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Designing and creating effective Theme/Working Walls.

A Primary Perspective

An underlying vision that I have in my mind when adapting, re-inventing or creating theme/working walls is ‘don’t give too much away, make them question, be intrigued and develop a deep curiosity for the subject’. I also seek to add an artistic flair to my theme walls to encourage creativity and to show that having a ‘unique style’ is positive.

Bright and Bold

One of the first questions I ask myself when creating a working wall is ‘is it bright, is it bold, will it engage the children?’ Once these foundations are established I like to add clues to aid understanding of Theme based learning, Literacy or Maths skills. I create an outline, which as the term progresses is filled with the children’s knowledge, creations and understanding. For example I have just created a Science working wall, ready for the next academic year. (See image Gallery)

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Clues

I decided to add clues and photographs to give the children a starting point; these visual aids insure the children become fully engaged with the topic. Only then will knowledge and skills be added in succession, as the children start to learn, make connections and unravel the topic area.
I find during the first week of term, children start to unpick ideas and make new connections, become inspired. This is then followed by questioning- which I add directly to the working walls using bright flash cards. The children are then essentially leading the learning, adding purpose and ownership to their questions and ideas.

Working walls

As I have re-invented Theme/Working Walls throughout the last academic year, my vision of what working walls should consist of has changed. Previously I would add layer after layer of facts, understanding, display learning and children’s learning brought in from home. This works well for older children (KS3), however I became aware that this amount of visual stimuli could be overbearing for some children, and that when this occurred, they would no longer seek help or guidance from the working walls. See image below:
Therefore I have adapted my approach so the walls are both visually enhancing but clear and coherent.

Next steps

My next step is to create interactive wall displays which have games and programmes that are inbuilt, into the displays. Through the use of Ipad’s and current technology. This will be my next adventure.

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