Blog

Are you a supply teacher or teaching assistant looking for some help and advice? If so, you are in the right place. Our blogs offer tips and tricks on everything from classroom management to interview tips and support, along with day in the life case studies from real supply teachers, ECTs and cover supervisors. They also give you an insight into what working for Smile is like, the ways which we support local communities and charities and the training and events that we offer. 

For more good stuff like this, follow us on social media - you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Or pick up the phone and give us a call.

Tips and Tricks - 16-02-2022 - - 0 comments
5 ways to get your kids excited about Shakespeare

English teachers - hold on to your feathered, silk hats - it's Shakespeare Week.

Tips and Tricks - 16-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Life in the classroom after lockdown

While lockdown may seem like a lifetime ago many children, parents and teachers are still feeling the impact of school closures. Children are behind and as a result teachers and parents are feeling stressed. However, with children now back in school full-time and returning to their normal routines there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Tips and Tricks - 16-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Rewarding good student behaviour

After speaking with our teaching and teaching support staff, we’ve collated some examples of rewards that you may have success with in the classroom.

Tips and Tricks - 10-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Teaching resources for LGBTQ+ History Month

February is LGBTQIA+ History Month. After talking to some of our teachers we have come up with a list of ways you can incorporate this month into your teaching.

Tips and Tricks - 10-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Smile Support Pride 365

We have decided to put our own spin on Pride 365 to celebrate diversity all year round!

News - 21-01-2022 - - 0 comments
The New Covid Rules for Schools

 

After the prime minister’s announcement about easing ‘Plan B’ measures, you might be wondering what this means for you and our schools. Here is everything you need to know.

Tips and Tricks - 18-01-2022 - - 0 comments
A-Z of SEN terms and phrases.

We have composed a list of all the terms and phrases you need to know as a SEN teacher to make your life in the classroom more manageable.

Tips and Tricks - 18-01-2022 - - 4 comments
Teaching Assistant Levels: What Do They Mean and How Do They Differ?

Not sure what the difference between a level 2, level 3 and level 4 teaching assistant is? We've got you, here's everything you need to know about the different levels and what they mean.

Tips and Tricks - 18-01-2022 - - 0 comments
FAQ's about returning to the classroom

Following the Education Secretary's call for former and retired teachers to return to work, we've put together this FAQ to help answer any questions you might have about returning to the classroom.

Working at Smile - 17-01-2022 - - 0 comments
We're having a cuppa this Brew Monday

Our team enjoyed taking part in Brew Monday an initiative Samaritans to encourage us all to connect.

Tips and Tricks - 05-01-2022 - - 0 comments
Plea for former teachers to return to the classroom

Following the continued spread of Omnicron, Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, made a plea for ex-teachers to return to classrooms across the UK in a bid to support schools with the staffing shortage caused by the new variant. 

News - 29-11-2021 - - 0 comments
Help Harry Help Others - Our Charity of the Year

We are delighted to announce that our Charity of the Year for 2021/2022 is Help Harry Help Others. 

News - 24-11-2021 - - 0 comments
Christmas Cracker Jokes Only Teachers Would Find funny

In a bid to spread some holiday cheer, we have trawled the internet to find some Christmas cracker jokes that only teachers would find funny. Enjoy! 

Tips and Tricks - 22-11-2021 - - 0 comments
Christmas in the Classroom - Lesson Ideas
As Christmas is around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how you can bring the festive spirit into your classroom. The good news is that there are endless ways in which you can add Christmas magic to your lesson; whatever that lesson might be.  To help make lesson planning a little easier we’ve compiled together a num
Tips and Tricks - 08-11-2021 - - 0 comments
Our top stress-busting tips
Recruitment can be a stressful job that is made up of highs and lows. As a business, we recognise this and do our very best to help our team combat and cope with the challenges that working in the recruitment industry brings. Most recently we signed the MHIR Awareness to Action Pledge to help change th
Tips and Tricks - 12-10-2021 - - 0 comments
Scary stories to read at Halloween

Here are a few scary stories to share with your students. 

Tips and Tricks - 12-10-2021 - - 0 comments
Tips for leaders on handing stress & pressure

Here are a few tips for leaders on handling stress & pressure. 

Tips and Tricks - 12-10-2021 - - 0 comments
How to be a good role model for your staff & students

Here are a few tips on how you can be a good role model for your staff & students. 

Tips and Tricks - 12-10-2021 - - 0 comments
How to make a school great

Here are a few ways you can make your school, a great school. 

