Monthly Archives: April 2015

Monthly top 5 roundup – April 2015

The power of five

Top 5 educational news stories of the month

1. The NUT vote to boycott baseline assessment
The NUT voted in their conference to take action against the introduction of baseline assessments. They argue that baseline assessment is not in the interested of pupils and is another tool that disregards pupil needs in favour of measuring schools and teachers.
2. Children who ‘fail’ English and Maths SATS will take re-sits in Year 7
Mr Cameron announced a “zero tolerance of failure and mediocrity”. Students that fail to reach the national expected standard at the end of Year 6 will be forced to take resits in Year 7.
3. Teacher banned from the classroom for two years for changing pupils SATS papers
Ian Guffick claimed he was making answers more legible but that explanation wasn’t accepted by the panel from the National College of Teaching and Leadership who banned Mr Guffick from working as a teacher for two years.
4. UK’s largest arms manufacturer is appointed to lead a failing academy
BAE Systems have taken on the leadership of Furness Academy in Barrow, Cumbria. Rebranding the school as “BAE Systems Marine Submarines Academy Trust” the managing director of BAE Systems Submarines said it was “an extension to our commitment in helping Furness Academy provide its students with the best possible education.”
5. Free school meals pledge from Nick Clegg
Mr Clegg announced a 610 million pound pledge to provide free school meals for all primary school children in the country.

Top 5 pages from this site

1. How important is a TEFL qualification for teaching English abroad?
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English as a Second or Other Language) are often seen as important qualifications for UK teachers working overseas. How important are they in Spain and are they worth the study and expense?
2. Driving in Spain – the law
The Internet is home to lots of conflicting advice about the legalities of driving in Spain, especially as an expat from the UK.
Is your UK driving licence valid? How long can you drive a car on UK registration plates?
In the light of recent stories about an increased number of people being stopped and paperwork expectations being enforced more strictly than in the past this article explains some of the basic information about motoring law in Spain.
3. 5 things I know about language learning
Research says that language learning is facing a ‘difficult climate’ in England’s schools. A BBC report says that schools are introducing languages earlier but still students don’t wish to continue their language studies as they get older.
4. Plenary: Speaking and listening about learning
Here is an idea for a plenary that can be used in any lesson. It is a structure for encouraging pupils to speak about their learning and in so doing to reinforce the learning that has taken place in the lesson.
5. Five strategies for effectively working with a teaching assistant
Teaching assistants, classroom assistants, learning support assistants, interventionists. What’s in a name? What does research tell us about their effectiveness in raising standards and how best can other adults be used to support teaching and learning?

Product of the month

This month’s product of the month is an online TEFL course offering a fantastic 50€ discount.
i-to-i are an internationally recognised provider of TEFL qualifications and are currently offering a 50€ discount on some of their top selling products. They offer a free taster to help you decide which course is right for you and also offer a free consultation with an advisor. Their aim is to ensure that you have a worthwhile training experience and that your TEFL qualification equips you effectively for teaching English.  Click below for a list of courses that i-to-i can offer online.


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Foundation, KS1 and KS2 teaching posts for September 2015

New teaching posts available in Spain for September 2015.
Teach in Spain – visit the links to the TES Online advertisement below and apply for your September 2015 teaching position.
If you have any other questions about living or teaching in Spain then please do post them in the comments box and I will reply.

All teachers are offered a full time, permanent contract from the first day of their employment. Annual salary is made in 12 monthly payments and tax is payable at the local rate. The school is able to offer some flexibility in year group and accepts applications from teachers in foundation, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Newly Qualified Teachers are welcome to apply.
The final date for applications is Friday 8th May 2015 with interviews held in London during the week beginning Monday 11th May 2015.

Foundation/KS1/KS2 teaching post

Below are links to a variety of pages providing information about living and teaching in Spain. If you need more information about teaching in Spain please do contact us.

5 things NQTs should know about working abroad

5 things to know about renting in Spain

5 tips for your interview with an international school

Relocating to Spain with a family – a guide

Teaching in a British School in Spain – a FAQ

A comparison between teaching in Spain and teaching in the UK

Applying to teach in Spain – which school should you choose?

