Ask a teacher - QA

26th September 2008 at 01:00

Some colleagues use pupils' best work for classroom display, but I want to recognise what a less able pupil has achieved by putting up something of hishers, although it is not perfect and contains spelling mistakes. Would I be wrong?

Steve, Coventry

A: You would not be wrong to do this. Celebrating children's work is important in raising self-esteem and promoting a team environment. I often display work on a "working wall" so that colleagues and pupils can see that writing is a work in progress.

Drafts can go on the display with the edited and improved version alongside it. I sometimes add comments to the display, for example: "Well done to Alice for joining her handwriting." This helps children to see the positives in their work.

Louise, Essex

A: Using children's work for display is the educational equivalent of publication or gallery hanging. Its purpose is not merely to decorate, but to inspire, reward and create a sense of pride. When a new display goes up every child looks for their piece of work. Perfection has no place here, only an individual best.

Joanne, Leeds

A: You have uncovered a useful debate. In displaying pupils' work are we looking for excellence or achievement? What is the purpose of display - celebration or promotion?

If we go for the showcase of excellence option, then you shouldn't display work that is flawed and unimpressive. On the other hand, if we want to celebrate potentially all of our children's work, then we must accept that not everything up for public consumption will be uniformly good.

Heather, London

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Send your answer or any question you would like answered by your fellow teachers to askateacher@tes.co.uk. We pay pound;30 for any question or answer published.

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