Tips and Tricks - 05-10-2021 - - 0 comments
Great places for school trips around Birmingham

Fun places in Birmingham you can visit on a school trip.

News - 04-10-2021 - - 0 comments
Partners of Smart Works Birmingham

We are so excited to announce our partnership with Smart Works Birmingham.

News - 01-10-2021 - - 0 comments
Achieving 99.5% APSCo Compliance+ Audit

We are so proud to have achieved 99.5% in our 2021 APSCo Compliance+ audit.

News - 15-09-2021 - - 0 comments
Smile sign the MHIR Pledge

We are really pleased to announce that we have signed the Mental Health in Recruitment Awareness to Action Pledge.  

Tips and Tricks - 23-07-2021 - - 0 comments
Fun and educational places to visit in the Black Country

The summer holidays might be here but that doesn’t mean that the learning has to stop. We’ve put together a list of fun places in the Black Country and beyond that you can visit with your little ones during the school holidays. 

Working at Smile - 16-07-2021 - - 0 comments
A Day in the Life of a Compliance Administrator

We asked our Compliance Administrator, Georgia, to give us (and you) an insight into her day and the role of a compliance administrator in recruitment.

Tips and Tricks - 02-07-2021 - - 0 comments
Wellbeing tips for school leaders

How school leaders can improve their wellbeing and better support their students and staff.

Tips and Tricks - 18-06-2021 - - 0 comments
10 Phrases you Might Hear in Black Country Schools

We thought we’d have some light-hearted fun and take a look at 10 Black Country sayings that you might hear in schools and what they mean.

Tips and Tricks - 26-05-2021 - - 0 comments
How to become a headteacher

Advice on how to become a headteacher of a school.

Tips and Tricks - 24-05-2021 - - 0 comments
The 10 must-read books for every school leader

10 books that every aspiring and current school leader must read, what they are about and where to find them.

News - 27-04-2021 - - 0 comments
Proud partners The Albion Foundation

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with The Albion Foundation the charity behind West Bromwich Albion Football Club.

Working at Smile - 16-03-2021 - - 0 comments
From Graduate Trainee to Executive Associate Director

Kash talks about his career journey at Smile Education and looks back at how far he has come.

Tips and Tricks - 09-03-2021 - - 0 comments
Goal scoring with Smile Soccer Stars and the Albion Foundation

For a while now, we have been working closely with West Bromwich Albion Foundation to bring sport to children who might not otherwise get the opportunity. Since running our first event in 2019, Smile Soccer Stars has grown into something more than we could have ever imagined - even the pandemic couldn’t stop it! 

Working at Smile - 08-03-2021 - - 0 comments
Who run recruitment? Girls!

Recruitment is a ‘boy’s club’ they say. Well, we are proof that that couldn’t be further from the truth.

News - 17-02-2021 - - 1 comments
UPDATED 15th Feb  - Furlough Update

An update on the furlough scheme from Smile Education.

News - 03-02-2021 - - 0 comments
Guest blog Smile Leadership - The Power of Poems

Michael, primary recruitment consultant at our sister company, Smile Leadership, and spoken word poet shares his thoughts on the power of poetry in the classroom. 

Community and Charity Work - 28-01-2021 - - 0 comments
Join Team Leasa

Help us remember Leasa and raise money for Help Harry Help Others, one of her chosen charities. 

Tips and Tricks - 20-01-2021 - - 0 comments
Guest blog by Jessica Joan - My top tips for teachers working from home

Jessica, one of our lovely supply teachers who like many teachers is having to get used to working from home. Here she shares some tips which have helped her during this time.

A day in the life - 18-12-2020 - - 0 comments
Day in the life of a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Our Graduate Academy is designed to help graduates take their first step on the teaching ladder and offers them a paid opportunity to discover whether teaching is the right career choice for them.

We asked Beth, who joined our Graduate Academy earlier this year to give us a run-through of what life is like in the classroom and what is expected of her - the good, the bad and the ugly. However, you’ll be pleased to know (as we were!) there’s no too much bad, or ugly for that matter! Here’s is what she had to say.

Working at Smile - 17-12-2020 - - 0 comments
How working for Smile is similar to being the Queen

Think there are no similarities between working for Smile Education and being the Qeen (or King) or England. Think again! 

Training and Events - 17-12-2020 - - 0 comments
What you'll learn from Safer Recruitment Training for Schools

Find out what you'll learn from our Safer Recruitment Training for schools.

