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Tips of the trade

HOWEVER good your display work is, it will look tatty if yourdisplay boards aren't prepared. You'll probably be using sugar paper as backing. This should be replaced - to save time, you can put the new layer on top of the old with each new display, preferably with a new colour each time.

Backing paper fades, so it becomes obvious that you've put up new work if you don't replace it. But whatever you do, don't leave staples in with shreds of paper attached from the last display.

Make displays informative and coherent. They should be read and appreciated by your own pupils and those from other classes. For this reason, I rarely allow pupils to put up their own work and usuallyproduce my own heading to explain the subject matter, usually with a brief extract from the syllabus or scheme of work, explaining how it fits in. Key words and a name check will also help. One thing that works well, especially in practical subjects, is the use of digital photographs (no need for photographic paper) again, with brief explanations or step-by-step description.

Once the work is up, watch out for any defacing or, in the case of digital photographs, theft. Keep some work, or copies of photos, in reserve and make sure you re-staple regularly to minimise wear and tear.

In order to achieve all of the above, it's extremely important that your pupils' contribution to the process is carefully controlled.

Jon Honeybul We pay for all tips we use. E-mail yours to

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