Using classroom displays to inspire children

classroom display ideas

Your classroom is full of incredible resources to help your pupils learn, from packed bookshelves to word mats and stationery – but are you making the most of your space? 

Displays are a big deal in primary schools, and they can all serve a different purpose. We have asked our teachers for some inspirational ideas they’ve used. 

Inspiring to write


Laura Bird (Glebe Primary School); the story-boarding process is in the bottom right.

Children often have great ideas but may struggle to get them down on paper. Writing displays can provide inspiration to help them.

Use a visual prompt or physical items as the central feature of the display. We saw a fantastic photo on Twitter where a teacher covered her classroom in washing lines and strung up lots of pairs of pants to introduce ‘Aliens Love Underpants’!

Have your pupils add vocabulary or descriptive phrases to the board inspired by these prompts and start modelling the writing process.

If children are retelling a story or if you’re covering a long book, you may want to map out the story with small images or scenes. 

After each lesson, add something new to the board, whether that’s examples of excellent writing (including an explanation of why it’s so good) or new vocab. This doesn’t need to be perfectly tidy!

Finally, have your pupils write a short story or poem based on all the vocabulary and storyboards you have collated. Once children have completed their piece of writing, use your board to celebrate exactly why it’s so good! 

Inspiring to read

You can also use display boards to encourage children to read. At St Silas C of E Primary School in Leeds, the Year 6 librarians created this fantastic display. Here, children are inspiring others to read their favourites and have taken ownership of the display. We LOVE this idea!

Ashley Booth, St Silas Primary Academy, @MrBoothY6

We’ve also seen some incredible reading review displays on Twitter where teachers have set aside one display board in their classroom to reading.

Children create their own reviews of books they’ve loved and post them on the display. Then, other children use Post-It notes to suggest other titles that they think the original poster will like.

On the front of a Post-It, children could write out intriguing sentences or short paragraphs from books that they love, with the name of the author and the title of the book on the back. Their peers can then quickly identify a book which interests them. 

What about 100 must-reads before you leave primary school? Challenge each year group to compile their top 20 books and then list them on the display. Provide print-outs so children can tick them off once they’ve read them!

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