Tips and Tricks - 17-12-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips for Switching-Off at Christmas

It's time to switch-off! However, we know that can be easier said than done so we’ve put together some tips to help you.

Tips and Tricks - 16-12-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips for Tutors using online video

We’ve put together some tips to help make sure that your online tutoring sessions are as successful as they can be!

Tips and Tricks - 16-12-2020 - - 0 comments
Questions parents should ask tutors

To help you find the right tutor for you and your child, you’ll need to ask each of the tutors you’re considering some questions. We’ve put together some of the questions we think are most important for you to ask below.

Tips and Tricks - 16-12-2020 - - 0 comments
Questions tutors should ask parents

As a tutor there are some key questions you should be asking both parents and students to establish what they are looking for from a tutor and how you can help. We’ve provided some examples of key questions for both below.

Working at Smile - 26-11-2020 - - 0 comments
Priya's Special Achievement

Priya started her career in recruitment and joined the Smile team just under two months ago but she’s already the very proud winner of our monthly special achievement award.

Working at Smile - 25-11-2020 - - 0 comments
More than just results

We asked Louise, our Compliance Team Leader, to give us an insight into life at Smile and what it’s like to work for a company that doesn’t just value results.

Working at Smile - 25-11-2020 - - 0 comments
Being a Team Teach mentor

We are in a great position to have not one, but two experienced and qualified Tutors who can deliver these skills to those in need. Here Louise, one of our Team Teach Tutors (and our Compliance Team Leader) talks about the Team Teach course, why it’s important, who should do it and what she likes about it.

News - 19-11-2020 - - 0 comments
Our commitment to safeguarding

Safeguarding is something that as a business, we take very seriously. Not only are all of our staff safer recruitment trained, we are also an APSCo Compliance+ accredited agency.

Working at Smile - 19-11-2020 - - 0 comments
What our team learned from safer recruitment training

Katy our MD, who is safer recruitment trained, run a training session recently to ensure that our new recruits were up to speed. Here is what they had they learnt during their training, how the impact it has had on their work and why they believe safer recruitment training is important for all those recruiting in the education sector.

Tips and Tricks - 19-11-2020 - - 0 comments
How to choose the best online tutor for your child

We for most parents tutoring is unknown territory making finding the right tutor for your child a difficult and daunting task. Don’t panic or give up just yet though, we’ve put together some tips for you to help you choose the best tutor to suit your child. 

Tips and Tricks - 15-11-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips for talking about race and racism in the classroom

We've put together some tips that teachers can use to help them talk about racism with their students. 

Tips and Tricks - 12-11-2020 - - 0 comments
How to talk to children about the coronavirus

We’ve put together some tips from around the web on how to handle questions about COVID-19 and how to explain the current pandemic and lockdown.

Registering with Smile - 11-11-2020 - - 1 comments
Why should you add your DBS to the Update Service?

We encourage all of our school and children’s residential staff to add their DBS to the Update Service as soon as it arrives as you only have 30 days after your certificate issue date to register. But why should you register with the Update Service? What are the advantages? Here are the three biggest reasons.

Tips and Tricks - 10-11-2020 - - 0 comments
How your child could benefit from online tutoring
Parents and guardians turn to tutoring for many reasons. Tutoring is the perfect supplement to school learning and gives students the time and support needed to excel. Of course, as we’ve already explained there are lots of benefit to using an online tutoring service
Community and Charity Work - 06-11-2020 - - 0 comments
Smile's many miles

As you’ll know, charity is something that is very important to us as both a company and a team and we refused to let the first lockdown get in the way of that. Of course, that doesn’t mean we broke the rules but instead, we found ways to fundraise while abiding by the social distancing guidelines in place. Conor, our senior compliance administrator, will tell you how.

News - 03-11-2020 - - 0 comments
Should I self-isolate?

Everything you need to know about self-isolating from whether you should to how long for.

Training and Events - 01-11-2020 - - 0 comments
NQT Q&A Success

Our online NQT Q&A was a huge success - thank you to everyone who joined us.

Community and Charity Work - 01-11-2020 - - 0 comments
Chelsea is a MacMillan Game Hero

Chelsea, part of our candidate care team, gamed for 24 hours straight to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support

Tips and Tricks - 31-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips for NQTs from education experts

Our panel of education experts share there top tips for NQTs.

