Personalised Teaching Display

abc doesBoys Learning, Child Initiated LearningLeave a Comment

Have spent last week back 'home' in the North East working in schools in Bishop Auckland looking at lots of aspects of their EYFS practice. I saw lots of really good ideas, that I will of course share, and also worked with staff on some of the difficulties they were having with trying to get their EYFS to work on every level. I will also share those solutions with you (once I have checked that they are still working)!

Last post I talked a little bit about using child initiated teaching display to inspire and engage the most reluctant learners and, as promised I thought I would post a couple f examples from practitioners that had had a go (and found it worked).

At the beginning of the year I would strip all of my display and generate new versions with the new children. When you are a child in EYFS there is NOTHING more motivating than YOU! So I find the best thing to use when you want to really engage children in display is their images.

Assessment will tell you who knows what and who doesn't. You would always target the children who DON'T know in your displays and not the ones who do. 

Here are a couple of examples of a personalised number line.


In lots of the pictures you are seeing the same faces. Not because there are only 10 children in the class but because there is not point in getting the child who can already combine numbers beyond 20 to be in your recognising 1 to 10 display.

As the children using this display are in the very early stages of matching labels to numbers and recognising the shapes of the different numerals, the background to each number has been made very different from the previous one making early identification and recognition much easier.

Getting the children to pull funny faces that make them laugh can add an extra element of engagement.

This idea works equally as well for alphabet lines. I am far more likely to be interested in, and able to relate to, a display that features my friend  with an A for Adam than I am with a display that features an A for apple! I can't recall ever having met any child who was excited by the prospect of learning their alphabet using a cartoon apple!

IMG_0085The format for creating one like this can be found here. Or you can just have a go at making your own like this one.


You should apply this principle to all of your key teaching displays. I came across this lovely colour recognition display in the Nursery at Moseley Primary in Coventry.

Key children have been targeted for colour recognition.

The activities used to create the display are engaging and interesting 

Photographs of the process are used to engage the children and prompt their memory

Context is provided by the use of speech bubbles and annotations making it easy to interpret the display and also provide  you with opportunities to show any examples of higher level learning.


The 'red' part of the display was created by splatting tea bags. Not just one shade of red was offered for the children to select from. They could choose from a few. After all the worlds does not just come in 'readymix' red!

For some children this display is just about 'red'. For others who already know the colour red it is about expanding their knowledge further into the different types of red that exist. The simple use of a speech bubble shows that this level of differentiation was taking place throughout this activity.


The focus for blue was painting your hands with textured paint.



I am sure you get the idea!

It is always nice to see how practitioners share ideas and then reinterpret them to make them their own. A while ago I blogged a display that I had seen when I was working with Claire Murphy at Claremont Primary in Blackpool. It was a 'learning garden' where the children's faces made he centres of flowers and a speech bubble from each child made the  petals.

The purpose of the display is to make a record of children's interests that would then inpact on planning etc. You write whatever the child says on their speech bubble. It is also a very good way of being able to see which children's voices are being heard a lot!

In Bishop Auckland this week I saw a lovely version of it that had been tweaked to fit the needs of Maxine the practitioner.

The questions that the children had asked had led to their current theme of ice and snow.



You are far more likely to get high level engagement when you are following the interests of children as opposed to that 'topic' from 1993. ASSESSMENT identifies what your children need to know, YOU create the next steps objectives NOT activities, They provide the context.

That is when the fun really starts!

Have a good week .


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