Category: Sugarman Education News

Tips and advice on teaching during the Covid-19 lockdown

We are living in strange and fast moving times. You have either suddenly found yourself teaching online for the first time, or homeschooling or tutoring when this isn’t the norm for you.

If you’re in that situation then don’t worry – there’s plenty of help out there to get you up and running. Below we’ll give you some tips on how to make this transition and share with you some resources you can use to make things easier.

Create a working space

When you’re working in your home environment – whether that’s delivering digital classes or home schooling – it’s important that you have a differentiated space for you to do that work in.

This helps you to create a clear divide between your work life and your personal life. It will also help those you’re teaching to recognise that this is a clear space for learning and help them get in the right frame of mind.

You may not have enough space or enough equipment to create a working and learning space completely independent from your personal spaces. If this is the case then don’t worry – try to make some changes so that when you start and finish work you are transforming the space into ‘work mode’ and then back into ‘home mode’.

As an example, part of that change might be having text books on hand during work and learning time, and then placing them out of site during personal time.

Structure and schedule

Schools should be providing a timetable to students to follow for the foreseeable future. However, if you haven’t received this then we would strongly recommend you create your own – having a regular timetable will help this new way of learning feel like a routine.

If your student was already homeschooled or working with a tutor, then mirroring their existing timetable and routine as much as possible is recommended.

The key points here are to ensure that there is schedule and structure – again this helps to draw the line between ‘work time’ and ‘personal time’ for both you and your students. Any elements of that structure that can mirror normality will also have a positive impact.

If you are creating your own timetable, don’t forget to include breaks!

What to teach

Again, schools should have provided a list of what students will need to learn during this time.

If the student was already homeschooled or tutored, then continuing with the schedule of learning will help to keep some continuity.

If for some reason you don’t have access to this information, then you can find the national curriculum here.

Learning resources

BBC Bitesize is a great resource that offers free educational content across various age ranges.

We Are Teachers is a good place to go when you need help or inspiration, with a variety of curated resources for you to look through. In particular, this list of authors doing online read-alouds and activities is a great way to get your younger learners engaged with literature.

Teach is another resource from the BBC that is focused on video content – all mapped to the curriculum. It also features some videos for tutors and homeschoolers that you may find insightful.

Bramble is an online tutoring tool. If you sign up under basic tutor, this will allow you access to a remote classroom setting.

Free digital learning resources by age group

Early Years and Primary (KS1, KS2)

2Simple – ‘Purple Mash’

This is an online digital platform which allows teachers to deliver the curriculum online through a range of online resources. Find out more.


An online video resource which offers a series of video classes for early learners. Find out more.

Classroom Secrets

A series of bright and colourful activities for primary age pupils. Find out more.

Cross-Phase (Primary, Secondary or Primary, Secondary and FE)


An AI engine which creates a personalised learning path for each pupil and allows them access to thousands of English, Mathematics and Science resources. Find out more.

Breakout EDU

A US-based series of digital games for learners. Find out more.


A series of national curriculum-aligned online English and Mathematics lessons, available online and compatible with tablets and computers. Find out more. (Free for a 2 week trial)

Secondary and Post-16


US-based app that lets students undertake virtual chemistry experiments. Find out more


Mobile phone all that lets students check their solutions to mathematics problems with explanations to support. Find it on the app store.


Online courses focussed on a range of subjects, offered from beginner to undergraduate level. Find out more


Mini-courses in digital, enterprise and computing skills. Find out more.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos and a personalised learning dashboard across a range of subjects based on a range of ‘missions’. Find out more.


A FREE Skills/Careers/PSHE resource pack for young people with a full days worth of content. Email

History Learning Site

This site contains a range of basic resources that provide an introduction to core historical topics. Find out more.

For Teachers


A video conferencing app to allow schools to run classrooms virtually using pupils’ mobiles. Find it on the App store.


An app and online programme covering the UK national curriculum in literacy, numeracy and phonics at KS1 and KS2. Find out more.


Access to 35,000 books, learning videos and quizzes. Find out more.

Other resources

With more time at home and more time accessing digital resources, online safety for younger people is more important than ever – ThinkUKNow have launched #onlinesafetyathome. You can find out more about ThinkUKNow here.

The government has also provided some useful guidance on free school meals for students that are now learning from home – you can read the government guidance here.