Tips and Tricks - 26-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Resources to help you talk about racism in schools

We've compiled a list of resources to help you talk to students and pupils of all ages about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

News - 26-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Black pioneers who have influenced education

As it’s Black History Month, we wanted to do a special spotlight on those from the black community, both past and present, that have influenced and changed education for the better.

Tips and Tricks - 23-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Our working from home tips

Our team, like 10000s of others around the country, has been doing their bit to slow the spread of the coronavirus by working from home. Now seven months in, we all pretty much feel like we’re experts so we thought it was only right we share our top tips with you

Working at Smile - 19-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Beth becomes a first aider

Up-skilling is something that we really believe in and we are always looking for new ways to support our team with their personal development. But it’s not all recruitment-based learning. Beth, part of our candidate team, had the chance earlier this year to gain a first aid qualification and became one of our nominated workplace first aiders - more on this (from Beth’s point of view) in a click.

Working at Smile - 19-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Olivia becomes a mental health first aider

It’s important to us that our team continue learning and developing during their time with us. While we offer lots of training through recruitment networks like the TRN, we also give our team the opportunity to develop their persona skills too. Olivia, our secondary team leader, recently attended a training course and became a mental health first aider so she could better support her team.

Tips and Tricks - 16-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Why choose Online Tutoring?

We have looked at the most common reasons why parents are frequently turning to Smile Tutors for their online tutoring. 

Working at Smile - 16-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Staying 'Match Fit' During Lockdown

How Vicky, part of our candidate care team, used her time in lockdown wisely.

News - 16-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Achieving 100% APSCo Compliance+ Audit

We are proud as punch to say that we achieved 100% in our 2020 APSCo Compliance+ audit.

News - 15-10-2020 - - 0 comments
COVID-19 and schools - questions and answers

If you missed our COVID and Schools Q&A or just want a refresher you’ll find all the questions and the answers in this blog.

Training and Events - 13-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Meet our two new NQT Q&A Panellists

Meet our two new NQT Q&A panellists; Richard Simcox and Louise Sieradzki.

Working at Smile - 07-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Nasriin's First Year at Smile

Nasriin joined us a year ago. Learn more about her experience working at Smile. 

Working at Smile - 30-09-2020 - - 0 comments
Starting a new job during a pandemic

Georgia, our lovely compliance administrator, talks about her journey with Smile so far and what it was like starting a new job just as the pandemic hit.

Training and Events - 28-09-2020 - - 0 comments
Meet our panel of education experts

Meet the education experts on our NQT Q&A panel.

Tips and Tricks - 09-09-2020 - - 0 comments
Guest blog by Jessica Joan - Managing Back to School Anxiety

Jessica Joan is one of Smile Education's lovely supply teachers and a health and wellness coach for teachers. She shares her tips on managing back-to-school anxiety.

News - 26-08-2020 - - 0 comments
Face masks in schools - Updated

Do you have to wear a face mask in school? Here is the latest information. 

Tips and Tricks - 24-08-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips for the NQTs of 2020

No NQT year is easy but this year might take the crown for being the toughest. Here are our tips for the NQTs of 2020. 

Tips and Tricks - 24-08-2020 - - 0 comments
Guest blog by Suneta Bagri - Top Tips for Handling the Pressures of Teaching

We asked Suneta Bagri and Steve Walters for these tips on handling the pressures of teaching.

Tips and Tricks - 17-08-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips on Tutoring

New to online tutoring? Don’t worry, we have some great tips and suggestions to help you become the best and most effective tutor you can be. 

News - 17-08-2020 - - 0 comments
Blended learning - the benefits, the challenges, the future?

Blended learning is a term that has been thrown around a lot lately but what is it and what are the benefits to students and teachers?

News - 10-08-2020 - - 2 comments
What will the ‘new normal’ look like in schools?

So, just what will the new normal in schools when they reopen? We’ve broken down the main guidance from the Department of Education (DfE) for you.

Tips and Tricks - 30-07-2020 - - 1 comments
What is tutoring and is it right for you?

So, you’ve heard about Smile Tutors but you’re not quite sure what one is or if it’s right for you? Don’t worry, here is everything you’ll need to know about tutoring.

Tips and Tricks - 30-07-2020 - - 0 comments
Why become a Smile Tutor?

Thinking about becoming a Smile Tutor but need a little convincing? Here are all the reasons that we think you should give it a try.

A day in the life - 17-07-2020 - - 0 comments
A day in the life of a teacher, the emoji edition!

