Sharing joy and knowledge from an ordinary life

A humble abode

Somehow, another academic year is already upon us. Here’s an ode I wrote to my classroom three years ago. I cannot believe it’s been that long! This year, as last year, is a year with a limited amount of teaching but I have not neglected to give some tender loving care to the learning environment.

These are some reasons (not founded in evidence however) that suggest why a classroom environment might contribute to the learning experience.

I have created more flexible displays which will grow as the year progresses- these are certainly not the finished product but will hopefully serve as a trigger for learning.

This display will house learners’ notes, posters and displays of learning on our study of Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs- the background is laminated map wrapping paper as the texts come from all over the world. 


These posters used to be terribly tatty old RSC posters- beautiful but dusty, grey and old! They have been replaced by pieces of wrapping paper and text to inspire thought about the development of their learning. The posters will be used as prompts for learners’ weekly metacognition and reflection activities.

IMG_5889 IMG_5890 IMG_5891 IMG_5893 IMG_5894 And of course, no colleagues standing on chairs and desks was involved in putting them back on the wall at all… (I have requested them be lowered). 


I had a brainwave about the horrible brown cabinet so it is now covered in white sticky back plastic and will be used for terminology, keywords, poetry and scrabble because it’s also metal and I have bought lots of magnetic strip!

IMG_5900 IMG_5902

The question wall still exists so that learners have a place to park their questions.IMG_5903 I might be a little too excited by inflatables at present!

Learners can add their own resources for SPAG here: during Go Further weeks, they’ll be offering spelling, punctuation, grammar and general writing support to other students in the college. IMG_5929 Quotes related to grit and growth mindset have been added to the classroom windows and I finally have a red, amber, green tray. The work I’m doing with making learners’ peer and self-assessment more accurate is supported by them placing their work in the tray depending on what I’ve asked them to rate: academic vocabulary, use of terminology, structure of analysis, overall grade…IMG_5930 This is perhaps my favourite inflatable but this will be our targets area and will allow us to consider how close we are to achieving targets set (mini person shapes will be velcroed to the dartboard depending on how close to the bullseye they are in achieving their target).IMG_5931 More inflatables- this time, for our dos and don’ts wall where success criteria and learning for each unit can be updated throughout the year.

IMG_5932 And these beautiful postcards exist around the noticeboard to remind learners that it isn’t just fiction they should/could be reading outside of class.IMG_5933

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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