Staying active

While keeping your students mentally active and learning is important, it’s also important that they are physically active and getting some exercise.

Joe Wicks is doing daily PE classes on his YouTube channel – you can find the videos here, with new ones being uploaded every day.

For younger students, you can also try Cosmic Kids – this channel offers free yoga videos designed specially for children.

We’re here to help

If you’ve found yourself homeschooling or online teaching for the first time then we’d love to help – contact Sugarman Children’s Services and we’ll see what we can do to help.

You can reach us on 0203 793 2009 or email us at


5 Useful Tips for Teachers New to SEN Education

SEN teacher working in a nursery school

Special educational needs (SEN) teachers play a crucial role in the lives of students who need extra learning support and guidance to help them reach their full potential.

Despite its challenges, most SEN teachers will tell you that working with students who have special needs is a remarkably rewarding career, and they’re right.

If you’re training to become an SEN school teacher, or if you’re in the early stages of considering the role, these tips will help you understand and prepare for what to expect in this unique educational environment.

  1. Prepare for complexity

As with most teaching roles, being a SEN teacher comes with its own complexities. After all, you’ll be teaching students with different types of special educational needs who will automatically require more attention than the average mainstream student.

Many SEN children express themselves in ways that may cause harm to themselves or others, this can be overwhelming, particularly in the early days.

The trick to preparing for complex and potentially stressful situations is to remain calm and stay in control of any situation that may present itself. Remember that your TAs will be on hand to help and there are a number of support forums wherein you can discover effective ways to maintain a sense of safety and security in the classroom for both you and your students.

  1. Start each day with a clean slate

When you’re working with students who span the vast spectrum of learning difficulties and behavioural challenges, it’s pretty much a given that you will experience some trying days in the classroom.

The important thing to remember is that no matter what happens on any given day, always treat the next day as a fresh start. Progress can take time, and it’s your job to deal with classroom incidents in the most productive way possible.

That means that if a student makes a mess or lashes out at yourself or a fellow student, it’s better to deal with the consequences there and then – ask them to clear up or apologise to apologise so they can learn from their mistake, then put the episode behind you.

  1. Watch out for your wording

It’s really important for you to be mindful of the language that you use when you speak to your students and their parents. Try to avoid using words that carry negative connotations, such as “slow” or “behind”.

Instead, consider using positive framing to get your point across in a constructive way that doesn’t upset or devalue. For example, “Billy is still catching up” or “Lucy requires extra thinking time.”

  1. Always have a plan B [resources for class]

Even with the best will in the world, there will almost certainly be times when your students lose focus on the lesson at hand. During these times, it’s super important to have a backup plan.

If your students are over-stimulated or are struggling to calm down, keep a social activity like role-play in your back pocket to help regain control of the class.

  1. Remember that it’s worth it

There is nothing more satisfying than helping a child to learn and develop vital life skills. Don’t let the trials and tribulations fool you into thinking that it’s all stress all the time, in actual fact it’s one of the most rewarding jobs there is.

Here at Sugarman Education, we continuously work hard to deliver positive outcomes for children with special educational needs. What’s more, many of our staff also volunteer to help support children within the schools that we work with.

Learn more about becoming a SEN teacher.


An Impromptu Partnership With A Ugandan Charity

On an ordinary day in June 2019, an extraordinary man contacted the head of Children’s Services here at Sugarman Education. What started as a simple request soon became a shared endeavour to positively impact the lives of impoverished children in Kayunga, Uganda.

The call that started it all

When the call came, it was difficult to initially verify its authenticity! But the man at the other end of the line soon made his purpose known, and his message was one of compassion, selflessness, and goodwill – three traits we truly value Sugarman Education.

It turned out that this man’s name was Paul Oyo, and he was seeking ways in which he could further support children via his community health centre in Kayunga – a town in the central region of Uganda.

Giving back to the community

Founded by Mr Oyo, St Mary’s Adi Community Health Center’s health services for children help to protect the most vulnerable kids in the community. Mr Oyo has dedicated his life to providing these children with ongoing health and education support – and so he turned to Sugarman.

After explaining his mission and talking about the work he does at the health centre, we were extremely impressed and moved by his efforts and we wanted to support his mission.

United support for young people in need

We sent a member of the Sugarman team to assess the situation in Kayunga and review the most effective ways in which we could help.