The day has finally arrived it’s World Emoji Day! To celebrate we wanted to do something a bit different. As you may know, emojis represent a wide, complex range of emotions. Emotions that teachers go through everyday…

Tips and Tricks - 09-07-2020 - - 0 comments
How to spot a teacher outside of school

It might be hard for your students to believe but when you’re not at school, you’re actually just a pretty ordinary person. But spotting a teacher outside of the classroom is much easier than you think.  In this blog we tell you how.

Tips and Tricks - 02-07-2020 - - 0 comments
The advantages of supply teaching

There are lots of advantages to becoming a supply teacher and it can be the perfect job for someone who loves being in the classroom but hates the many other duties that come with a permanent teaching post.

You may have heard all the cons about supply teaching so let us tell you some of the pros.

Tips and Tricks - 22-06-2020 - - 0 comments
Guest blog by Suneta Bagri - The power of a morning routine

As it’s Wellbeing Week, we asked Suneta Bagri, former headteacher, current wellbeing coach and founder of the Every Teacher Matters project to gives her advice to school staff on how to start the day off right and give your wellbeing a boost.

Tips and Tricks - 17-06-2020 - - 0 comments
Fun science experiments you can do at home!

No school? No problem? Here we share some fun home science experiments you can enjoy with your children at home.

Training and Events - 11-06-2020 - - 0 comments
Training courses available through Smile Education

Smile Education offer a range of training courses, you can read more about them here.

Tips and Tricks - 05-06-2020 - - 1 comments
Most Common Support Worker Interview Questions

Although the role of a support worker is a rewarding role (just take a look at our day in the life blog to find out more) it can also be challenging and demanding. As with any job, you’ll be expected to interview and asked a series of questions to determine your suitability to the role.

Tips and Tricks - 29-05-2020 - - 0 comments
Twitter tips for teachers

If you aren't familiar with Twitter it might seem like a bit of a minefield but it can be a really great tool for teachers and headteachers alike. Our marketing and social media executive, Kelly, shares her top Twitter tips.

Tips and Tricks - 21-05-2020 - - 0 comments
Something or nothing? Focus on well being.

In mental health awareness week Suneta Bagri has kindly shared this blog with us which share some important thoughts on wellbeing for our staff. 

Tips and Tricks - 20-05-2020 - - 0 comments
Some tips for NQT's who are job hunting

Our MD and founder Katy Rees blogs for NQTS on their job search and how agencies can be used to help especially in these unprecedented times.

Tips and Tricks - 14-05-2020 - - 0 comments
Suneta Bagri- The importance of feeling connected.

We wanted to share this fantastic blog with you as looking after our own wellbeing is more important than ever at this time. Here are some great tips from Suneta Bagri for our staff. 

Working at Smile - 12-05-2020 - - 0 comments
National Smile month. 100 things that make us happy!

Its our month! National Smile month that is, here we tell you 100 things that make us smile, our favourite things are much needed in these challenging times.

News - 07-05-2020 - - 0 comments
5 Children's books we recommend

As its childrens book week this week we thought it was a great opprtunity to share 5 of the team at Smile Educations favourite childrens books with you.

Tips and Tricks - 04-05-2020 - - 0 comments
5 Life lessons you can learn from Star Wars

On May 4th we share life lessons you can learn from Star Wars.

Tips and Tricks - 30-04-2020 - - 0 comments
Looking after yourself in the current pandemic - a guest blog

One of our Supply Staff shares their experience and tips for being kind to yourself in lockdown. Jess is also a holistic health and nutrition coach.

Tips and Tricks - 27-04-2020 - - 0 comments
5 Life lessons children can learn from gardening.

On national gardening day we share 5 lessons children can learn from gardening, an ideal activity when so many of us are home schooling our children during lockdown.

Training and Events - 23-04-2020 - - 0 comments
Training Courses Available!

If you work for us in our schools and are paid via People, did you know you can access a number of free training courses? This blog explains how and what is available.

Tips and Tricks - 21-04-2020 - - 0 comments
5 Top Tips for Working From Home- Suneta Bagri

We wanted to share this fantastic blog with you as home working is quite new for many of us and comes with its own challenges! Here are some great tips from Suneta Bagri for our staff. 

Tips and Tricks - 16-04-2020 - - 0 comments
Making Home Schooling Fun!

The idea of home schooling your children can be a daunting one but fear not there are lots of fun things to do with them for free. We have put them all together for you in this handy blog.

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