All Resources

Browse our full collection of articles on supply teaching, job seeking, managing supply, and Zen product updates.

Why we need Authentic School Leaders

Great leadership ‘cannot be reduced to a matter of technique or style’. Rather, it comes from the very identity and integrity of every individual who has chosen to take on the mantle of leadership.

The Journey from School to Undergraduate Study in Chemistry

Dr Kristy Turner offers a unique insight into supporting STEM students, from her professional Chemistry teaching and lecturing experience in both school and university. She outlines challenges and raises questions for school leaders supporting learners with their journey into higher education.

World Mental Health Day: Zen Employee Appreciation

We are incredibly fortunate to work with a remarkable group of people striving to do good each day. The community built through Zen is diversely passionate about the cause that brought us all together, and one that looks out for each other along the way.

Introducing: Talent Pools

We've listened to feedback from school leaders to design this simple, helpful and intuitive new feature.

Coaching Ultimate Frisbee Alongside Supply Teaching

Dylan, Teaching Assistant with Zen Educate, found his love of teaching through his passion for Ultimate Frisbee. In this article, he shares top tips for introducing this sport to children, and how supply work allows him to carry out two passions in one!

Why Supply?

Looking for a flexible way to balance a career in education with other things? Teaching supply might be the perfect job for you.

International Women's Day: A Day of Celebration for the Women of Zen

For International Women's Day 2022, we asked our Zen team to highlight any women who deserve some recognition. Whether that's for supporting within the workplace, doing something outside of work, or just a genuine compliment for being a ray of sunshine. Take a read to see what we were sent!

In pursuit of wellbeing with Maria Brosnan

For this episode, Helen speaks with Maria Brosnan, founder of Pursuit Wellbeing and author of The Pursuit of Sleep, exploring school leader stress, sleep rituals and the practice of gratitude along the way.

Creating space for mental fitness with Fika

For this episode, we had the pleasure of inviting Nick Bennett, CEO of Fika. Nick spoke with Helen about mental wellbeing in schools, the origins of Fika, and the way in which modern society perceives mental and physical fitness.

Committing to Net Zero

Why we're limiting our carbon footprint at Zen.

Teachers on my journey as a child refugee with Gulwali Passarlay

For this extended episode of 10 with Zen, host Helen Woodward talks with Gulwali Passarlay, an Afghan political refugee living in the UK, about his experience of arriving in England, how education in Bolton brought hope and opportunity, and praised the teachers who made small but meaningful gestures that left a powerful, lasting impression.

Key Insights: Education Recovery webinar

Earlier in October, Zen Educate hosted our Education Recovery: what you need to know & how to get involved webinar, looking to answer school leaders’ questions about the Department for Education’s newest education recovery package, how it works and what it means for schools.

Inclusive, accessible theatre with Ros Norford

As part of our Black History Month celebrations, Helen chatted with Ros Norford, a Manchester-based Creative Practitioner and creator/director of Aleiah’s Adventure.

Catch-up recovery: what do we know so far?

In June, the Department for Education announced its £1.4 billion recovery package to help schools catch up students’ learning after the knock-on effects of the pandemic. As this funding is a combination of different schemes, we wanted to summarise and demystify the structure!

September Success Programme

Prepare for the new academic year with three workshops from our September Success Programme

Keeping children safe in education: Updates for September 2021

Now that the September 2021 update to the Department for Education’s guidance for keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) has been published, we want to ensure that everyone who works in education is informed on the changes.

Key Insights: Designing an Effective Catch Up Curriculum

Some key insights from our webinar hosted in collaboration with Cornerstones Education. We explored sensible approaches to supporting effective catch up and discussed how we can ensure all children’s needs are met.

Early Career Framework with Sam Twiselton

What do schools and teachers need to know about the 2-year Early Career Framework? In our podcast, Helen Woodward talked with Professor Sam Twiselton OBE and Lynsey Hunter from Sheffield Hallam University about building a community of practice, and how we can measure success over the next few years.

Easing Primary to Secondary Transitions with Chris Foley

In preparation of Year 6s moving on to secondary school after summer, host Helen Woodward sat down with Chris Foley (Headteacher at St. Monica’s Roman Catholic High School and CEO Designate of the St. Teresa’s of Calcutta Catholic Academy Trust) to talk about how schools can help transitioning children feel more comfortable in their new environment.

Key Insights: Accountability & Use of Catch-up Funds

We recently hosted a webinar based around COVID catch-up funding, as we’re keen to explore what we’re all learning about children’s current needs following 18 months of disrupted education.

Key Insights: Behaviour for Learning

Earlier this month, we hosted our Behaviour for Learning webinar, intending to shed light on the research behind best practices for behaviour management in the classroom.

Inspiring Careers in STEM with Lynne Bianchi & Charly Pearce

Ahead of 2021’s Great Science Share for Schools on the 15th of June, we wanted to dig deep into science and technology education in schools, and find out how we can all inspire and encourage children to explore their interest in STEM early on.

