Setting cover work at secondary

Sian Evans
12th September 2018
Teacher planning for her cover lesson

Take the stress out of writing cover lessons with these ready-to-use activity ideas for a range of subject areas

Making sure that cover lessons are both valuable and interesting can be hugely time-consuming, whether you’re a supply teacher or a teacher having to set work. To make the process simpler, we’ve hand-picked six of the very best resources to make sure your students remain stimulated and engaged.


  1. Cover lesson pack
    From designing a theme park to creating jingles, students will love being challenged creatively with one of the 50 tasks in this complete collection.
  2. Fun lesson ideas for ages 11-14 
    Take advantage of these open-ended activities, requiring no additional preparation, which are designed to let young learners’ imaginations run wild.
  3. Creative writing prompts
    These visual writing prompts are ideal for kick-starting a creative writing session in a range of subject areas, including English, modern foreign languages or even history.
  4. English cover pack
    From analysing poems to filling in a crossword puzzle, these language andliterature tasks can be used by non-specialized teachers when there is a need for cover work in English.
  5. App design group work 
    Get learners competing in teams to design and cost an original app while developing their communication, problem solving, numeracy and presentation skills.
  6. Science Pack
    Check out these science worksheets that can be used both as last-minute cover lessons or as an introduction to a wide range of science topics.

A Pack of Supply Cover Lesson Plans and Worksheets - no prep, ready to use, for any subject!

So, you're sick? Off on a course? Out on a school trip? Or maybe you are the supply teacher and no cover work has been set, or the students finish the work far too early. Either way, there is always the hassle of setting inspiring cover work to keep the students on task and interested while still making the lesson worthwhile.

Fear not, as in this quality, compelling resource there are over 50 lesson ideas that can conveniently be used for any subject; the best part is, they don’t need any preparation on your part!

Included are extra black line worksheets (ideal for saving you money on printing) to accompany the lesson plans if you want to use them, with clear step by step directions for what students need to do on each.

Product Includes over 50 different lesson activities including:
• Creative writing
• Character analysis
• Comic strip
• Website designing
• Debating
• Design own theme park
• Robot designing
• Superhero designing
• Creating jingles
• Sentence starters and endings
• A day in the life of
• Design own sport
...and more!

Remember, these activities have been uniquely designed in a way that they can be appropriate for any subject area without needing to adapt the resource! Each lesson plan actually contains a variety of different options as well, offering so many alternatives and extension ideas! They are so simple, easy and ready to use for any subject with no preparation needed.

So next time you’re panicking about what to set your students, ensure you download this resource and save yourself loads of stress and time! Simply hand to the cover teacher and be on your way, no other work from you is required!

Minimal preparation for maximum fun!


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By TeachersResourceForce

Cover Lesson Ideas For KS3 - Fun Teaching Tips

A selection of quick and easy lesson suggestions which don't require resources or preparation, for use when having to do last minute cover. Created jointly with member Clarerees.
By anna_wex

Creative Writing: Fiction Prompts

10 visual prompts for narrative/story writing. Great for a one-off lesson or cover work. (KS2/KS3/KS4)
By jamestickle86

KS3 English Cover Pack

I was struggling to find a decent pack of cover lessons for English that was full of engaging material that would last a whole lesson, as there is nothing worse than waking up ill and having to set cover work. So I decided to make one.

There are 14 activities in total, covering the following topics

  1. Unseen Poetry (2 lessons)
  2. Shakespeare (2 lessons)
  3. English Language Paper 1: Question 5 (2 lessons)
  4. English language Paper 2: Question 5 (2 lessons)
  5. Class Reader Novel (1 lesson)
  6. Text comprehension (English language Q1-3 style) (2 lessons)
  7. Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Quiz
  8. Subject Terminology Word search & Cross word

Each activity is designed to fit on one sheet to make it easy to print. Minimal teacher input is needed in case a non-specialist cover teacher is supplied. The slides could also be printed off and used as homework or extra revision materials.

You can find my KS4 cover pack here:

Please also take a look at my other resources.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

By PateResources

Lesson Planning: Pick 'N' Mix Tool

A single, all-encompassing Power Point containing a wide range of cooperative and engaging learning activities for starters, main learning and plenaries.

How to use it?

*Open this original Power Point. At the start there is a lesson introduction slide, then activities are split into starters (blue), main lesson activities (orange), and plenaries (red). At the end there is a page complete with embedded timers.
*Select starter, main and plenary activities that are relevant to your lesson focus (Pick ‘n’ mix). Copy and paste those slides into a new Power Point to use within your lesson. Select a timer where required.
*You could print a selection of slides to be made into a classroom display and allow students to choose their own activities.

By AFenton92

Science cover lesson / substitute lesson worksheets

This big bundle of documents is ideal for when you are looking for an introductory lesson, an extension activity or a hassle free cover lesson. Also suitable for Home-schooling. Each document provides background information and visuals on a particular topic along with a supporting worksheet which challenges the student to expand on the information provided. 40 individual print friendly for ease of copying, these documents can simply be handed out to students and require no explanation. A great resource to have at the ready for when illness strikes and you are understaffed. This resource runs to over 200 pages of information and activities.The 40 topics covered are;
Alpha Beta Gamma Radiation
Bee Decline
Big Bang Theory
Body Image
Chemical Weapons World War 1
Drugs in Sport
Engaging in Science
Environmental Issues
Global Warming
Health and Fitness
History of the Atom
Hurricane Matthew
International Space Station
Life Beyond Earth
Lifecycle of a Large Star
Lifecycle of a Medium Star
Medical Imaging
Mission to Mars
Modern Chemical Weapons
New Cancer Treatment
Nuclear Weapons
Planet Earth
Power of Social Media
Science of Christmas
Science of Colour
Social Media
Solar Power
The Moon
The Solar System
The Sun
Wildlife Decline

By Start Education

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