To support these children in their education, we sent a large number of English, Maths, and Science textbooks to the children of Mr Oyo’s health centre. These textbooks spanned a variety of key stages to allow children of all ages to benefit.

What’s more, Sugarman has worked alongside Mr Oyo in order to build and shape a comprehensive curriculum that he can teach to the children to broaden their horizons and enhance their potential.

A shared vision of a fairer society

As part of Cordant Group – the UK’s largest social enterprise – Sugarman share the overarching mission to support local communities, positively impact the lives of others, and help create a fairer society.


Top Tips for Aspiring Teachers, from Former Teachers


Here at Sugarman Education, 21% of our recruitment professionals are former teachers themselves. That’s why we take great pride in helping others find their dream jobs within the education sector.  

We asked some of our consultants who used to be teachers to share their answers to the questions they’re most asked by aspiring teachers all over the UK.

What personality traits should a teacher have?

While there are many ideal personality traits for a teacher, these three qualities are absolute must-haves if you’re thinking of working in the education sector:


Having a friendly attitude towards your students can give them a better learning experience. However, it’s important not to let your friendly demeanour compromise your authority.

The ability to care

The ability to build caring relationships with your students is vital. A great teacher is able to develop a strong rapport by establishing and maintaining trust.


A great teacher should be passionate about working with children and excited by the opportunity to influence and educate the next generation.


What should I be prepared for if I become a teacher?

It’s important to be aware of the aspects of teaching that aren’t necessarily advertised in the job spec – the factors below may help you make a more informed decision about becoming a teacher:

Working after hours

The 2018 Global Teacher Status Index study found that teachers in the UK work some of the longest hours in the world. In fact, at 50.9 hours per week on average, the UK placed 4th of the 35 countries studied – with only teachers in New Zealand, Chile and Singapore working longer hours than that.

Dealing with parents

It’s virtually impossible for an educator to avoid dealing with difficult parents at times, that’s why it’s important to be diplomatic in all decision-making processes. Keep your cool, show that you care about their child and try to find an amicable solution where possible.


According to the 2018 Global Teacher Status Index, teachers’ average hourly pay has fallen by 15% in the last decade. Be sure to do your homework on pay scales and earning potential before fully committing to a teaching role.

What skills are important for a teacher?

Qualifications and knowledge aside, there are many other skills that lend themselves to being a good teacher:

Excellent communication

If you don’t have the skills to convey your knowledge in an engaging and understandable way, then it doesn’t matter how much you actually know because no one will benefit from it. The key is to explain all assignments and expectations clearly, making sure that every student understands.  


By the same token, being a good listener is crucial. In an ideal learning environment, a teacher should actively and attentively listen to their students and use what they hear to build upon that communication.

Organisation and preparation

Not surprisingly, you’re going to need to be organised. After all, you can hardly expect your students to exhibit organisational skills if you can’t! And believe me, you will have a lot to organise and prepare. From lesson plans, to marking work, to a long list of administrative tasks, you’ll need some sort of system in place to keep from drowning in paperwork.

What do you wish you’d been told before becoming a teacher?

Be prepared to work hard!

Although teaching is arguably one of the most rewarding professions out there, it is by no means an easy ride. To the contrary, you’ll work harder than you ever have before, but the advantages of enriching the lives of young people and building a better future will help you grow both professionally and personally.   

Want to chat with one of our recruitment advisors? Get in touch today!


International Women’s Day – 8th March

It’s International Women’s Day this Friday 8th March and to show our support, we are featuring some fantastic women across the Sugarman Group business every day this week.

Our colleagues are sharing their experiences of work, their inspirations and talking about their career journey.

Today we feature Danielle Secker, Executive Assistant at Sugarman Group.

What is your current role & what does it entail

Executive Assistant – My role entails a bit of everything to be honest, I always get lost when people ask what I do because it’s such a varied role, no day is the same! I guess the overall way to describe it would be providing executive support to the Senior Management Team and overseeing the Office Management in Fenchurch St.

Where did your career begin (e.g Apprenticeship, College, Uni)?

My career actually started a couple days after I left school! I’d applied to go and study sports at college but took a summer job at the business where my Auntie and Mum worked (also did my work experience here). Two days before I was due to start college they offered me a full time job so I decided to take the job instead of going to college, I don’t regret that decision one bit!  I remember looking at the EA’s in that business and thinking, that’s what I want to do! And look now….!

How have you found being a woman, working in your sector?