What Works in Wellbeing? with Nancy Hey

Helen Woodward talked with Nancy Hey, Executive Director of What Works Wellbeing, about the definition of 'wellbeing', and what it means for schools.

Leading Effective Children’s Safeguarding with Cognus

For episode 5 of our podcast series 10 with Zen, we talked with Hayley Cameron (Education Safeguarding Manager) and Jo Cassey (Managing Director) from Cognus about safeguarding during the pandemic.

SEN Insight: Life in a Special School

Why choose work in a special school? Olivia, our SEND Lead and former SEND Support Worker, discusses opportunities to upskill and develop experience in the special needs sector.

Teacher Training in Bhutan with Dr. Phuntsho Dolma

Last week, as part of our International Women’s Day celebrations, we hosted a podcast on Teacher Training in Bhutan with the brilliant Dr. Phuntsho Dolma, a national leader of teacher training in Bhutan and Associate Professor at The Royal University of Bhutan.

An Easy Guide to Children's Yoga

Beckie, founder of Bhumi Yoga and supply teacher with 20 years of school experience, shares yoga-inspired activities which help with behaviour management.

Teacher Training Through a Pandemic with Rob Caudwell

For this episode, Helen Woodward talks with Rob Caudwell, Leader of Oasis Innovation Teaching School and Co-founder of Penrose Education. Rob touches on the learning that’s informed his decisions on teacher training since COVID-19 began, as well as supporting ITT trainees, assessing trainees as they teach online, and why schools “need mentors now more than ever”.

What is Makaton?

Who uses Makaton, how can I learn it, and how can I introduce it in my classroom?

Staying active in lockdown

Are you finding time for fitness right now? The Zen team has lockdown fitness ideas to share with teachers and anyone working remotely.

Inclusion, Not Exclusion with Angela Holdsworth

For this episode, Helen chatted with Angela Holdsworth. As well as being CEO of the Seaview Trust in North West England, Angela is a Regional Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Leader for nasen (National Association for Special Educational Needs), and a Teaching Schools Council Regional Representative. Available now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more.

Five books to promote friendships, inclusivity and understanding of SEND

It’s Anti-Bullying Week, which is a great opportunity to emphasise the collective responsibility of students to end bullying and respect each other. With powerful illustrations and encouraging messages, picture books are an ideal way to help children understand and celebrate their differences.

Diversity in Education Recruitment: Key insights from school leaders

Supporting diversity in teaching and school leadership positions is a challenge for the education sector, but also an opportunity to deliver better representation for children in schools. In our webinar, we welcomed three passionate leaders to share valuable insight into inclusive education recruitment practices.

Standing up to racism

At Zen Educate, we stand united in the efforts to challenge racial injustice in all forms.

Outdoor learning: Changing the way we view learning spaces during COVID-19

Whilst the current COVID-19 crisis is putting everyone's life in a period of uncertainty - no one is facing as much unrest as the key workers across the world and the families they support. With a lot of schools remaining open to support the children of these key workers it is important to ask: Will COVID-19 change how we view the classroom? Outdoor learning seems like a prime example of exactly what this change might look like.

Beginner's Guide to Makaton

This practical guide shows you exactly how to do 10 of the most useful basic Makaton signs

How to best support the mental health of your teachers

Much has been written and researched about the impact of mental health issues on the teaching profession. Here we cover practical things your school can do to better support your teachers'.

Meet our TA of the month - Marcela

Every month we pick one hardworking TA and we shout to the rooftops about them. This month it’s all about Marcela.

Five quick & easy ways to reduce school sick leave

What can be done to reduce sick leave as the colder weather arrives? We’ve gathered together some of the best simple solutions from the world of education and put them together for you below:

5 Top Tips for Starting the New School Year Off Right

The summer is over, you’ve enjoyed your holiday, and it’s time to get back to teaching. The start of a new academic term may feel daunting, but following these tips will help you reduce stress and get back into the swing of things.

How to Re-energise Yourself as a Supply Teacher After Summer

After a long summer holiday off, it can be tough to get back into teaching. Leigh shares her tips on how to re-energise yourself as a supply teacher and get back into the swing of things come the September term.

Secondary to Primary Teaching

Teaching supply allows you to work in a variety of contexts. As an experienced secondary school teacher now teaching daily supply, a Zen teacher shares how they have adapted their teaching practices to be effective in a primary setting.

Strategies to Deliver Improved Language Lessons in UK Schools

So many pupils today do not seem to value language subjects in the same way that they value the core subjects. As one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to teaching languages in UK schools, it is necessary for teachers to overcome this.

My Top Tips for Stress-Free Prep

A supply day can be overwhelming if you're not prepared. Consider the advice of Nathanlie, a supply teacher, who shared her tips and tricks for a typical teaching day.