 

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How important is a TEFL qualification for teaching English abroad?

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English as a Second or Other Language) are often seen as important qualifications for UK teachers working overseas. How important are they in Spain and are they worth the study and expense?

Qualified teachers looking for work in Spain are best advised to look for work in a British/International school. These schools will value the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) from the United Kingdom and the work expected will be familiar to teachers used to working as a class teacher in the United Kingdom.

If you are not a qualified teacher then the work market is a little more uncertain. Some independent schools, including British and International schools, may well consider unqualified teachers and in addition may have teaching assistant positions available.

So, what are the advantages of being TEFL qualified?

A TEFL qualification improves your employability and may well improve your salary.

If you are a qualified teacher and you are looking to teach the  National Curriculum or an International curriculum abroad then a TEFL qualification will not be as important as your teaching qualification and experience. However, if you are looking to schools that have a high proportion of students for whom English is not their home language then you are going to need to demonstrate knowledge and confidence in how these students learn English. Working in Spain I quickly realised that Spanish students have a theoretical knowledge of their own language that is significantly above the knowledge possessed by English students of their own language. Helping these students move forward in their learning then requires a strong understanding of grammar. If you don’t know your past participles from your gerunds or struggle to identify a predicate then perhaps a course to boost you grammar knowledge might be extremely useful.

Teacher who are not qualified and are looking for work as a language teacher or looking to work as assistants in international schools would certainly benefit from a TEFL qualification.

Anything you can do to add to your CV and demonstrate that you have prepared for the work for which you are applying can only be a positive. A high quality TEFL qualification teaches valuable strategies to help students with meaningful learning. It should give a strong grounding in the rules governing the English language whilst also providing ideas or materials to help in classroom. TEFL courses range in length from 20 hour introductory courses through to 140 hour intensive courses providing all the tuition and materials you would ever need to teach English as a second language. The important point is to ensure that your TEFL qualification comes from a reliable provider. There are a huge number of providers and many of them offer qualifications that sound on paper equal and yet in practice may not be recognised.

Are you considering a TEFL qualification? Would you like to complete your study and gain you qualification using professionally developed online resources?


i-to-i

i-to-i are an internationally recognised provider of TEFL qualifications and are currently offering a 50€ discount on some of their top selling products. They offer a free taster to help you decide which course is right for you and also offer a free consultation with an advisor. Their aim is to ensure that you have a worthwhile training experience and that your TEFL qualification equips you effectively for teaching English.  Click below for a list of courses that i-to-i can offer online.


Happy New Adventure

Click here for TEFL Courses Home

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Filed under Teaching English to Spanish speakers

Driving in Spain – the law

The Internet is home to lots of conflicting advice about the legalities of driving in Spain, especially as an expat from the UK.
Is your UK driving licence valid? How long can you drive a car on UK registration plates?
In the light of recent stories about an increased number of people being stopped and paperwork expectations being enforced more strictly than in the past this article explains some of the basic information about motoring law in Spain.

What do you need to pay attention to if you want to ensure that you are driving legally in Spain and are not going to have any problems if the Guardia Civil stop you to check your paperwork.

“Circulation permit” – this is the official document with technical details about the car. It has to be carried at all times. Failure to produce this document or having an out of date ITV results in a 500€ on the spot fine. If you are driving a UK registered vehicle this is the ‘Vehicle Registration Document’.

ITV certificate – You have a legal obligation to carry the certificate from the most recent ITV test and to have displayed the sticker. Not doing so results in a fine from 10€ to 200€. If you are driving a UK registered vehicle this is evidence of your most recent MOT.

Driving licence – Failure to carry a driving licence carries a fine starting from 10€. If the licence is out of date this rises to 200€ and if you cannot prove you are legally permitted to drive (eg. You are banned or don’t hold the correct licence for the vehicle being driven) it rises to 500€.

Insurance – You do not now need to carry your insurance documentation and proof of payment but it is advisable to do so as this may still be asked for if you are stopped. If your insurance is not up to date, which can include not having paid the most recent premium, your car will be confiscated and you will have a fine of between 601€ and 3,0005€. In addition, if you were involved in an accident you would be personally liable for the damage to any other vehicles and for all medical costs for any injuries.

