Before productive learning can take place the classroom teacher must ensure expectations are clear and behaviour is well managed. If you adhere to a class seating plan from the very first lesson then you are instilling an instant level of control – by you
choosing where pupils sit you are conveying that you control the classroom and make the choices. By using your school data and professional judgement you can arrange the class to minimise negative behaviour and maximise positive learning.
In the early days of teaching the class a chart of seat places helps you to learn their names and have a reference point in the classroom to put names to faces. By learning names quickly you are also developing an additional layer of control and developing a relationship of respect with the pupils.
By breaking up friendship groups the social aspects of the lesson are removed and the main focus can be learning. However, in some classroom tasks the social aspect should be encouraged – but carefully managed by using a class seating chart and carefully choosing group members, this also ensures that the less popular pupils are included in groupwork.
Peer to peer learning can also be encouraged, by using pupil data they can be grouped account to ability either to work together or support each others’ learning.
Types of seating plan
A pupil seating plan can be adapted to suit different learning styles and delivery methods and can be set by :
- Pupil – pupil relationships such as friendship groups
- SEN provision (eg Visual Impairment pupils at the front)
Top seating plan tips
- Always stick to it – if a pupil starts asking to sit somewhere else then refuse unless there is a very valid reason. Be don’t give in to “Pleeeeaaase”.
- Separate behaviour issues by rows and columns if possible.
- Be aware of SEN issues that may influence the pupil’s seat.
- Keep the most disruptive student close to you.
- Make changes if required and be firm when moving pupils around.
- Have different seating plans for different types of learning.
- Arrange your classroom to best fit the shape of the room and give you a good field of vision.
- Ensure you give a copy of the seating plan to any cover teacher or chaos will reign.