Tips for Choosing a Supply Agency

Navigating how to find the right supply agency for you can be an overwhelming process. It’s important to understand the differences between them and what each has to offer. Follow these guidelines to ensure that you find the best agency for you.

How and Why I Got Into Supply Teaching in London

Explore the main benefits of supply teaching with one of Zen's best teachers, as she recalls how she became drawn to supply and how she ended up working with Zen.

The Advantages of Becoming a Supply Teacher

Supply can offer a lot of benefits for teachers depending on personal needs and wants. Working as a supply teacher with her own business on the side, Gerrie shares some of the advantages of supply.

Developing Wellbeing in the Early Years

Mental health, stress and workload are hot topics at the moment. Many schools are raising the profile of wellbeing and making a real commitment to improving the mental health of their staff, children and the wider community.

How to Best Support Your SEN Students

Each SEN student will have different needs and learning habits. Whilst each child is different, there are a number of things you can do to prepare when taking on a new class with SEN requirements..

Outside the Classroom

It's not just about the classroom; schools now expect teachers to engage in the school and show an interest in extracurricular activities. Mary, a supply teacher, shares various ways for a teacher to integrate themselves into a school community.

Tips for Relieving Teacher Stress

Stress management for a teacher can be a difficult task, sometimes seemingly impossible. Whether you are in your first years of teaching or have many years of experience, stress and teaching can often go hand-in-hand. Often times as a teacher, the work doesn’t end once you leave school. Learning management strategies for dealing with anxiety and a significant workload is important not only for your mental health, but for your overall well-being both in and out of the classroom. Consider the following tips to have a little more peace of mind, remembering that the first person you should take care of is yourself.

Entering Supply After Being a Classroom Teacher

It is a hard adjustment from classroom teacher to supply teacher. There are substantial differences to the job both within and outside the school. It is important to be prepared for these changes so that you can make the most of your experience as a supply teacher.

How to Overcome the Supply Teacher Effect

Coming back into supply teaching after leaving a full time teacher position after 5 years was a daunting prospect. I was familiar with the same school and the set procedures on a day to day basis. The children knew what I expected of them and were aware of the consequences of not following instructions or school rules. There are certain steps you can take to eliminate the "substitute teacher effect" and have a successful supply day.

Keeping Children Safe in Education: What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding refers to the processes and policies in place used to protect children from abuse, including physical, mental, neglect, and bullying. It is designed in the best interest of the child in order to promote their own health and safety. As educators, it is imperative to understand how to handle a potential crisis situation and be able to offer the right kind of help.

My Journey as a Spanish Teacher in Birmingham

As a follow-up to her first interview, we sat down with Sarah from our Teacher Success Team. Read our conversation about her experience teaching Spanish at secondary state schools in Birmingham and London.

World Book Day at Devonshire Hill Primary School

One school that has ensured literacy and reading is widely encouraged is Devonshire Hill Primary in Tottenham and Zen Educate agreed to join in the fun on World Book Day and visited Devonshire Hill Primary School to hand out some prizes

Book Review: The Behaviour Guru

An overview of Tom Bennett’s relatable, humorous and no-nonsense guide to behaviour management.

What To Do Once You've Resigned

Ever decided to take the leap before realising you don’t quite feel prepared for what’s to come? Read Zen’s guidelines for how to find a new role that suits you.

Why Do People Supply Teach?

We asked our teachers and TAs what drew them to supply work. The results may surprise you.

Covering New Subjects as a Supply Teacher

Supply teaching brings with it a number of new, exciting experiences. If you find yourself having to cover an unknown subject, there are certain things you can do to prepare.

Our Next Chapter - Helping Schools Save Money in Manchester

Saving schools money is what we’re all about, and we have helped schools across Greater London save vital resources on supply staff. We want to do as much as we can for schools all across the UK, however, which is why we are excited to announce our expansion to Manchester!

How Can You Best Manage Behaviour as a Supply Teacher?

Managing disruptive behaviour in a class where the students do not know you may seem like a daunting prospect. Read ahead for some valuable tips that will boost your confidence when working with a new class.

Becoming a Qualified Teacher as an HLTA

Starting out as a teacher after working as an HLTA can feel like quite a leap. One maths teacher shares their advice when making the transition with a PGCE.

Who Suffers if There’s a Lack of Funding For SEND?

With cuts to education and healthcare a distressing reality, the challenges faced by SEND students and their teachers are increasing. One secondary school teacher’s experiences shed light on the necessity of proper funding for SEND students.

Our Mission

Zen Educate is on a mission to challenge the traditional agencies that provide poor value to schools.

Resourcing Your PE Department

A well-resourced PE department can make a world of difference to your students. Save up to £16,500 a year to reinvest in your school, via our technology-based approach to supply.

Our SEND Students Deserve More

Vulnerable children are often those left most at risk by constant funding cuts, and high agency fees merely exacerbate this issue.

© 2019 Zen Educate

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