5 Things You Need To Know About The Big UCD Skills Challenge



Have you ever been a member of a team that constructed a marshmallow tower? Explored from one side of the UCD Belfield campus to the other searching and completing fun and challenging tasks? UCD Career Development Centre in partnership with some of Ireland’s top graduate recruiters would like to introduce you to the Big UCD Skills Challenge 2018. 

What is the Big UCD Skills Challenge?

Are you and your classmates up for a challenge? Do you have what it takes to succeed? The Big UCD Skills Challenge is in its fourth year and has been a hugely exciting and successful event. The Challenge involves an exhilarating cross-campus test based on three skills: teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills!


The event is open to all UCD Students. You can register a team of up to 5 members. Our advice for selecting team members is to find these guys (see right) you’re already onto a winner!



UCD Belfield Campus – Check out Careers Connect for more details.



Thursday 5th April 2018. The event starts at 9am. This is not an all-day event so no need to worry about missing those important lectures (we know you would be devastated if you did!!). The good news is that the various challenges can be arranged around your Academic Timetable. We will need as many of your team members to attend the Challenge Briefing at 9am and to be present at 1pm for the Teamwork task. This would be ideal but not compulsory.


How to register?

To get involved in this fun and unique experience, you can register your team for the at http://bit.ly/2tRn0ts . Closing date is the Tuesday 3rd April 2018. Be quick to round-up your squad and don’t miss out on an unforgettable day at UCD.


Oh yeah and did we mention that prizes will be awarded on the day?;

  • Each member of the 1st placed team will receive a €100 ‘One4All’ voucher.
  • Each member of the 2nd placed team will receive a €50 ‘One4All’ voucher.
  • Each member of the 3rd placed team will receive a €25 ‘One4All’ voucher.

Do you have what it takes to become the MVP of the Challenge (we know Tom Brady would be proud of this achievement!) or have the best team name (Smells Like Team Spirit or Victorious Secrets) are some of the favourites over the last few years. A number of spot-prizes will be awarded on the day, courtesy of our employer partners for the above categories and more.


Happy Big UCD Skills Challenge, may the odds be ever in your favor! 🙂




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A postgraduate qualification could improve your career prospects. It’s also a big commitment, so it’s important to ensure you’re choosing the right course, for the right reasons…

Tips from UCD Career Development Centre

• Attend the gradireland Further Study Fair in the RDS on 15th February.

Check application deadlines for graduate study programmes you’re interested in and be aware of early closing dates – many overseas programmes have very early deadlines.

• See the following for more details and to access some great resources to help you search for graduate study programmes, and for information on funding and scholarships:

• For graduate qualifications in Europe, check the Qualifications Framework of the country you’re considering applying to study in – to ensure you’re applying for the right level of qualification.

• Make an appointment on careersconnect.ucd.ie with a Career & Skills Consultant at the UCD Career Development Centre to discuss/review your application.

• Like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Not sure what you want to do yet?


  • Take the ‘Profiling for Success’ psychometric tests available through our Online Resources page.
  • There are personality, learning styles and career interests tests, as well as abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning tests.
  • NOTE you need to login to your Careers Connect account to obtain the codes necessary for accessing these tests.
  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

The Questions you need to ask at interview by Engage Education

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When you attend a teaching interview remember it is a chance for you to find out whether the school and role are a good fit for you and not just the interviewer’s chance to ask you questions and find out whether you are a good match for them.

We assist new graduates and experienced teachers prepare and interview with English schools everyday. Interviews can happen face to face at our exclusive free IDAY event, over the phone or via skype but they are always an opportunity for both parties to question the other before making or accepting an offer of employment.

We have some suggestions especially for new teachers about what to ask at interview, to determine whether the position you are interviewing for is going to be the right job. This applies for jobs in your home country or any of the 1300+ schools we work with in England.

The Principal’s or Head teacher’s have asked you the questions, now…

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  • What support do you offer new starters at your school? What you want to know if whether there is a mentor program, assisting to transition into the school and their way of working and ongoing help when needed. A school that can let you know exactly how it supports new staff and can give examples of how it will assist you is a promising start!
  • How would you describe the ethos of the school? This is where you can get a feel for the leadership style at the school and what the important goals for the students and staff. If this answer aligns to your beliefs and approach you may have a good match. You may be able to start this question with a comment about what you have gathered from their website, so you can also show you have done some research.
  • What behaviour management approach is used at the school? You may also want to ask what is expected of the students in terms of their behaviour. The school may have little behavioural issues, or a very structured approach like the use of Positive Behaviour for Learning or a Strike policy. The answers will give you an idea of what to expect and the approach of management in support and managing behavioural issues.
  • What will be expected of me other than my classroom teaching role? How will I be assessed? This shows that you are looking at your role in the wider school community and also you will find out what ways your performance will be assessed during your contract.
  • What are you most proud of about your school? It is nice to hear a passionate leader talking about the school’s achievements and where they have excelled. The answers will give insight into many things- what is important to management and the things the students and staff have achieved.

