Most of the information the public receives about student learning takes the form of test scores, league tables, Ofsted reports or news stories. Exhibitions of teaching and learning can offer an alternative way to put learning into the public domain. Exhibitions can therefore serve multiple purposes and audiences. They can…..


  • Provide a form of self-assessment related to the school’s mission
  • Offer evidence of the kinds of learning not often reflected in standardised tests
  • Provoke conversation about teaching and learning in the wider community, in part by challenging unexamined notions of children’s capabilities
  • Deepen exhibitors’ own learning through the hard, but rewarding work of communicating student and adult learning to others


Why do it?

Exhibitions offer another way to celebrate teachers and students achievements in learning to each other and the community. They contribute to our collective knowledge about how teachers teach and children learn. Creating and reflecting on exhibits also provide a powerful form of professional development.

Exhibitions can be designed:


1) as a form of self-assessment for teachers or schools;

2) to share and celebrate student learning not often represented on standardised tests;

3) to contribute to public knowledge about how children learn.


Exhibitions can focus on teachers or students, the learning process or product, learning content or learning about learning, or all of the above! They can be designed to address a schoolwide topic or exhibition-specific topic (e.g., the role of questioning in learning) or have diverse foci. Often, exhibits tell a story of learning that enables both creator and viewer to go deeper, rather than cover an entire project or unit. They can expand on astonishing or unusual moments of learning or moments when learning gets stuck. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of exhibitions is that they focus on learning, not just what was done. Components of exhibits usually include photographs, text, children’s work and reflections, and adult analysis.