4 useful tips to create a welcoming, inclusive classroom

Inclusion is a hugely important concept in education, and one that we’ve made great strides in understanding and implementing in just the last couple of decades. As society’s understanding of conditions like autism grows, so can schools become better equipped to account for them in classrooms and lessons, helping to ensure that all children – whatever their background, ability, or neurodivergence – all have the same access to education as their peers. 

4 useful tips to create a welcoming, inclusive classroom

In fact, that’s exactly what inclusion in education is all about: making sure that all your students are equally able to access education. As far as educators are concerned, that extends to ensuring that no child is frustrated, isolated, or otherwise prevented from learning. 

At EPSL, we’re proud to do our own part in helping teachers in that ongoing mission, by providing an excellent range of personalised exercise books that can be tailored with coloured paper specifically to help pupils with dyslexia. Beyond classroom equipment though, what else can you do to help create a welcoming, inclusive classroom? 

Maximise visibility, minimise distractions

Begin with the classroom furniture – essentially, you just need to arrange it so that all of your pupils can properly see what’s going on during your lessons, and that there’s minimal distractions. So that means try and avoid any seating arrangements that might force your students to uncomfortably twist round on their chairs, or have to peer over any obstacles to see you. 

Keep explanations clear and concise

This is probably self-evident to a degree, but still worth highlighting, as it can sometimes be easy to forget. All learning objectives for your lessons need to be explicit, and written in child-friendly language, complete with key vocabulary. 

If there’s a relatively large amount of detail to get through, make sure you “chunk” information by breaking it up into easily-digestible sections, and explain each one clearly. Sometimes, you may find that you’ll need to make cuts in order to avoid risking overcomplicating your lessons – they can always be split up across several if necessary. 

Make it visual

Visual elements are important for students of all ages, as it makes the information far easier to digest, but it’s especially vital for younger children, such as those in primary school. Photographs, illustrations, symbols and use of colour are all crucial for engaging younger students, and for slightly older pupils you can also complement your lessons with the use of elements like diagrams, mindmaps and spidergrams. 

It's also worth taking the time to label all equipment and materials clearly, and ensure that every student has equal access to them – this can help minimise frustration for certain children, and avoid unnecessary disruption when moving the class on to a new task. 

Be mindful and proactive

Depending on how many students you see on a daily basis, you may find it relatively difficult to remember all their names. If you’re able to though, it can be an intensely worthwhile experience for both you and your students. If you’re able to remember all the names of your pupils, it can go a long way towards helping them to feel recognised and included. 

Even better, if you’re able to remember specific details of their backgrounds or circumstances (such as the details of any relevant neurodivergent conditions), this can make it much easier to keep these students engaged, keeping your classroom interesting and, crucially, inclusive. 

These are just a couple of general tips, and just intended as starting points – feel free to develop your own ideas as you see fit! And if you’re on the lookout for fresh educational tools and equipment, you’re in exactly the right place. 

At EPSL provide a fantastic range of lined exercise books, plain express exercise books and personalised exercise books, and with more than 40 years of experience behind us, we’re top of the class when it comes to producing resources and learning solutions for schools. If you’ve got any questions, you can count on us to provide answers in as much or as little detail as you need. Feel free to give us a call on 01254 686 500!

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