So there are 5 questions that can help you decide whether the school and role are right for you. Other questions you may want to ask are: “What will be my biggest challenge at your school? ” or ” What opportunities will there be for me to progress in your school if I am successful?”

We all have different concerns and priorities when we are trying to select the right job. Your Engage Education Ireland consultant will be able to help you navigate the many school vacancies and opportunities you need to consider. Our iday events are a great way to put these questions to good use in face to face interviews! Contact Rachel in the Dublin office at Rachel.travers@engageeducation.ie or call 0864109883 for a chat about your options!

Christine’s UCD to UK Teaching Story – KS Education Ltd




christineI didn’t start out being sure I wanted to become a teacher, but at the age of 22 I don’t think anyone is sure about anything! After I secured my degree, I knew a life of scientific research wasn’t for me and I decided to apply to the Professional Diploma in Education at UCD.

When I got my acceptance I was delighted, nervous, but excited about what the year would bring. The year flew in and before I knew it, it was time to start looking for a job. A real job. I spent the summer applying left, right, and centre – I got a few interviews but it always came back to the dreaded “lack of experience”. I came across KS education completely by accident, and I’m so glad I did.

Within a few days I had done a video profile with the lovely Maeve and got an interview for a school in Kent, England. It was a bit of a whirlwind as the school wanted me to start straight away, so I didn’t have time to think about the enormity of what I was doing. After a few months I wasn’t entirely happy within the school, but as ever Maeve was on hand to help out. She got me another interview, this time in Essex and I moved up there a short time later.

I was so much happier there and the school put me straight on the NQT programme which really helped. I had a mentor assigned to me who was there to guide me through the process. There was regular meetings and observations of my lessons. The programme was intense but it certainly made me a better teacher because I was getting clear feedback on a regular basis. That doesn’t happen in Ireland – you are left to your own devices which may sound nice but you can pick up some very bad habits without realising.

Now back in the Emerald isle for personal reasons, I often wish I was back in the UK. In the UK I knew what was expected of me, I had a mentor beyond my NQT year, I was offered relevant school-based CPD on a regular basis, but above all I had job security. I was permanent. I was valued. I have a short-term contract in Ireland now, but I hope that my time in the UK will help me in landing a more permanent job in the near future; I know I have a wealth of experience to draw on. Although not the smoothest of journeys, I can easily as that I had the best introduction to my teaching career I could have had. I learned a huge amount in 18 months, not just about teaching, but about myself.

Christine, 28, UCD Graduate 2013


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Why should Irish teachers teach in the UK? Advice from Timeplan Education

Timeplan Education

Why should Irish teachers teach in the UK?

Irish trained teachers are often highly sought after in British schools. The teacher recruitment crisis throughout the UK is well documented and now many schools rely heavily on recruitment agencies to spend the time and effort vetting and processing teachers from overseas for roles in schools.  Irish teachers in particular are in high demand; the similar curriculum, lack of a language barrier and no visa restrictions means that teachers from Ireland settle in comparatively quicker than their overseas counterparts.

Graduating as a new teacher in Ireland often poses its own problems as many teachers struggle to find the 300 teaching hours to complete their PQE or the 100 days required in their Probation Year.  A recent report from the OECD discovered that “more than half of all secondary teachers under the age of 30 are on contracts of a year or less”. However, the opportunity to complete their 300 hours/100 days in the UK is something that is overlooked by many teachers who are often working part time sub-teaching in their hometowns, struggling to make up their teaching hours.

Many Irish teachers are drawn to the Middle East for teaching opportunities and whilst this is great experience to add to a CV, it does not contribute to their registration, unlike the UK.  TimePlan Education facilitate this by helping teachers into permanent roles where, with the assistance of the schools, they can fulfil their registration as recognised by the ITC.

However, living and working in England or Scotland is not solely for teachers who have recently graduated. It can often stand them in good stead to find their dream job once they return home. One Irish TimePlan Teacher told us “I have gained great experience teaching in England which has made me stand out when applying for jobs in Ireland”.


What should you expect in a UK classroom?

