Having started a new challenge in a new classroom, in a new school (in a new country), I reflect here on what steps I will take on how to revitalise my classroom.


The first thing I notice about a classroom (not least my own!) is the amount of clutter that accumulates. Finding a bin bag and removing the worst excesses needs to be done before almost anything.

Display Boards

Needed: Backing paper; A4 paper; lamination wallets; stickyback plastic;

I believe that display boards should be used regularly in line with Ron Berger’s An Ethic of Excellence. I have four display boards. They will used as thus:

Display board one    = Year 7 and Year 8
Display board two    = Year 9 and Year 10
Display board three  = Year 11 and Tutor Group
Display board four    = High Performance Learning Examples

Once a month/week, when students work through targeted worksheets created by focussed marking, suitable examples (with annotations) can be placed on the board. I wonder if perhaps there might be prior backing paper, or AF information, on the boards so as to give a sense of what will be to come.

Tables and Chairs

Avoid having too few, or too many, chairs. All chairs should be fixed and not wobbly. I should like to report these with stickers as soon as possible.

Interactive Whiteboard

Should work, with decent battery life left. Again, needs to be checked.

Teacher’s Desk

I think this should ideally be facing the students. Failing that, I think that it should enable the teacher to face the students while typing. A bluetooth keyboard might, in this instance, be useful.

Seating Arrangements

I am a fan of the horseshoe seating plan. For students that harbour enmity for others, rows to the front are useful, too.

I always sit boy/girl when students first arrive, with other seating arrangements arriving shortly afterwards.

The ability to include other students would be particularly useful.

Resource Organisation

Resources, for me, should not determine the order of teaching: criteria and achievement should. Therefore, I think that resources that are not reusable should be stored. All else should be either glued-in, or stored in a folder.

Administrative Organisation

This is pretty essential. I am tempted to purchase a scanner to allow me to scan effectively. Also having different levels of resource storage is useful, too.


For both the students, and myself. Having effective routines for stationary loans is useful, too.

Marking Boxes

Having marking stored in distinct marking boxes is, for English I think, utterly essential. Having inside these boxes a selection of clear plastic wallets is useful for transporting marking.


I dislike empty space: I like an organised classroom. Having bookshelves filled with interesting and useful books is essential. I should be purchasing books on a regular basis; not stacking solely with text books. I have old bookcases with much to hold.


Essential, organised into various word types. On my wall are a variety of keywords stuck with velcro organised into several batches:

Literary keywords
Analytical keywords
Grammatical keywords
HPL (High Performance Learning/Learning to Learn) Keyword

I should post again with this resource created.