The Creative Teacher Project

An NQT Bringing Creativity to the Classroom


The Creative Teacher Book Club :: Tudors :: Under the Rose by Alan Childs

My cUnder the Rose - The Creative Teacher Projectlass has studied the Tudors for terms 5 and 6 this year, and the text we have used is Under the Rose: A Tudor Spy Story by Alan Childs. This is a descriptive account of the adventures of Crispin, a young baker’s apprentice who gets swept up in an Elizabethan murder plot.

First things first, this is a book from what I believe to be quite a small publishing house. Alan Childs appears to have written a few novels, linking to the old curriculum, as well as many non-fiction historical texts. It’s a little bit old-school, in terms of the setting out of the book, but is accompanied by some excellent illustrations.

The illustrations proved rich fodder for GPAS work, giving my students opportunities to create expanded noun phrases to describe what they saw.

As it is a spy story, the plot is filled with suspense, which I also found useful in developing the class’s prediction skills – they were desperate to know what happened next and had so many ideas!

I found that it was also incredibly useful for vocabulary work. There are many Tudor terms used in the book, and we had a couple of great sessions finding out what they meant, for example a scrivener, doublet and livery. This allowed us to come up with a working wall filled with words to include in our writing, and the class had a sense of ownership, as they’d discovered the meaning themselves, and had immediately seen in used in the context of the story.

My Google detective work has suggested that there may be a teacher’s pack to accompany this book, which I would love to find, however it appears to have been published in the 90s, so my searching so far has proved fruitless. If anyone out there can point me in the direction of it – I would be heartily grateful!



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79 Instrumental Songs

In my drama classroom we’re often developing scenes in small groups. Sometimes (particularly period 1 on a Monday morning) students are a little shy getting into the swing of things, so I like to have some music to play while they are working. It’s almost like white noise, that takes the pressure off the kids and allows them to get as experimental as they like.

It can, however, be a bit tough to find the right music, and to be confident that a) there are no rude bits and b) that it’s something that can help them develop their work. That’s why I was super pleased when a colleague sent me the link to this clip. 79 Instrumental songs that everyone knows, but no one knows the name of! Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

Hope it helps!


What You Wish Someone Had Told You

Hey all, I’ve been rethinking about this blog and what I wanted it to be over the last week or two. In part it’s definitely a recording of my time as a student teacher and exceedingly-soon-to-be-qualified-teacher, but I also wanted it to be a resource for other students out there.When I signed up to learn how to teach, I really struggled to find out tips and hints about what to expect, and the first few months were pretty daunting for me. There are a lot of great resources out there, but they can be tricky to find. I found especially so for my content area of drama.

As I’m coming to the business end of my Graduate Diploma, I thought it might be handy to gather some simple interviews with people I have found incredibly helpful during the year, and ask them to share some of their wisdom. I’m thinking along the lines of what they wished someone had told them when they were graduating.

Is this something you’d be interested in reading? Is this something you’d be interested in sharing? Do you have any tips for me? They don’t have to be drama based, although these are particularly welcome. Hit me up in the comments with your thoughts!



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My First Ever Link Pack!

Here’s my sweep of things I found interesting on the internet this week. These aren’t all education based, but they are all linked to creativity, so I think have their place here.

I’ve enjoyed trawling through the archives on Karla’s blog, the Drama Teacher’s Network, which has some great warmups and other resources for drama teachers. I can see myself using this a lot over the next year or so! Thanks Karla.

Rochelle over at Lucky Lucille is one of my favourite sewing bloggers (not-so-secretly, I love to sew!), but her recent post about overcommitting and too much enthusiasm really struck a chord with me. My last year in the UK, balancing a demanding job with the many creative projects I had on the side was just madness, and because I’d said ‘yes’ to so many things, I ended up letting many people down. Rochelle’s post reminded me to pause, and think hard about what extra activities I commit to.

I’ve also been poking around Share My Lesson  this week, a website where teachers from all over the world can upload their lesson plans, presentations and assessments. While I don’t think  I would lift an entire lesson from there, I can see this is a great way to inspire my own planning.

This one may not be news to any of you, but if you’re looking to do some basic photo editing, and don’t want to stump up for Photoshop straight from the get-go, I’ve had some great success with Pixlr this week. I’m using it as a way to teach myself some skills, before I commit financially to Photoshop.

I hope you find some of these links interesting! Please let your own recommendations fly forth. Have a great weekend everyone.