Monday, 29 April 2013

Healthy Eating Science Display

Here is my most recent science display all about healthy eating and the human body. In the middle is an outline of a person which is filled with pictures of healthy food. This was made by the children in golden time where we had a discussion about what makes someone healthy. There is a food pyramid and balanced diet plate above the display to show the children the different food groups.

We have also been learning all about the heart and the effect exercise has on our body. The information sheets on and around the display give facts about the human body and the major organs. They also mention the effect drugs and alcohol can have on the body.

Above the display board is a world map showing where different healthy foods are grown and produced.

Around the right hand side of the display is the children's ICT work which answers the question "Could we live off McDonalds every day?" Their research and responses to the question are very interesting!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Finished Choices Enquiry Display!

Here is the final product! I have added children's paintings, a world map and a poster of world flags for the children to refer to!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Choices Enquiry Display - Step by step...

So far on my blog I have posted photographs of finished displays. This post follows the process of making my most recent enquiry display all about choices so you can see how the display progresses. In Year 5 and 6 we are focusing on the 'choice' of where you could go on holiday. In essence the work in our enquiry unit is based around the children becoming travel agents! This is the display so far...

Step 1: Backing the display board with pages from holiday brochures - I thought this would be a unique way to back the display board and catch the children's attention...

Step 2: Bordering the display and adding the title. I tried to create the effect of the sun beaming from the title by adding yellow sun beams above it.

Holiday brochures were laid out on the spare table in front of the display for the children to look at in their spare time - I can assure you they have loved looking inside at all the beautiful holiday destinations!

Step 3: Key questions, images and other topic information is added to the display.

Step 4: With my class we are making a giant ice cream and a giant pair of sun glasses to add to our display. The children's first enquiry lesson included thinking about their fantasy holiday destination and they had to paint it. This work will be placed on the display shortly.

Photograph of Step 4 COMING SOON!

Saturday, 20 April 2013


Stumbled across this video earlier and it reminded me why I am a teacher...
I want to inspire! 

Do you have a teacher who inspired you to follow your dreams? Or inspired you to become a teacher yourself? I know I do!

Science Materials Display

Materials is another popular topic covered by many year groups in Science. Here I have tried to create an interactive, kinesthetic display by making my display as 'touchy feely' as possible. I have included information about different materials but also attached different types of materials to the display for the children to touch or feel when investigation their materials properties. It also makes for an appealing display!

I try and make my displays as 3D as possible by stapling laminated text or materials so that they stand out with a curve. This helps create another dimension to displays which is visually appealing.

In science displays I always include key vocabulary. Quite often I find children are intrigued as to what the words mean and I find them discussing them in class. Also this helps children use the correct vocabulary in the units of work but also helps reluctant spellers write as the words are already there for them to use. Works like a giant word bank!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Invaders and Defenders - World War 2 Enquiry Display

Here are some photographs of my Invaders and Defenders display. During this topic we focused on the key events of WWII and the key people involved. We learnt about the Blitz and created our own Blitz artwork!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Treasure Island Classroom Display

An old classic novel studied by my class as part of a literacy unit of work. The theme of islands permeated throughout the curriculum and the children learnt all about real and fictional islands. Here are some displays as part of this topic.

Again post-it notes were used as a form of assessment as was the KWL grid. The children's writing was also displayed on the enquiry board as shining examples of successful and imaginative writing.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

PSHE Window Display - Relationships

As part of our curriculum, the Year 5 children participate in the GREAT Project which is a project in primary schools aimed at tackling the issue of domestic violence in a sensitive but informative way. It stands for Good Relationships are Equal And Trusting. The children learn all about healthy relationships and where to go for help or advice if they find themselves or a loved one in an unhealthy relationship. This project has been hugely successful in schools and to showcase the children's learning and discussions during the project I created this window display.

On the hanging suns the children wrote words or examples of what a healthy relationship would be like. On the rain drops the children wrote words or examples of what unhealthy relationships could be like. This was powerful imagery for the children.

The hanging suns and rain drops were simply made out of card hung from fishing wire (as it is see through) and attached to the ceiling with paper clips! Simple but effective!
The sun and cloud was painted straight onto the window using ready mixed paint which was slightly watered down. Don't panic it was easy to wash off with a little water!

If you would like to find out more about the GREAT Project and how you could get involved visit If you follow the links to the adult section you can see a video which gives information from many perspectives about the impact of the project.

Our GREAT Promises...

Monday, 15 April 2013

Our Solar System - Earth Sun and Moon

Another popular Year 5 science topic - Our solar system - Earth Sun and Moon. Here are some images of a planets display I created by backing an internal window with black sugar paper and the children's oil pastel drawings of the different planets. I finished off the display with books about the topic which the children could read in their spare time / enquiry lessons.

The window facing into the corridor...

Who Am I Enquiry Display

Another whole school curriculum theme adopted this year was Who Am I? The children worked across the curriculum to find out who they were spiritually, morally, culturally and socially. They compared themselves to others in similar and different places in the world. They analysed data of our school to see if there were any trends or similarities to the nature of the students in our school. They looked closely in art at what they looked like and produced self portraits. The children thoroughly enjoyed being the centre of attention in this whole school topic!

As the topic progressed I added children's work to 'Our Learning Journey' above our enquiry display. This helped the children see over the course of the topic what they had learnt and achieved. Quite a powerful tool in revisiting / evaluating learning at the end of a topic.

