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Shelters in Design Technology

Shelters Display

Shelters Display

I love this set of displays for a design technology topic.
Made by Tom Barret, he says:

This is a set of photographs of my Design and Technology display on shelters. It is in a Year 6 class and is a unit that we teach alongside our World War 2 work in history. The final piece of work that the children produce is a model bomb shelter. Take a look at the notes on each photograph for more details as to what makes up the display.
What you currently see is the final, finished display – we had the display up throughout the unit and we slowly added to it as our knowledge and skills progressed. So it truly acted as a learning display for us.

In his excellent blog ICT In My Classroom he encourages others to add their photos of displays to the Classroom Displays group on Flickr:

why not take a photo of one of your good displays and contribute to the growing pool of pics. This would also be a great professional development opportunity and helps contribute to portfolios of work. I have started my own School Displays set in my Flickr account to keep such evidence.

Quite right 🙂 You can see Tom’s original photo with annotations here:Shelters Display (2). Tom has moved his blog since he left the classroom and you can now find him here http://edte.ch/blog/

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month, originally uploaded by Girl Least Likely To.


1st (Year 2) grade students wrote what they wanted to be when they grew up and they used these great women’s stories of their own achievements as an inspiration. The teacher posted pictures and information on great women like Amelia Earhart,Toni Morrison,& Madame C.J.Walker to name a few 🙂

I like the way this display has mixed the stories of the famous women with the children’s aspirations for the future. It changes the board from being about ‘people from long ago’ to something the children can feel they are a part of .
I’d like to think the teacher had included work from both genders but I believe it was a ‘girls only’ display. How do other people feel about this? Is it justified to exclude the work of part of a class from a display?
Why shouldn’t the boys too have learned about and been inspired by these famous women?


The Great Fire of London 1

great fire of London display

The Great Fire of London display

The Great Fire of London Display

I like this The Great Fire of London display from Clare. The use of a black background with the red mounting and border emphasises the dramatic nature of the subject. I think the flame shaped ‘fast facts’ work well too. I’d like to have seen the children’s work mounted onto red too and perhaps even shaped like the facts. It might be petty of me but I’d also like the work to be either lined up straight or deliberately skewed – just off square grates on my visual senses 🙂

One of the less obvious things that helps the display is the choice of lettering font. Clare has used a serif font (perhaps Times New Roman) like those used for headlines in the broadsheet newspapers. This subtly adds authority to the heading, as does the use of white lettering on a black background. It is rather like newsprint in negative. It is tempting to use a gothic font for this Great Fire of London displays but they are hard for year 2 to read. Later on in keystage 2 they will find it easier, maybe when looking at Tudors.

The Great Fire of London is an important topic for Year 2 history. The QCA guidelines gave a good framework for dealing with what could be a difficult subject for Keystage 1 and seemed to have the level about right.

With more TAs finding themselves teaching classes like History to cover PPA time I think we’ll see lessons sticking even closer to old copies of the QCA or more local variants. It would be a shame though if they didn’t take the chance to explore some of the more interesting web based resources for the topic.

  • The Museum of London has a game which would be fun on the IWB and an image bank with downloadable images from the period. Best of all is there is a suggested activities section which is all aimed at keystage 1.
  • Samuel Pepys’London is an interesting site but it’s going to need a lot of interpreting for Year 2
  • Simon Haughton’s Infant Encyclopedia Great Fire  section is interesting and age appropriate.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today is MLK Day in the USA. It’s a day of service and giving to the community. There are lots of related resouces at ActivityVillage (a UK site) which might also be useful for Black History Month in the UK.

Patricia writes:

Our bulletin board for Martin Luther King, Jr. The children wrote down their dreams on the wings of the doves. I think it came out beautiful. Let me know what you think.

I like it very much and I think the simple design works well. What do others think?

Romans and competitions

Romans2, originally uploaded by LMH_.

Last January this Roman display won a competition for the best display at in a thread at the TA Chat Forum. I was pleased to have won the right to put a nice image in my sig for a while and the children involved in creating the display were excited to hear that their display was voted the winner.
This competition, however, is for a rather more substantial reward!
Belair publishes a vast range of books about display. (See the books page in my sidebar for some examples.)

Belair Display of the Year Competition 2006

Belair and Junior Education are delighted to give you the opportunity to WIN ALL THE BELAIR COLLECTIONS!We are looking for the best displays of 2006, illustrating the real passion and talent that goes into exhibiting pupils’ work in the classroom and around the school.

Have you and your pupils created a masterpiece that deserves greater recognition? If so, you could be our 2006 winner!

Winning displays will be featured in Junior Education and on the Folens website. The competition is open to both teachers and teaching assistants and the only limitation is your own ingenuity!

Simply photograph a display you have put up in your school and email it to: belair@folens.com or post your photo to

Unit 20 Apex Business Centre
Boscombe Road

Entries will be judged by a panel of Belair authors and Junior Education. Closing date for entries is 17th November 2006.

They then go on to list a quite extensive criteria set which is worth a read in it’s own right as a bench mark for judging the quality of your displays.

So if you’ve got a suitable display or you can get one up by then why not have a go? Your school stands to win a spectacular and inspiring resource library and it might just inspire you to come up with your most impressive displays ever 🙂