Revisiting old posts: Displays set the tone


This term a key priority for the department has been on creating the right environment.  Displays, you see, set the tone, establish the culture, support pupil learning and celebrate success.  Here is what we have been working on at the academy.

  1. Welcome to English board

Welcome to EnglishEvery member of staff within the English department has a space on the Welcome to English board.  Each staff member has a WeeMee.  Alongside this, to support our reading culture, every member of staff has identified a book of great significance to them and explained why.

2. Our world map

World Map

When I first joined the academy we had a graphic artist come in to design the subject areas.  Then, due to expansion, the subject areas moved which meant that I have inherited a world map and a historical timeline.  After seeing our fab Geographer Courtney Grainger’s books from around the world display, we decided to create our own using this gigantic map.

3. Pictures of our pupils in action and quotations from visitors

Opposite the map we have a picture of pupils in the library.  In September I will add to this with four further images of our pupils in action.  Underneath these images I have taken quotes from visitors such as Ofsted where they have recognised the work we are doing in English.

4. Quotation wall

Like many English departments, we display the key quotations from our core texts: Blood Brothers, A Christmas Carol and Macbeth to try and aid pupils’ memory.  Thanks to Twitter, we have a quotation wall.

5. Our historical timeline

Historical timeline

The other graphic.  We have used resources, again from Twitter, to create a social and historical timeline, detailing key events and also key literary works.

6. Vocabulary wall

vocab wall

We have displayed all of our core vocabulary in the corridor to help pupils.  When they are arriving at lessons and leaving lessons we hope that they may just soak up one or two words around them.

7. Topic banners

book posters corridor

In the corridor, we have topic banners for each year group and for each unit they are working on.  These banners change every term and makes it easy for everyone to see what we are studying.

8. Learning aids at the front

Learning aids

I strongly believe in displaying all learning aids at the front or to the side of the classroom.  For that reason I have displays to do with sentence structures, paragraphing, punctuation, connectives, adverbials and analysis to support pupils during the lesson at the front of my classroom.  Alongside this I have my biggest resource – my classroom library!

9. Recognition board

recognition board

After reading Pivotal’s book on behaviour and knowing that they are coming to do some training with us in September, I decided to introduce a recognition board.  I am pretty poor at recognising pupils, although I have great relationships with my pupils.  Therefore, I am keen to develop this next year.  Erin, as you can see, felt she deserved recognition the day I was on a course.

10. Book posters

11. Language, structure and form board

book postersWe display a copy of all of the books we study between KS3 and KS5 in every classroom to show our pupils the vast range of literature that they will be exposed to throughout their time with us.

My language, structure and (soon to be) form board is a new display for 2017-18.  I am trying to create a more interactive revision based room and this supports pupils in lessons with their analysis of methods.  One side has the term and on the flip is the definition.  I am hoping it will be an aid for revision.

12. Exemplar essays

Exemplar gcse essaysexemplar a level

I want my pupils to have access to a wide range of brilliant essays.  These folders will contain exemplar essays.  Initially, these have been taken from the exam board but every time one of my pupils creates something spectacular their work is also added to the exemplary folder.

13. Interactive revision cards.


My next revision aid.  Every core literature text has a display board and at the bottom of these display boards will be pockets with these A5 laminated revision cards covering the growth of characters and the development of a theme with key quotations.  These cards will be there to support pupils revision and retention.

So this is where we are up to and there is still a whole heap of stuff to be done!  Over the summer I will be working on my analysis board, our traffic light trays and our growth mindset resource area.  Of course, the next thing in September will be covering the remaining walls, both inside and out of our classrooms with the amazing work our pupils will produce to celebrate and sing loudly how brilliant they are in English.


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