Back to school means back to basics for signage

With the school bell close to ringing in the end of the summer, back to school means getting back into a routine for teachers, students and their parents.

For your pupils, the six-week break will have given them the chance to enjoy a newfound sense of freedom. They’ll be well rested and relaxed enough to get back to school, reunite with their friends and be ready to learn at the start of a brand new term.

But the learning doesn’t just land with the students.

A new school year brings the opportunity for teachers to learn innovative ways of educating and engaging with their pupils. 

One way you can help your students to learn, stay safe and express themselves this term is by embracing signage across the school and classroom.

Whether it’s cleverly explaining important safety notices, helping them learn their ‘ABC’s’ or giving them the freedom to express their creativity, we think signs need a gold star!

So, what do we need school signs to do? 

If you’re ready to embrace some new signage across your school, it’s important to understand the purpose of each of the signs you create.

Signs can be used as a versatile way of showing the following information:

  • to share information with pupils - it’s important that children learn to follow rules at school. So promoting good school etiquette, such as ‘no running in the hall’, through signage is an effective way of grabbing their attention, and helping them to remember right from wrong.
  • to aid in learning and rewards - signs can be used in a classroom to help children to visualise and memorise important facts and information. Whether it’s times tables, spellings or history dates, signs on boards are a great way to promote a child’s long term memory. Laminating and pinning a child’s piece of work onto a classroom board is also a great reward for youngsters!
  • to personalise the students’ work spaces - all children love to have a space that’s their own. So setting up a creative task to design their own name sheet for their desk will definitely grab their attention. Once they’ve had some fun creating their design, it can be laminated, cut out and blu tacked to their desk space.
  • allow the children to express their creativity - similarly to the point above, students will love creating their own signs. It will give them the chance to have fun with all sorts of materials, like glitter, coloured pens and other embellishments, for some wonderful decorations for the school hall, corridors and reception for everyone to enjoy.
  • and most importantly for health and safety warnings - the importance of health and safety signage goes without saying, but making these bright and bold will ensure your pupils actually pay attention to them. 

All these ideas show just how important it is for teachers and school leaders to promote the use of effective signage in schools and classrooms. There also plenty of online resources, including printables, that your students can colour in and you can share around key locations across the school.

And what’s the use of having clear, concise and creative signs, without looking after them?

When you create your new signage it’s important to keep them clean and looking professional throughout its lifespan. One way you can do this is by laminating your signs.

And you thought signs had plenty of uses? Well, laminated documents make them even better.

Laminating your signs

When you laminate your paper, you’re not just keeping it in good condition to last for months upon months. Laminating your sheets means you can keep your pupil’s workspace clean and free from mess.

We’d always recommend investing in a high quality laminator to make sure you provide a premium finish for any signage. Having your own laminator also means you can laminate your student’s work or documents whenever you need to at just the click of a button.

What you may not know is that there are different types of laminating pouches that have different uses. The finish of your laminate sheet allows you to select an option that’s the most suitable for your needs.

Gloss finish laminating pouches are the perfect solution to ensure your documents and signs stay clean and help to stop the spread of bacteria. This is because of the products premium finish, allowing them to easily be wiped down with some antibacterial spray.

Gloss laminating pouches are also perfect for you to jot down notes on and customise. Any words or scribbles can be removed quickly and easily when using erasable whiteboard pens. So, you can just wipe clean, and you’re ready to go again.

That means you’re even saving on paper, as there’s no need for reprinting.

Peel and stick pouches are also a great option when you need to place signs in key locations around the classroom or across the school.

If you’re looking to reinforce certain health and safety guidelines or make sure pupils take care to not run in the hall, for example, peel and stick pouches are very effective.

They can be placed on windows or ceramic surfaces, particularly in areas that have a high footfall, so students can notice them, and therefore really pay attention to the important information. What’s more, they also don’t make a mess when removed!

For signage outside of the classroom, you’re going to need a solution to keep your posters intact in all sorts of weather conditions.

Our innovative new poster kit, which include pre-punched laminating sheets and safe in-line ties, allows you to place laminate signs on fences, school gates or lamp posts around the school with complete ease.

