Ending the year strong

The bells might be jingling and carols might be singing and the tinsel could be glittering.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (and incredibly busy to fit it all in!).

Before we know it’ll be the end of the year and the school gates will be locked for the Christmas holidays.

Let’s end 2023 strong!

There are many ways you can end the year strong.

One of the easiest is physically with the environment.

You’ll have heard me say that ‘environment is emblematic of culture’ and it really is.

What is your environment going to say

as you close the school for Christmas?

And even more importantly when you open it again in Jan?

Will you be set up for a strong start?

If this feels like just another thing to think about, then this week’s spotlight resource is my quick and easy checklist which you can share with staff to end the year strong and look ready to welcome 2024.

Trust me, it’ll help you all walk out in December and return in January that bit taller 😉


Spotlight Resource

I have a lot of free resources. So each week I share one which I hope is useful to you 🙂

The end of the autumn term is busy.

As it draws close this environmental checklist will help you close the school well and walk into a fresh new term, and year, in January 2024.

7 point checklist to get your environment promoting your school standards for you

It will help you to improve your space, quickly and easily (because I know that you really are busy).

1. Clear the surfaces – especially above cupboards, along window sills. If they’re being used purposefully that’s great, but if not clear them.


2. Brilliant books – it’s so nice that most of our spaces have books in, but do they look like we love them or not?


3. Wall execution – what is on the walls? Is it placed purposefully or just stuck up (think grid layout, using picture frames)


4. Paperwork, exercise books – can these be stored more neatly in a magazine folder, box file, basket or similar


5. Does what ‘should’ match, match? That might be chairs or coasters, drawers or display backing.


6. Labels – are things clearly and consistently labelled? This sounds so small and insignificant but I’ve walked into countless outstanding headteacher’s offices and schools and this is something I see time and time again.


7. Coats and bags – are they and can they be put away tidily?


Most of these can be actioned within 30 mins. Why not have some fun with it with your team:

  • Take a before photo
  • Set a 30min timer
  • And then take an after photo
  • Share the photos between the team

And feel free to send some photos to me, I always love to see them 🙂


Environment is a silent teacher.

It’s constantly communicating your standards.

And the standard you walk by, is the standard you accept.