We’ve all started the academic year with the best intentions to follow through with initiatives. But in the general buzz of everyday, they often get forgotten. Below are our easy, practical top tips to help you set up your classroom for the year.

Staying organised

Have a tray for each class as somewhere for spare handouts and abandoned work to be placed. If a student misplaces one or has been absent, they will know where to find them. Simply have a quick tidy of the trays at the end of each term and any spare can be re-used the next year. Simple – but effective.

Thought of the week

Each week add a new thought provoking quote to the board – this is great for SMSC. Keep an eye out each week for when we post our own ‘Monday Motivation’ and ‘Wednesday Wisdoms’ on social.

Mark effectively

Don’t forget to always have a pen with you so when you’re reading a student’s work in class, you can mark it at the same time. Simple – but a great time saver.

Mark efficiently

Create a key for common ‘even better ifs.’ Write ‘what went well’ but only give a number from the key for their improvement. Share the key with the students and let them write it in, this way you know they’ve read it too!

Resources for differentiation

Have vocabulary sheets and writing frames readily printed for support. Keep them somewhere students can grab them when needed. Don’t forget to share them with your department!

Stock up on post-it notes

From starters to assessment for learning tasks and those last minute plenaries, post-it notes are a life saver.


Let students take comfort from a ‘take a smile’ poster and brighten up their day. Have some printed ready to pin up on the board.

Do you have any other ideas to help setting up the classroom for September? Get in touch to share your tips.

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E: education@athona.com

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Jemma, is our Resource and Development leader here at Athona and is also a qualified teacher. During Jemma’s teaching career, she held the responsibility of Teaching and Learning Leader for key stage 3 English and was a mentor to a number of trainee teachers. Jemma spends her time regularly writing topical and latest industry blog posts and is the main point of contact for our international candidates. More recently, Jemma has been coordinating the training we provide to our teachers and schools.