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Learning environment

Introduction:

At Box Hill School, we recognise that the learning environment plays an important part in celebrating and enhancing a student’s learning.  Visual displays reflect and influence the climate of the individual classrooms and the ethos of the school as a whole.  They create a stimulating and educational environment that reflects the range of learning across the school.

Aims : 

  • To ensure that displays in school consistently inform, celebrate and enhance learning.
  • To create a stimulating, vibrant and thought provoking learning environment.

Objectives:

  • To nurture pride in and respect for children’s learning
  • To raise the self-esteem of pupils
  • To inform and share learning with others
  • To celebrate achievement across all ability levels
  • To illustrate standards and expectations of learning and achievement
  • To ask questions to provoke thinking and encourage learning
  • To provoke the interest of visitors to the school

Guidelines : The main focus for all displays should be children’s learning

Variety of Display 

There should be a variety of types of display within school and classrooms including;

  • Informative displays,
  • Interactive displays,
  • 3 Dimensional displays
  • Photographic displays
  • Table displays
  • Work-in-progress displays
  • Temporary Displays with current topic of general interest –e.g festivals, World Cup etc.
  • Child lead displays where children have taken a lead role in the display, for example pupils planning and putting up work

Specific displays

There are specific displays that should be visible in classrooms. These include: learning walls, knowledge harvests, subject goals, personal goals, photographs / comments.  Many of these are interactive and should be used as teaching tools.

Display guidelines

Wall displays should:

  • Reflect the same effort and high standards that are expected from the children
  • Be thought about when teachers are planning
  • Be clearly labeled with a title, learning intention, and where children’s learning is displayed it should be accompanied by a learning comment or statement from the child.
  • Be on boards which are backed
  • Display labels in a variety of styles e.g. computer, handwritten, cursive, capitals, children’s writing – where appropriate.
  • Be as interactive as possible
  • Have borders to complete the display
  • Show Mounted work with wall staples or Blu-Tack type stickies – not drawing pins
  • All children’s work should be backed
  • Be cohesive and uncluttered
  • Display all levels of learning regardless of ability level

Not all classroom displays need to be child generated. Some (but not all boards in any one classroom) can be informative or adult-led displays that stimulate thought, but they should support learning. 

Appendix 1 has suggestions and further guidelines to aid learning-focused displays.

Rotation

Corridor displays should be changed termly by the end of the 3rd week of each term.

Classroom displays should be changed as appropriate depending on the curriculum, but a minimum of three times a year.

 Resources

Backing paper and border should be kept centrally by department. 

Monitoring and Evaluation :

SLT and in the first instance, HoDs, will monitor displays and provide feedback where appropriate.

They will monitor each half term and keep a photographic record of displays in order to share good practice.

The school acknowledges the lack of display space in many classrooms that might make displaying all core subjects impossible at any one time. 

Roles and responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the HoDs to ensure that policy is adhered to and that display is monitored.

Teachers are responsible for all displays in their classroom if it is a room in which they have the most teaching time, and an appropriate corridor or area as agreed with SLT and HoDs. It is expected that teachers would be responsible for one corridor display board each.

Corridor displays that are not the responsibility of a class teacher must have a clearly identified member of staff who is responsible for them. For example, The D of E board, School Council board, etc.

Appendix 1

Coverage and frequency

Items such as photographs of a country (eg MFL), Volcanoes (eg Geography), Bayeux Tapestry (eg History) etc could also be put up and will normally form semi – permanent displays in classrooms. These should be kept in good condition where possible, and trimmed and mounted as necessary.

Materials and methods

Only Blu-tak should be used on walls as they may be damaged by pins or staples.

Where appropriate, 3D materials and textiles should be used to add interest and help to enhance classrooms and display areas.

Selection and position

As wide a range of pupils as possible should have their work represented and shown to its best advantage at some time during the school year.

Classroom and shared area displays should reflect the international make up of the school. They should be appealing and varied and relevant to the work being carried out in class.

Work showing a range of techniques and media (including digital and 3D), work in progress, as well as finished work could all form part of displays. It is often worthwhile to display drafts, sketches, plans and evidence of processes involved (photographs, diagrams, etc.) alongside pieces of finished work.

Care should be taken to ensure that work is visible to the intended audience, e.g. if for children, it should be at a height and position where they can see it.

Mounting

Work should be displayed in a variety of ways. This depends on the nature of the work to be displayed, and should enhance its appearance.

Careful consideration should be given to how the work is mounted, the choice of background colour and texture and the use of text for providing information.

Backgrounds and borders need to be chosen carefully to blend or contrast but not distract the viewer from the work.

Mounts should be evenly spaced and trimmed straight. (Where possible, mounts and borders may be recycled, to save time and materials).

Where appropriate, pupils should be encouraged to mount and display their own work, and to develop their presentation skills, although it is important to ensure there is a balance where adult direction is given.

Titles and headings

Lettering must be clear and easy to read. Ideally, the lettering style should match the subject matter: i.e. computer printed, cutout letters or individually hand produced.

Labels must be grammatically correct and accurately spelt – it is important to provide a good role model.

Where appropriate, dual language headings and labels could be included.

 

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