What do you do if a colleague is starting to suffer from stress?

The signs may be obvious: anxiety, depression, a decline in work standards, emotional behaviour, time off work. But the solution?

What you and your senior colleagues will want is to help your colleague recover, both for the well-being of your colleague and of course for the well-being of the school.

But it is sometimes quite hard to see what can be done to help the individual.

In fact there are two things that you can do – one is to look at the cause of the stress that is being felt by the individual teacher and so see if anything can be changed (not only for this teacher, but for others who may also be starting to feel stressed within their job).

The other is to offer help and support to the teacher in terms of suggesting a programme of activity that can be used to help overcome the stress.

Of course, the fact that teaching is the profession which now suffers from the third highest level of stress of any occupation in the UK does not make recovery from stress easy. But if a stress reduction programme is incorporated into the school’s work and is available for any member of staff who is feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of teaching, then it is very possible that some staff who might succumb to serious levels of stress can be helped. The resultant benefits for the teacher and the school are enormous.

By introducing the teacher suffering from stress to various techniques it is quite possible that the teacher will be able to avoid the stress turning into a serious long-term illness allowing the teacher to make rapid progress on the road to recovery.

Such an approach simply recognises that the only way out of stress is for the individual to undertake the journey of recovery him/herself. That does not mean that the stress causing factors in the school or elsewhere are ignored, but it is nevertheless essential that the individual teacher is taking the steps to start to deal with stress.

The volume thus helps school managers who don’t suffer from excessive stress to understand what their colleague under stress is going through and to see how she or he can be helped.

It deals not only with ways of reducing the levels of stress that teachers suffer from, but also offers a programme of practical help that can be offered to the teacher who is suffering from stress. The volume also includes a set of templates relating to the school’s policy on stress and a risk assessment programme.

The volume can be bought as a photocopiable ring bound book or on CD Rom.

You can see some sample pages at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/education/T1786.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1786EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 840 8


  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £49.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £49.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £56.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1786EMN

Can you teach someone to be a great actor?

The question ‘Can you teach someone to be a great actor?’ is in the same family of questions as: can you teach someone to be a great novelist, or can you teach someone to be a great artist or a photographer? The response depends on the person answering the question. Personally, I think this can be achieved with the right skills-based training and encouragement (and a bit of help from Luck himself). But, the first step on this journey starts at school!

If you are teaching Acting Skills as part of the new Edexcel BTEC in Performing Arts, then these three exercises will help support you in honing your students’ skills during Unit 1: Individual Showcase.

  1. Audition adverts: Either in pairs or individually, ask students to highlight the key phrases from an audition advert and identify the important qualities and skills the company is looking for in an applicant. Then encourage students to identify their own skills, knowledge and experience related to the person specification from the advert.
  2. Pace: Ask students to stand in one corner of the room. Get them to travel one at a time in a diagonal line across the space, reading an extract from a script as quickly as they can while moving as slowly as possible. When every student has crossed the room, get them to cross back the other way, this time reading their speech as slowly as they can while moving as quickly as possible. This is a difficult exercise to master but the aim is to highlight how performance doesn’t work all at one pace, it will change, just as the thought processes change, and the key is to find the pace shape that suits your extract.
  3. The Good Audition: In small groups, students should devise a five-minute performance called ‘The Good Audition’. The scenario could be an audition for a talent show, or could be for a production or performance training institution – it is up to the students. The important thing is that the performance must demonstrate their understanding of ‘good audition practice’. Students should take on different roles within the performance, such as the audition panel / judges, the person/people auditioning, etc.

All of the above, and so much more, have been taken from the new resource Acting Skills Pathway: Unit 1 Teaching Companion. This pack gives you all you need to deliver this unit in one place. It includes lesson plans for cover 15 Guided Learning Hours with engaging activities, worksheets ready-made to hand out, including application letter templates, audition piece selection worksheet, rehearsal logs and many more! It also includes case studies and examples to support lessons and to inspire students’ learning. Plus, it includes two practice assignments and supportive PowerPoint presentations.

Independent reviewers say:
“I would certainly use this resource – it gives my lesson by lesson break down of what to do and also it provided all the resources to run the lesson. A very thorough approach to this unit which covers every angle and provides not only good planning, activities but also good examples of completed work.” B Chapman, Head of Performing Arts

“Very thorough and well-resourced. Particularly good for anyone new to teaching or to this course. I particularly liked the resources on skills with accompanying exercises. I have long felt this was an unclear area of the BTEC requirements and this material would help me.” S Burford, Head of Drama

Available as a photocopy master with site licence (£79): also available as a printable PDF file (£79+30%+vat) and an editable Word file (£79+50%+vat). To preview the resource and order, please go to: http://zzed.co.uk/WA40

Please reference WA40 when placing your order to receive free postage & packaging.

ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY | Tel: 0117 950 3199 | Fax: 0117 959 1695

What are children thinking about at this time of year?

If a lesson connects directly with what is on the children’s minds, then the speed and depth of learning is greatly enhanced. 

It has always been known that the more that classroom activities are connected to positive aspects of everyday life, the easier it is to motivate children. 

But the great problem of course is that a lot of the everyday lives of the children does not connect with what we want to teach. 

However there is this annual event (known as Christmas), which one doesn’t even have to mention to raise interest and excitement. It is there all day, every day, on every street, in every shop, on every internet site, on every TV channel. 

And that is why we have devised our Christmas Maths Activities Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 resources. 

Christmas Activities for Maths contains festive mathematical activities which are linked to the National Numeracy Strategy targets – which makes integrating them into your planning easy.

In short, we combine the event on everyone’s minds with the curriculum. 

Even better, these books are available from our website as e-books. So they can be downloaded now for immediate use. 

The Key Stage 1 resource will have reception children practising counting from left to right and adding one on to help Santa load his sleigh. Year 1 children can sort toys into pairs and estimate the number of stars. Year 2 children will have the opportunity to learn about money when buying presents and can practise counting back in 10s with starry numbers. 

The Key Stage 2 resource will help reinforce children’s knowledge of number bonds, increase their understanding of fractions and percentages, and give them practise calculating the areas of 2-D shapes. 

A range of free sample teaching resources are available on our website. 

You can order the Christmas Activities for KS1 & KS2 Maths in any of these ways: 

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
IP14 5ND. 

website: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk
email: orders@tradecounter.co.uk

phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 767122