Self portraits display

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Out of This World Enquiry Display

Out of This World was a whole school theme adopted by all classes. It encompassed themes such as the universe, planets, aliens, God, religious beliefs, creation stories and mythical creatures. The children were very enthusiastic about this topic and enjoyed learning about the history of space travel and discussing whether aliens really do exist. Here are photographs of the Out of This World display and our RE display about how we see God.

As part of all my enquiry displays we complete a KWLH grid as a class at the beginning of the topic. It stands for K (what we know) W (what we want to know) L (what we have learnt) and H (how we learnt about the topic - resources, skills we used etc). This gets added to as the enquiry progresses and the children can come and add a post-it note to the learnt column any time they wish. At the end of the unit we discuss how we have been learning and what skills we have used - such as researching using books or laptops, using ICT to record our learning or discussion with our peers.

How we see God display - I was amazed at the variety of images the children produced.


Handwriting Display

To motivate the children to improve their handwriting we introduced pen licences. The children had to use joined up fluent handwriting to be awarded a pen and certificate. The children could use their pen for whatever written work they liked (usually not maths) but could only keep the licence if they continued to use joined up neat and fluent handwriting across all curriculum subjects. The children felt very proud to earn the licence and badges were given out for the children to wear around the school if they wished. Photographs of the children who were awarded the pen licences were put on the handwriting display along with their certificates.  Examples of children's work which met the criteria for the pen licence was displayed on the board for the children to see what they were working towards. This had a marked impact on the children's handwriting and this reward system has now been implemented throughout school from Years 2 - 6.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Science Displays - Life Cycles and Habitats

A common Science topic in Year 5 - Life Cycles. As part of this topic we focused on the life cycle of a plant and life cycles of animals. On the display you will see a life cycle of a plant and photographs of different plants and trees that we studied. On a Science display I always include key vocabulary for the children to use in their work and also key questions to get the children thinking about the topic. Books and a plant were situated in front of the display for children to look at. As part of the topic we planted seeds in classroom and studied how they grew in different conditions - some were left on display for the children to observe their growth.

Habitats science display - with a focus on life processes.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Targets Display - Reading, Writing and Maths

All schools and classes have particular targets to work towards. As a teacher there is a lot of pressure to ensure the children in your class know their personal targets and how they can achieve them. I came up with a 'rocket' themed target display/concept to help the children remember their target. Lower ability children were on 'Ready' targets, middle ability children were on 'Steady' targets, higher ability children were on 'Go' targets and gifted and talented children were on 'Blast off!' targets. The children could remember which stage of the rocket taking off they were and as their targets for Reading, Writing and Maths were displayed around the target rocket, the children could find their target easily. A simple concept which worked really well.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

THUNK of the week!

To get the children thinking outside of the box, I introduced them to THUNKs. These are questions which have no right or wrong answer but get children thinking beyond the lateral. They are encouraged to think from different view points and use their imagination. I display a different THUNK each week in my classroom, displaying it on a Monday morning and allowing the children to write a response on a post-it note on a Friday morning. Throughout the week you can hear the children discussing the THUNK and coming up with wonderful responses. I have found that the process of getting the children to think outside the box has had an impact on their imagination and they are able now to come up with their own THUNKs for the class to discuss.

THUNKs I have used with my class:

* What would happen if all keys were made out of chocolate?
* Is a window still a window if it is painted black?
* What colour is Tuesday?
* If you read a comic in a shop, put it back and don't pay for it, is it stealing?
* Where does the sea start and the beach end?
* Can you love someone you hate?


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Working Walls - Literacy and Maths

As well as my enquiry (topic) displays and other wider curriculum displays I have two working walls in my classroom - Literacy and Maths. These displays are not put up at the beginning of a unit of work they evolve and develop as the children's work progresses. At the beginning of the unit they often look bare but have key features of the genre or maths unit of work the children are currently working on. Throughout the unit examples of successful work or strategies to solve questions will be displayed as reminders for the children but also as a scaffold.

The children's work is often displayed at different stages of the writing process on my Literacy working wall - from their initial ideas, to mind maps, to first drafts, to final edits and eventually a final and finished presented piece of writing. I often photocopy the children's work and highlight successful use of vocabulary, connectives, openers or punctuation. I will stick post-it notes up around the work highlighting what has been done well. Sometimes I place questions around the work for the other children to answer about how it could be improved. The children really enjoy seeing the working wall evolve during the unit and always come into my class and look straight away at what has been added since their previous lesson. The children also even suggest to me what could be put on the wall to help them.

Maths is more of an interactive display to start with. I will have number of the week up, or shape of the week and the children have to answer the questions around the number or shape using post-it notes to record their answers and ideas. This can be a quick extension activity for the children at the end of a lesson to consolidate their learning. Throughout the unit formulae or important facts or rules are displayed on the working wall as well as examples of successful work. Again this display changes throughout the topic and helps support the teaching in the classroom - I find myself displaying success criteria frequently on my Maths working wall which the children then use at the end of the lesson to assess their work.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The Aztecs Teaching Display

Another class topic enjoyed by my children. On display you can see a time line of important events and key facts about the Aztecs around the display board. Above the display are paintings by my class of the Mexican landscape. The children studied Mexico and it's history as part of this topic. In front of the display was a box of non-fiction text books all about the Aztecs for the children to use in their enquiry lessons or to look at in their free time.