I worked in Financial Services for years before I came into Recruitment, I find Recruitment is a lot more diverse than Financial Services in terms of the male to female ratio. Sugarman / Cordant in fact, probably has more women in Senior roles than any other business I have worked in, however, I do believe there is still work to be done to become more equal.

What are the current challenges for women in business/society?

Although I do think the times are changing and women are starting to be respected and heard more, there are still every day challenges. I think women are still judged on image, much more than men, this is something I have personally felt for a long time and still do now.  We have to be more conscious of what we wear or how we do our make up etc, this is not just at work but in everyday life.

I think it would be fair to say that at some point in our lives we have been made to believe or feel that men are stronger and more dominant than women but as I mentioned above, times are changing and I think people’s mindsets are starting to change on this!

Which women have inspired you throughout your life?

To be honest, (and this may sound a little cliche), my inspirations have never been ‘famous’ women, my inspirations have always been more close to home.  From a career perspective, when I was growing up I used to always say ‘I want to be a business woman like Auntie Lisa’. She was one of very few Senior Directors in the business I worked for in my first job and she held her own! I am sure she has (and was at the time) facing the struggles that all women in business face but she came across so strong that you wouldn’t have even known – that to me is really powerful and I admire her for that. On a more personal side, my Grandma was always someone I aspired to be like, such a selfless person who lived for her family, she put everyone before herself and was just a genuine happy and caring person (I also get my love for gin from her!)


Top 5 Teaching Tips

So February half term is over but don’t despair, Sugarman Education is on the ball to see you through to Easter!

We are sharing our top 5 teaching tips to be the best teacher you can be! It’s all about the P’s and C’s…

1 – Prepared – You can never be over prepared! Knowing your curriculum, lesson plans and day structure is the best way to be effective in your teaching approach.

2 – Positive – A positive and upbeat attitude is infectious and if you are showing your passion for teaching, your students can only follow your example for their learning.

3 – Patient – Don’t forget, learning happens at different rates for everyone. Although it can be frustrating to answer what feels like the same questions, individuals reach their questioning at different stages in their journey. Remain patient and consider ways to make the learning process easily accessible for all abilities.

4 – Concise – Being clear and concise in instruction and explanation can turn a complicated topic into something interesting and easily understood for students.

5 – Creative – Creativity holds no bounds when it comes to teaching and education. A creative classroom is often a happy one and creative teaching methods are those that inspire real learning.

So that’s Sugarman Education’s top 5 tips on making teaching work for you. We will be back after Easter with a new set of teacher tips to see you through to the summer term. You can also read our top 5 tips on setting the tone of your classroom HERE. From organisation to photo walls, the ideas are all there.

Looking for a new teaching opportunity? Sugarman Education has a wide range of vacancies, CLICK HERE to read more. Or follow us on Facebook for the latest news, vacancies and competitions.

#ThoseWhoCanTeach #GetYourTeachingOn #TeachingTips


Children’s Mental Health Week – Tips for Teachers

As part of Children’s Mental Health Week, Sugarman Education is sharing tips for teachers, parents and children on encouraging health and wellbeing.

Children’s Mental Health Week was set up by the children’s mental health charity Place2Be to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.

This year’s theme is Healthy: Inside and Out where we are encouraging everyone to think about how they look after their bodies and minds.

Place2Be have created a series of resources to help teachers, parents and children. Today, we are sharing Place2Be’s Tips for Teachers guide on encouraging pupils to look after their bodies and minds.

Here are a few simple ways you can encourage your pupils to look after their bodies and minds:

– Have a class discussion about what being healthy means. Talk about different ways that people can look after their bodies and minds. For more ideas you might be interested in Place2Be’s group activities resource, which you can find here.

– Challenge yourself and your colleagues to try something new to improve your health. For example,walking everywhere instead of driving. You could download a step tracker and make it into a competition. Sharing the steps you’ve taken to stay healthy with your class can set a good example – but don’t be afraid to admit it if you’re struggling! It’s important for children to keep trying, even when things are difficult.

– Remind them that there’s no such thing as a perfect body or mind – and no one is perfectly healthy. Pupils might be tempted to compare themselves to their classmates but it’s important to remember that everyone’s bodies and minds are different – and that’s something to celebrate.

You can download the full Tips for Teacher doc here.


World Cancer Day 4th February 2019

Sugarman Group is proud to join the #IAmAndIWill campaign for World Cancer Day 2019.


