Teaching and Learning: Seating Plans

There’s more to a child’s academic success than just being taught; the environment in which they learn has a major impact on their progression. Effective classroom management plays a huge role in this and includes class seating plans. Where pupils are seated can benefit a child’s behaviour, academic performance and class participation. Research has also found that children perform better in seats that are allocated to them as opposed to choosing where they sit themselves.

The use of seating plans helps you, the teacher, exert a level of behaviour management over your class. Planning a seating layout also allows you to cater for individual children’s learning needs, without bringing attention to them. Teachers are ‘world class’ manipulators of situations, so no child need know the whys and wherefores of seating arrangements.  

There are many seating designs and much advice over the ‘correct’ seating of students. Some are shown here:


The actual seating arrangement layout will, of course, be room dependent. Here is 6SP with their new Lent term seating arrangements in H2, one of our smaller classrooms.  With space restrictions affecting the layout,  we opted for rows of four. 

Last term I set them seats in a boy-girl-boy-girl order.  Then I watched them.  We had some lessons when they had free choice of seating and groupings. Then I watched them some more.   I asked them about with whom they felt comfortable to work. Then I mixed it up so the children worked with people they may never have worked with before, despite being in a year group together for years.  Then I watched them. 

Finally, I gave them their new seats this Monday. They are now sat next to  people with whom they have demonstrated working well, the peers with whom they have communicated well, asked high order questions with and shown me that they are ‘good for each other’. 

Another term. Another seating arrangement.  I wonder what seating we should organise for the Trinity Term?  Maybe we will go for only sitting on the floor in groups of eight! I will keep you informed! 


Deputy Head


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