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

We hope you’ve had a restful summer and are ready for a new term! These resources should help you upskill and prepare for this year’s challenges.

Hundreds of teachers and Teaching Assistants attended Zen Educate’s September Success Programme to improve their understanding of assessment for learning, emotions in the classroom and communication for building great professional relationships.


Part 1: Assessment for Learning

The first workshop we hosted shared practical ways to ensure effective learning, assessment and marking is taking place within a school.

Our speakers were:

  • Vicky Gould, primary teacher for 15 years and former Head of Prestolee SCITT
  • Katie Hall, primary teacher for 5 years and former Head of English

We brought these two experienced teaching professionals together to discuss opportunities to develop students’ ability to evaluate their learning:

  • Establishing clear learning objectives
  • Drawing up successful criteria of lesson
  • Understanding a range of questioning techniques
  • Exploring a variety of self and peer assessment strategies
  • Considering oral and written feedback strategies

Watch the recording below to find out more!

Part 2: Importance of Understanding Emotions in the Classroom

Workshop two explored how we can effectively support children with additional needs of social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) and autism.

Our speakers were:

  • Lisa Thornley (she/her), former Deputy Head & SEN consultant at Zen Educate
  • Charly Pearce (she/her), former SEN teacher & software developer for Zen Educate

If you’re looking for insights into creating an emotionally supportive environment, our workshop explores:

  • Understanding how emotions drive our behaviour
  • Developing confidence in recognising characteristics of SEMH
  • Practising the use of the Karpman Triangle model and reflecting in your classroom
  • Understanding how government guidelines, data & statistics can inform best practice

Watch the video below to find out more!

Part 3: Communication for Building Great Professional Relationships

School leaders we work with always give positive feedback when teachers and TAs effectively support each other in the classroom. Building relationships with colleagues is essential in schools, and workshop three explores best practice and insights from experienced teaching staff.

Our speakers were:

  • Amifatu Kebe-Kamara, a teaching assistant with Zen Educate
  • Sharon Jones, SEN teaching assistant with Zen Educate
  • Peter Vaughan-Fowler, operations team lead at Zen Educate & ambassador of the Teach First Leadership Programme
  • Nardus Badenhorst, team lead at Zen Educate & former KS2 class teacher & subject lead

Watch the recording below to find out more on:

  • How to use communication models
  • Why effective communication supports families and children’s safeguarding and learning
  • How we can create a resourceful partnership between teaching assistants and teachers
  • How different communication techniques can land important messages with the senior leadership team

We hope you learnt something new and feel confident going into schools this term! If you have any questions or suggestions for future workshops, leave us a comment on Twitter or Instagram.

Login to create or update your profile on Zen Educate, an online alternative to traditional teacher and teaching assistant agencies. You may be interested in reading our teacher checklist for your first day of primary supply or our guide to Makaton training too.