Whoever you are, you have the power to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, the people you love and for the world. It’s time to make a personal commitment.

The theme: 2019 – 2021

2019 marks the launch of the 3-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign. ‘I Am and I Will’ is an empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.

A 3-year campaign for impact

World Cancer Day is a campaign built to resonate, inspire change and mobilise action long after the day has passed.

A multi-year campaign offers a chance to create long-lasting impact by increasing public-facing exposure and engagement, more opportunities to build global awareness and impact-driven action.

You can get involved in many ways:

  • Get personal – Create your own custom social media post with your own personal message of the commitment and share it with the world.
  • Light up the world – Make a statement by lighting up a significant landmark, monument or building to be illuminated on World Cancer Day in the colours of orange and blue in your city.
  • Translate materials –  Volunteer translators help to make World Cancer Day campaign materials, including posters, infographics and factsheets, as accessible to as many people as possible.
  • Spread the word – Write an op-ed, blog story, record a video message, feature World Cancer Day on your website, an article in your newsletter, or reach out to a local journalist.
  • Join the action – Show your support by showing up. Find an event near you on the Map of Impact, sign up to attend, participate or volunteer.
  • Create an event – Inspire others by hosting your own World Cancer Day event. From flash mobs, free screenings, record breaking attempts, conferences, fundraisers to fun runs, add it to the Map of Impact to spotlight the awesome work that you are planning.

To get involved, click here to find out more.

Take a look at the World Cancer Day 19_Infographic_FA




Did you know it’s Children’s Mental Health Week? 4th – 10th February 2019

Children's Mental Health Week

It’s Children’s Mental Health Week this week and we wanted to share these new school resources for Children’s Mental Health Week (4 – 10 February 2019).

You can download assembly guides, slides, group activities, top tips, fundraising ideas and more for free here:

This year’s theme is Healthy: Inside and Out – the children’s mental health charity Place2Be is encouraging everyone to think about how they look after their bodies and minds.

Place2Be need your help to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.

Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. Now in its fifth year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread the word.

Place2Be say:

When we think about healthy living, we tend to focus on looking after our bodies – our physical wellbeing – through food, being active and getting enough sleep.

However, in order to be healthy overall, it’s important that we look after our minds – our mental wellbeing – too.

Our bodies and minds are actually very closely linked, so things that we do to improve our physical wellbeing can help our mental wellbeing as well. When we take steps to be Healthy: Inside and Out, it helps us to feel better in ourselves, focus on what we want to do and deal with difficult times.

We know from our work in schools that children in every class have diagnosable mental health conditions and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement.

Whether you’re someone who works with children, a parent or carer, passionate about spreading the word, or keen to raise vital funds for Place2Be you can get involved and help us reach as many people as possible.

Find out more:

Read more about Place2Be’s work


New Term, New You? Check out our Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Happy New Year! Welcome back to School. We thought you would like to see Sugarman Education’s 5 Top Teaching Tips on starting 2019 as you mean to go on in the classroom. 

Get organised – If you’ve got a stationary cupboard that’s overflowing or marking that runs away with you, our best advice is to choose one organisation method and stick to it. Whether it be a desk planner pad, electronic notes or a diary – choose a method that suits you and it will be easier to stick to.

Photo wall – Create a photo wall in your classroom of your students enjoying various trips/activities or exciting plans to look forward to – it will inspire your students for the upcoming term.

Workspace – Creating an inspiring working environment is a must for teachers and students. This could be introducing colours, quotes or artwork to your classroom. The more fun and energising, the more engaged your students will be.

Positive quote – Choose one positive motivating quote every term to spur you on & keep it handy. It could be an inspiring quote, a music lyric or poetry – something that inspires and motivates you everytime you look at it.

Ask (& listen) – Speak to your students about the objectives for each term and how you plan to deliver them. Get their feedback to help plan your lessons. If students have contributed ideas, they are often even more engaged when those ideas are rolled out!

Don’t forget, just another 6 weeks until February half term, which we know will fly! We’ll catch up then with new Sugarman Education Teaching Tips for the Spring Term.

Looking for a new teaching opportunity? Sugarman Education has a wide range of vacancies, CLICK HERE to read more. Or follow us on Facebook for the latest news, vacancies and competitions.

#ThoseWhoCanTeach #GetYourTeachingOn #TeachingTips