Driving with a UK registration plate:
This is becoming increasingly enforced so I would advise checking the details and making sure you are legal. If you bring a car over to Spain on UK plates and are on UK insurance then check you are covered by that insurance. Most companies only allow for 30 days of cover. This is extremely likely to be checked if you are stopped and the above notes about insurance would then apply.
You are legally allowed to drive a car on UK plates for up to six months. If you are stopped it is your responsibility to provide evidence of when the car was brought over (eg. Ferry tickets). To bring your UK car onto Spanish registration plates is best done by employing the services of a gestor. The cost is likely to be around 1000€-1500€ which will include the registration tax and annual licence fee.
If you have UK plates that are beyond the six month period and you are stopped be aware that you can be forced to pay the IVA (VAT) on the assumed Spanish value of the car. This is currently 21% and is paid in addition to the bills above for transferring the car to Spanish registration plates. (Eg. If a car is valued by the Spanish authorities at 10,000€ then should you be stopped outside of the six months the IVA due would be 2,100€ and you would then have to pay the registration fees above to transfer the car to Spanish plates.) In the past people have been given a period of grace after being stopped to deal with this transfer but increasingly it seems the fines are being applied immediately if the car is not legal.

This advice is offered as a plain English overview of some of the most important laws affecting expat motorists in Spain. If you wish to add anything else relevant please do send your additions to submissions@ukteacherinspain.com

The European Driver’s Handbook from the AA contains regularly updated advice on driving in Spain and other European countries. It is essential reading for anybody needing a quick overview of the motoring laws of European countries.

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Spanish Sundays – Easter week or Semana Santa

Semana Santa is the Spanish name for ‘Easter week’ or ‘Holy week’. During the 16th century the catholic church wanted to tell the story of Easter in a way the average man could access. They chose to do it using street processions depicting scenes from the death and resurrection of Jesus. That tradition lives on now in colourful street pageants throughout the week.

Semana Santa Alzira

Easter parade in Alzira, Spain

Despite appearances, the Easter parades are well structured and and each element carries its own symbolic relevance.

Drums being played in an Easter parade in Alzira, Spain

Drums being played in an Easter parade in Alzira, Spain

Each segment of the procession in Alzira is represented by a different brotherhood, each bearing their own standard.
Most include a band playing sombre music, sometimes only a single drum beat. The strange looking hats are representative of mourning.

A standard is carried to indicate the brotherhood responsible for the coming part of the procession

A standard is carried to indicate the brotherhood responsible for the coming part of the procession

The heart of the procession is the ‘imagen’, a carried biblical scene depicting a section of the Easter story.

An imagen is carried through the streets of Alzira, Spain

An imagen is carried through the streets of Alzira, Spain

Spanish Sundays is a regular feature of this website and provides a window into life in Spain. To view more articles like this use our on-site search feature and type “Spanish Sundays”. If you live in Spain and would like to contribute please send your article, accompanied by images, to submissions@ukteacherinspain.com


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Foundation and Key Stage 1 teaching posts for September 2015

Posts available in British schools in Madrid and Andalucia.

Teaching positions are currently being recruited for a September 2015 start. There are positions available for Foundation Stage teachers, Key Stage 1 teachers and also for assistants. The basic salary offered is 22,500€ with increments available for teachers with the experience to take on a coordinator role.

Teach in Spain. British schools in Spain provide the opportunity to teach the British curriculum in a stunning setting.

Teach in Andalucia in the south of Spain or if you prefer the city life, teach in Madrid.

To apply please send you CV and a covering letter to:
recruitment@ukteacherinspain.com

Interviews will be via Skype.

To read more information about teaching in Spain check the articles below.

5 things NQTs should know about working abroad

5 things to know about renting in Spain

5 tips for your interview with an international school

Relocating to Spain with a family – a guide

Teaching in a British school in Spain – a FAQ

A comparison between teaching in Spain and teaching in the UK

Applying to teach in Spain – which school should you choose?

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Filed under Teaching in Spain