Supply teaching, being prepared is key!

Working as a supply teacher means that you are walking into a new situation every day and don’t know what your day is going to look like or what you will be teaching.

In most cases planning will be provided by the school, however it is always useful to have some back up ideas ready in case a lesson needs adapting, the planning isn’t detailed enough, an extension activity or time filler if needed.

Useful websites

There are lots of websites available for teachers with lesson ideas and resources, here are a few that our teachers recommend.

BBC – Teach



Hamilton Trust

Premier League Primary Stars

Oxford Owl

The World of David Walliams

National Numeracy

White Rose Maths


STEM Learning Maths resources

Natural History Museum

Code Club

National Geographic

The PE Umbrella

BBC Super Movers

And there are lots more!

Resource ideas from our teachers

Our teachers have lots of great ideas for adapting lessons, keeping pupils engaged and extending learning while covering on supply.

  • Have a National Curriculum book with you, therefore if there is limited planning you can quickly reference what the year group should be working on.
  • Pre-plan activities for different year groups/ Key Stages, which you can quickly adapt to fit the needs of the children in the class.
  • Have a selection of stories to hand, these may be new to the class and so can either be used as the basis for various lessons or as a reward e.g. if the class behave well they can choose one of the new stories to read at the end of the day.
  • Circle games, songs, nursery rhymes and working memory games work well as great time filler activities.
  • Poems are also great to have for building lesson ideas from.
  • Having an interesting or useful items in your supply bag can also be helpful, for example a timer or unusual item/ artifact that can be used to get pupils engaged and be the basis of a lesson.

One thing to always remember is that technology can not always be relied upon, so physical resources are always good to have!

Teach Starter, part of Tes also has some great activity ideas.

Taking along stationery, such as different coloured pens for marking, a notepad, post it notes and white board pens is useful so that you can quickly access these without needing to hunt around the room.