Creating a Welcoming Classroom Environment in the Primary School
Creating a welcoming and supportive classroom environment is paramount for the development of primary school pupils. At the heart of this endeavour lies the significant role of relationships between teaching staffs and pupils. We, Excelsior Academy Trust, believe that building strong connections can greatly contribute to a positive and thriving learning atmosphere. Here are some tips on how to create a supportive classroom environment in your school:
1. Establishing Trust and Comfort
Cultivate an atmosphere where pupils feel secure and valued. A trusting relationship creates a sense of comfort, allowing pupils to express themselves freely without fear of judgment. That’s why we encourage children to develop their oracy skills as early as possible. In Excelsior’s schools, oracy is part of every lesson and is included in unstructured times such as break and lunch. It is not an add-on or an extra lesson. Therefore, pupils can develop self-confidence and a sense of belonging through oracy training, as their voice is welcomed and valued.
On the other hand, simple gestures like greeting each pupil personally and listening attentively can go a long way.
2. Understanding Individual Needs
Recognise the unique qualities of each pupil. A personalised approach to learning considers individual needs, strengths, and challenges. By acknowledging and understanding these differences, teachers can tailor their teaching methods to better engage and support each pupil. For example, Excelsior’s schools organise SEND Coffee Meetings and Parental meetings regularly in order to understand the study needs of pupils.
3. Effective Communication
Clear and open communication is key to building strong relationships. Regularly engage with pupils and their parents to discuss pupils’ progress, concerns, and learning goals. Encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas, fostering a sense of collaboration and mutual respect within the classroom. For example, organising regular Parent Forum and Parental meetings provide opportunities for teachers to learn about difficulties faced by parents and better communication.
4. Celebrating Diversity
Acknowledge and celebrate the diversity within the classroom. Incorporate diverse perspectives, cultures, and experiences into the curriculum. This not only enriches the learning experience but also promotes inclusivity and understanding among pupils. At Excelsior MAT, we provide ‘No Outsiders’ Training to our schools, as well as other schools that would like to execute Inclusive Education and empower their pupils. Children are taught there are no outsiders in schools because everyone is welcome. Learn more about our ‘No Outsiders’ Training: https://www.excelsiormat.org/no-outsiders/.
5. Promoting a Sense of Belonging
Pupils thrive in an environment where they feel they belong. When students feel a sense of belonging, they experience a positive emotional connection to their school, peers, and learning community. Encourage teamwork, group activities, collaborative projects and inclusive education. A sense of belonging contributes to positive self-esteem and motivates pupils to actively participate in their learning journey.
6. Modelling Positive Behaviour
Teachers serve as role models for their pupils. Demonstrating positive behaviour and values helps create a classroom culture that reflects respect, empathy and kindness. Consistent modelling of these behaviours sets the tone for a welcoming and inclusive environment.
Remember that the foundation of a welcoming primary school classroom is built on the bedrock of meaningful relationships. By investing time and effort into cultivating these connections, educators can create an environment that fosters not only academic success but also personal growth and well-being. The impact of positive relationships in the primary school setting extends far beyond the classroom, influencing pupils' attitudes towards learning and shaping their future.