The Best Schemes of Work for Teachers on a Budget
Updated: Sep 15, 2022
Budgets for buying curriculum products are always tight for schools and teachers. Here's some suggestions that won't break the bank and can be picked up easily from Amazon or other book shops. As they're in book form, it makes them easy to dip in and out of and carry with you from school to school. Indeed, I’ve found these books really helpful when I was working as a supply teacher and needed to get to grips with a new year group.
These suggestions aren’t for schools looking to completely overhaul their curriculum or those looking for subject CPD and lots of downloadable resources. You might prefer investing in a weightier scheme of work. Browse the subject menu above to see everything available.
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The Foundation Subjects
First, let’s look at the Bloomsbury ‘Curriculum Basics’ series. Each book is generally under £20, and has introductory planning, guidance and ideas for almost every foundation subject as well as some of the core subjects. Books are available for Art & Design, Computing, Science, Geography, History, Music and PE. For language teaching they have guidance for French and Spanish. Each is written by a subject expert in that field, and helpfully they’re aimed for the non-subject specialist in mind.
But what about Design & Technology - a subject that sadly too often falls off the timetable. Elizabeth Flinn and Sarah Patel’s The Really Useful Primary Design and Technology Book does a similar job to the series above; easy-to-read planning and guidance as to how to teach the subject.
The Core Subjects
Education publisher Scholastic - I’m sure familiar to many teachers - has their ‘100 Lessons’ series of books, which do exactly what they say they do. They’re a little more detailed than the Bloomsbury series and a tad pricier. That extra detail means the books are organised into separate year groups. So for maths you’ve got separate books for year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. And the same for science; planning for year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Clicking on those links will take you straight to the book for that year group.
Finally, when it comes to literacy and SPaG, there are loads of incredible schemes of work listed on our writing page, but not that many in book form as a one-off-purchase. For the resources that are available, many teachers’ rave about the Comprehension Ninja series, also published by Bloomsbury. Here you’ll find comprehension work (non-fiction and fiction) in photocopiable sheets as well as guidance on comprehension strategies. There is a separate book for each year group. The author of Comprehension Ninja also has a companion book for writing called - you guessed it - Write Like a Ninja. Whilst by no means a full writing scheme of work, it’s a useful pocket book to have with plenty of lesson ideas.
I hope the suggestions above are helpful for teachers’ who may not be in a position to invest in a full scheme of work or a resource subscription provider, but rather are looking for pick-up-and-go planning that covers almost all of the core and foundation subjects. If you have anything we’ve missed off the list please just comment below.