For any newly qualified teacher in the UK they’ll find the support provided by the schools ensures they feel comfortable stepping into their new role. Additionally, most schools provide continual professional development (CPD) training to ensure they are aware of the latest national curriculum updates and that they feel consistently supported, whether they’re are a newly qualified or an experienced teacher.  Structure is a stringent part of any British classroom, so any Irish trained teacher will be well aware what is expected from them and their students. Non-teaching time will often be incorporated into a teacher’s timetable to ensure full support in lesson planning and marking time is available in school hours, this will contribute to their portfolio as evidence of their completion of their induction year.

The social spectrum of any classroom ensures you can benefit from a chance to experience a variety of cultures and opinions, all within one classroom; a diversity that is not true for most schools around the world.

The shortage of teachers in the UK coupled with the abundance of enthusiastic recently qualified teachers in Ireland looking to complete their PQE/Probation, as well as broaden their CV, means there is no better time for Irish teachers to consider a teaching opportunity here in the UK.

In 2016, TimePlan will be touring Ireland, attending education university fairs, holding presentations and conducting interviews. Schools hire all year round so get in touch if you’re living in Ireland and would like to consider a teaching opportunity in the UK.


Watch Melanie talk about why she chose TimePlan and what she’s most looking forward to about teaching in the UK!



Contact our Irish Coordinator Jade Loftus at ireland@timeplan.net for more information about teaching in England or Scotland.  

Where to Teach in London? A blog by Tradewind Recruitment.


One of the most common questions teachers have when they moving from Ireland to London is where exactly they should teach. Here are some of the things you might want to consider when making this decision!

Teaching in North London

North London includes boroughs such as Camden, Islington, Enfield, Brent, Harrow, and Haringey. This area has a reputation for being more prosperous than the rest of the city but, as is typical across much of London, there is a huge mix.

Teaching in East London

The East of London includes boroughs such as Hackney, Newham, Barking, and Tower Hamlets. The East End of London has a very rich history because this is where new immigrants traditionally stayed when they first arrived. On a slightly more sinister, but equally as interesting note, it is also where Jack the Ripper and the Kray Twins made their names!

Teaching in South London

South London includes boroughs such as Lewisham, Southwark, Bromley, and Lambeth. This part of the city can feel less busy, and there are some particularly beautiful areas such as Greenwich and Blackheath which are very popular places to live.

Teaching in West London

West London includes places such as Hounslow, Hammersmith, Ealing, Kensington & Chelsea, and Hillingdon so the choice is bountiful! Some of the most exclusive areas can be found in this part of the city, as well as some of the most desirable properties.


What is it like?

We help many teachers move from overseas to the UK, in particular teachers from Ireland. If you have not travelled to UK before you are bound to be wondering what it is like to teach in the city. We have taken comments from existing teachers and put together an overview of what you can expect when moving to UK to be a teacher.

Experience the Culture

If you are coming from Ireland you may not expect there to be many cultural differences, however we expect you may be surprised. Everyone takes some time to adjust to somewhere new. On the whole, people are very considerate in London and you will often witness people giving up their seat on the tube for someone that may need it more.

Gain Amazing Life Experiences

There are over three and a half thousand schools in London covering all age groups and special schools. The range of students is diverse and London will allow you to experience a multicultural society that you can’t get elsewhere. If you are looking to advance your teacher skills whilst having fun then this is the place for you to be!

London is the ideal base for travelling Europe during your time off as you can easily pick up a cheap flight to Europe from any of the London based airports.

Getting Around

For most people moving to the UK for the first time a car is a bit of an unnecessary luxury, at least initially. That means for the most part you’re likely to be relying on public transport. Thankfully, in most cities the public transport provision is very good. In London specifically, it’s one of the more ideal ways to get around.  Travel in the capital is incredibly straightforward, with buses, trains, and the Tube underground rail system. All of these are covered by the Oyster Card system, allowing you to travel just by tapping the pre-paid card against readers on buses or when you enter or leave a station.
Tradewind Recruitment and SANZA Teaching Agency Specialising in the recruitment of Teachers and Support Staff for schools and nurseries throughout the UK.



Teaching in the UK: What are the Differences?



It is still a fairly difficult time to qualify as a teacher in Ireland. There simply are not enough jobs. As we all know, large numbers of young teachers are moving to the UK to teach. There are lots of reasons for this: the language, the ease in coming home for breaks with short, cheap flights and of course the fact that they simply cannot get enough teachers in the UK. I moved to the UK to teach at Easter of last year, having done my PDE and spending a term and a half subbing in various schools, hoping for “a foot in the door”. I got tired of waiting for a maternity leave or retirement that would lead to something long term. I’m still here in the UK, so it can’t be that bad! In fact I can honestly say it was a great decision. But how different is it from teaching in Ireland?

