Fake Headteacher: Working Walls – Newsletter No.14

Dear Staff,

I will get straight to the point. I found time to walk around the school today to check up on you – er, I mean to engage with the children and show an interest in the exciting learning that is happening in classrooms.

I was very disappointed to find around 70% of display boards are still empty. We are now a few weeks into term and you should be completely on top of your displays.

I realise in the past you would put up complete displays to excite and engage the children as soon as they entered the classroom. I appreciate you used to take pride in your topic display about dinosaurs full of questions, information and pictures to motivate and inspire. You used to make your writing display look really nice with lots of words, punctuation ideas and good examples of quality sentences. Your displays used to be mostly static but you changed them once a term or so.

You didn’t have to update them every day or every week because you wanted to focus more on planning super lessons. Children used to regularly publish their work and you made sure their work went up on the wall. They were mounted and the children loved it! They used to feel proud and your classroom looked amazing.

You could even choose what displays to put up depending on your class. It was part of the fun. You used to love the freedom and creativity to create an amazing learning space for you pupils to work in.

But things have changed. Now I tell you how your classroom should look like. Working walls are all the fashion now. They look good for ofsted. They make it very clear that the teacher and the children are following a well planned learning journey. They try to prove that the learning is fun, raw, edgy, creative, full of pace and energy etc.

Nothing is mounted and most of what I expect to see now is scribbles on rough paper. Easel paper is the best. Most of the writing is too small for children to see. If you have time, you might refer to the working wall but mostly, you just crack on with the lesson.

The best working walls are the ones where paper is overlapping the borders and everything is stuck on at funny angles.

Remember, I expect working walls for spelling, writing, maths, topic and science. Your classroom should be bare when the children first come in. I realise this is boring but if you update your working walls every day they will soon be filled.

It will take about four weeks for your working walls to be complete, then I expect you to start all over again. Which is why I am concerned, because most of your working walls are still fairly empty. You must find more time.

I have added working walls to my non-negotiables list so when I carry out my conformance walk…er, I mean a learning walk, I can put pressure on you later.

Good luck.

Fake Headteacher

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