been extremely lucky to be placed in yet another school with supportive, friendly and welcoming staff. I settled in really quickly and I am loving my time there so far!

In next month’s blog, I will be talking about my teaching time in my alternative placement and how I have been finding teaching in KS2. In the meantime, if you would like to follow my teacher training journey and get more insight into the things I’ve been up to, follow me on Twitter at @BAFTeacher.



Online Safety for Children

Our children are spending more time than ever online. That’s why it is essential we provide a safe and secure space for children to play and learn. We have put together some factors to consider when ensuring children are protected online.

Check your settings

There are plenty of security settings and parental controls that you can install onto your computer such as location tracking and screen time restrictions. Have a chat with your child to advise why you use these and what they can expect while they are online.


Have a conversation about who they will be interacting with online. If they are being homeschooled, be sure that they are logged into the site with their teacher when you are present. Remind them not to share any personal details online and to come to you if they come across something inappropriate.


Be sure to check out any apps or downloads that the children are using for work or interactive learning. It may be worth checking with the teacher that these are vetted.


Be sure to set up the camera for your child during online learning so that they can interact with the teacher and/or group sessions. Allow them to have the option if they want to turn off the use of the camera and ensure it is switched off correctly once the lesson is completed.

Personal Information

Remind your child not to share any personal information online, such as locations or photographs. Advise them to come to you if they are asked to share any details that they are uncomfortable with.