Well, in a lot of ways it is very different, but in other ways it is quite similar. The first thing is that kids are kids. Teaching kids and talking to kids is the same wherever you teach. Like Ireland, some schools will have more challenging behaviour than others, and some will have very little. There are plenty of horror stories about behaviour in UK schools and I heard them before coming over too. How you deal with behaviour is the key and smart modern strategies make all the difference. There is greater support for teachers within schools in the UK than in a lot of Irish schools. Most UK schools will have a pastoral team whose major duties are in supporting teachers as they deal with challenging students. Management also takes a more active role in ensuring positive behaviour for learning, so you are not on your own.

The culture of accountability is very different to Ireland, where a whole school inspection may come around once in four years. There is pressure as your head of department regularly checks on you and the senior staff check on them. Paperwork and planning is more intense in the UK. There is a lot of it, there’s no point in denying that.  You have to mark student work regularly and formatively. Your lesson plans need to be precise; active learning is not an occasional treat but the daily routine. However, you are usually given a highly detailed scheme of work with all the resources, PowerPoint’s, etc. attached and ready to go. There is a lot of support, mentoring and assistance from more experienced colleagues to help settle in and improve. As well, the accountability means that students get a good deal. They learn more and they learn better, and at the end of the day, that is why we do the job. The long term effect of this is that you are a better teacher with skills desired by Irish principals if you decide to look for work in Ireland.

Finally, teaching in the UK is a great way to get your probation year completed. Getting three hundred hours of teaching time in Ireland can be really tough. However, while working in the UK, you can do the English induction programme and have your hours and training recognised by the Irish Teaching Council for when you return to Ireland. In addition, if you are looking to move to the UK, Uteach really are very helpful. The interview practice in particular was really great and helped me go into the real interview feeling really confident.

So in short, there is more paperwork and accountability in the UK. However, this is to help you be a better teacher and make your lessons more enjoyable and more educational. The biggest difference for me is that I feel valued and respected again. I’m not an on-again, off-again substitute, I’m a teacher.

David - U Teach


David O’ Reilly was placed by U Teach Recruitment with a position in the UK.

Watch a video about our Uteach Campus Training Academy 

Register now for upcoming interview dates through U Teach.

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Uteach Ireland Ltd., 3/4 Pembroke Sreet Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland.



Using Social Media and Personal Branding to get a teaching job! Engage Education Ireland





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Social Media is not the first place a teacher will look when starting the perilous hunt for a job post qualification. But the truth is, Social Media is the way forward for teachers looking for teaching positions! Consider this; out of the 6.3 billion people in the world, 4.8 billion own a mobile phone – only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. (Yuck!)

At Engage Education Ireland we find that increasingly our teachers come to us through Social Media platforms. We hope that this blog can help you to brand yourself more effectively on Social Media and ultimately help you secure a teaching job!


Why is it important to brand yourself correctly? All teachers have an online presence whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn and when you apply for a teaching job, one of the first things a prospective employer will do is google your name. What you put on your accounts says a lot about you as a person! What do you think a Principal would say about your profile?

The difference is whether you choose to consciously mould that branding to suit you or whether you let it define you without your input. Check out our top hints and tricks to improve your personal branding online below!


  • Make sure to make your profile private, and change your settings on posts and photos to ‘friends’.
  • Connect with other teachers, stay part of your PME group on Facebook (for future jobs that might come up in other schools).
  • Join groups for your subject area.
  • Update your work & University profile.


  • Create and share valuable educational content, add Principals, recruiters, other teachers.
  • Use hashtags to search for jobs #jobs #teaching #teachers #education #opportunities.


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  • If you don’t have a LinkedIn then our advice is definitely set one up! You will thank us for it later 😉
  • The most professional of the websites & extremely important to brand yourself well here.
  • Use a professional photo of yourself. No to the trout pout & dress professional!
  • Make sure your information is up to date and correct. We want to see when you graduated, what schools you worked in, and what levels you have taught!
  • Use a good headline – John Smith | Enthusiastic Teacher looking for a new post.
  • Add other teachers, Principals and recruiters – Grow your network!


These rules apply in our own lives, but also as teachers we can educate our students on digital citizenship. Digital Citizenship is the concept of preparing students for the safe use of technology in a society increasingly obsessed with social media. Think about how you can incorporate healthy digital citizenship into your lessons. If we, as teachers set a standard, hopefully the students will follow.


Engage Education Ireland are based in St. Stephens Green, Dublin 2 and we are all teachers! We are passionate about teaching and hold workshops on Social Media, Personal Branding, and Teaching in the UK. Contact Rachel.travers@engageeducation.ie or call 01 554 7302 to find out more.

Follow us on social media:

Facebook: Engage Education Ireland

Twitter: @EngageEdIreland

Instagram: engageireland

Snapchat: engageireland

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