How Do Teaching Assistants Support the Curriculum?

1-2 minutes

In the UK, a Teaching Assistant (TA) is a member of support staff who works in a school to assist the Teacher in the delivery of the curriculum and the provision of an effective learning environment for students.

The specific duties of a Teaching Assistant may vary depending on the school and the age group they are working with. 

The main responsibilities of a Teaching Assistant can be broken down into three main areas:

  • Supporting the Pupils
  • Supporting the Teacher
  • Supporting the Curriculum

In our latest insights piece, we answer the question, how do Teaching Assistants support the curriculum?

Supporting the Pupils

In this capacity, support staff might be required to:

  • Attend to the pupils’ personal needs, and implement related personal programmes, including social, health, physical, hygiene, first-aid and welfare matters.
  • Supervise and support pupils ensuring their safety and access to learning.
  • Establish good relationships with pupils, acting as a role model and being aware of and responding appropriately to individual needs. 
  • Promote the inclusion and acceptance of all pupils.
  • Encourage pupils to interact with others and engage in activities led by the teacher.
  • Encourage pupils to act independently as appropriate.
  • Assist with the development and implementation of Individual Education/Behaviour plans and Personal Care programmes.
  • Set challenging and demanding expectations that promote self-esteem and independence.
  • Provide feedback to pupils in relation to progress and achievement under guidance of the teacher.
  • Consistently support pupils whilst recognising and responding to their individual needs.
  • Promote independence and employ strategies to recognise and reward achievement of self-reliance.
  • Assess the needs of pupils and use detailed knowledge and specialist skills to support pupils’ learning.
  • Receive and supervise pupils excluded from, or otherwise not working to, a normal timetable.
  • Support provision for pupils with special needs.
  • Develop 1:1 mentoring arrangements with pupils and provide support for distressed pupils.
  • Promote the speedy/effective transfer of pupils across phases/integration of those who have been absent.
  • Provide information and advice to enable pupils to make choices about their own learning/behaviour/attendance.
  • Challenge and motivate pupils, promote and reinforce self-esteem.
  • Use equipment as required maintaining pupils’ needs and supporting their participation in learning tasks and activities.

Supporting the Teacher

As a support to the Teacher, a Teaching Assistant should:

  • Prepare the classroom as directed for lessons, clear away afterwards and assist with displays of pupils' work. Be aware of pupil problems/progress/achievements and report to the teacher as agreed.
  • Undertake pupil record keeping as requested.
  • Support the teacher in managing pupil behaviour, reporting difficulties as appropriate.
  • Gather/report information from/to parents/carers as directed.
  • Provide clerical/administrative support e.g. photocopying, typing, filing, collecting money etc.
  • Create and maintain a purposeful, orderly and supportive environment, in accordance with lesson plans.
  • Use strategies, in liaison with the teacher, to support pupils to achieve learning goals.
  • Assist with the planning of learning activities.
  • Monitor pupils' responses to learning activities and accurately record achievement/progress as directed.
  • Provide detailed and regular feedback to teachers on pupil’s achievement, progress, problems etc.
  • Promote good pupil behaviour, dealing promptly with conflict and incidents in line with established policy and encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
  • Establish constructive relationships with parents/carers.
  • Work with the teacher in lesson planning, evaluating and adjusting lessons/work plans as appropriate.
  • Monitor and evaluate pupil’s responses to learning activities through observation and recording of achievement against pre-determined learning objectives.
  • Provide objective and accurate feedback and reports as required on pupil achievement, progress and other matters, ensuring the availability of appropriate evidence.
  • Be responsible for keeping and updating records as agreed with the teacher, contributing to reviews of systems/records as requested.
  • Promote positive values, attitudes and good pupil behaviour, dealing promptly with conflict and incidents in line with established policy and encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own behaviour.

Supporting the Curriculum

To support the curriculum, a Teaching Assistant should:

  • Support pupils to understand instructions.
  • Support pupils in respect of local and national learning strategies e.g. literacy, numeracy, KS1, KS2, Early Years Foundation Stage, as directed by the teacher.
  • Support the use of ICT in learning activities and develop pupil’s competence and independence in its use.
  • Prepare and maintain equipment/resources as directed by the teacher and assist pupils in their use.
  • Undertake structured and agreed learning activities/teaching programmes, adjusting activities according to pupil responses.
  • Undertake programmes linked to local and national learning strategies e.g. literacy, numeracy, KS1, KS2, Early Years Foundation Stage, recording achievement and progress and feeding back to the teacher.
  • Implement agreed learning activities/teaching programmes, adjusting activities according to pupil responses/needs.
  • Determine the need for, prepare and maintain general and specialist equipment and resources.
  • Select and prepare resources necessary to lead learning activities, taking account of pupils’ interests and language and cultural backgrounds.
  • Be aware of and appreciate a range of activities, courses, organisations and individuals to provide support for pupils to broaden and enrich their learning.
  • Assisting in the preparation of work and other activities for pupils in accordance with objectives set by teaching staff.
  • Under guidance and direction of teaching staff, planning and delivering activities.

Latest Teaching Assistant jobs at Spencer Clarke Group

If you’re searching for your next Teaching Assistant job, why not take a look at all the opportunities available with Spencer Clarke Group now? 

Alternatively, why not speak with one of our specialist consultants who can discuss any upcoming opportunities. We work with hundreds of schools across the UK and can offer a range of opportunities including temporary, permanent and to temp-perm positions.

Who is Spencer Clarke Group? 

Since 2017, we've been changing the face of recruitment. From our employees, to the way we do business, to the culture within our office, we're determined to make a difference and create a positive impact on everyone around us.

Recruitment to us isn't just about matching candidates and clients; we’re passionate about finding candidates the perfect job which has the ability to boost their salary and standard of living, better their work life balance and improve their mental health. 

Similarly, we understand the impact which an experienced and skilled employee can make to a business and we love seeing clients thrive through the hard work of candidates which we have placed with them. 

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If you’re searching for a new role, why not visit our job page to take a look at the latest opportunities? Alternatively, upload your CV and one of our experienced consultants will contact you when a relevant opportunity becomes available. 

If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help? One of our consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you. 

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