For parents and students that need reminding to stay safe from passing traffic at pickup time, or to enforce safety to students when queuing up to leave for home, these poster kits are a great solution.

Teachers can laminate their sign and fix it in place in minutes, giving you more time to look after your students, whilst still keeping them safe.

Signs are extremely important to utilise in a school environment, as children need to constantly be reminded to stay safe - don’t forget, they are children after all.

A summer holiday is a great time to re-evaluate all the signs you currently have placed up across the school too.

As much as adding new signage to your school walls is a great idea, it’s also important to consider that too many signs can be just as confusing for youngsters.

To combat this confusion, make sure that any signs are placed reasonably far apart from each other, and don’t bombard students with too much information.

Ensure back to school is as stress-free as possible by looking into the latest signage available ahead of the return to school, or give the children a chance to embrace their creativity by letting them create their own!

Be sure to check out our full range of laminating options available to ensure your signs are up to scratch this September!

Covid-safe signage in schools

We’ve now just about got the knack of navigating the ‘new normal’ in all walks of life, from social distancing in the supermarket, to masking up before we hit the high street. 

But, as the new school year looms, it’s important to enforce safety precautions for pupils and their parents in the playground, classroom and beyond.

And this is just another way that signage can help to promote adherence to safety regulations in schools. By placing informative and eye-catching signs in key locations across the school and the playground will help you to ensure you’re doing all you can to follow government regulations.

Here are some examples of signs we think are a great idea for the new school term:

School gate safety

Parents are used to chatting at the school gates, but those days are a dim and distant memory -  for the foreseeable future, at least. 

We understand that all parents and pupils alike will be in a rush to get back to normality and in the madness of the school run, keeping Covid-safe may not always be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

But it’s highly important that staff clearly place government guideline documents in key locations around the school to ensure adherence to Covid safety regulations. 

You want this signage to be seen. So placing them in high footfall areas or drop off points around the playground, on the school gates or visible ahead of the school entrance will remind staff, pupils and parents to social distance.

If you plan to position your posters outdoors, a bit of sticky tape or blu tack won’t do the trick. Keeping your important documents in place is vital, so using our built-in laminating poster kit with in-line ties will mean your poster stays dry, clean and secured.

‘Handy’ signs for handwashing

It’s important to promote handwashing in toilets, particularly for younger children, by signposting this clearly in and around the area. 

As we are all aware, handwashing was a key government guideline to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. This means that creating signage to remind pupils to thoroughly wash their hands for at least twenty seconds is vital to help stop the virus in its tracks.

A great idea we’ve seen is to make signs that allow children to sing a verse or chorus of a well-known song or nursery rhyme to equal the time of 20 seconds. If they wash their hands to the song, they know they’ll have spent enough time washing their hands.

Here are some examples of handwashing signs we love.

Food for thought - signs for the kitchen

Back in the summer when the schools returned after lockdown, children were urged to bring packed lunches to school in an effort to reduce Coronavirus cases.

When we return to schools in September, we’re still not sure on the official guidance as to whether kitchens will be reopening, but if they do, it’s good to be prepared.

Signs in the kitchen are a requirement to ensure that staff follow health and safety guidelines. Whether it’s to promote regular handwashing or cleaning signs to reduce slips or trips, we’d recommend using magnetic backing pouches.

Magnetic backing pouches are the perfect option to ensure signs stick to metallic surfaces. This means they are perfect for kitchens, as they can be placed on fridges and metal surfaces, which are often busy locations in this type of work area.

They can also be easily wiped down and cleaned, which is perfect for a kitchen area that is prone to food spillages and mess.

A friendly welcome in the reception

School receptions are usually very busy, high traffic areas. If it’s not a parent, student or member of staff, office staff are inundated with visitors in their space on a daily basis.

So to keep to social distancing guidelines and ensure there are only a certain number of people in the reception at a time, it’s important to clearly signpost this around the area.

We’d recommend the brilliant Peel and Stick laminate pouches for this type of signage, as they are easy to use and stick to a wide variety of different surfaces. From glass, tiles, metal and marble, all you need to do is peel off the film backing, and stick to make sure you are promoting safety in your busy reception area.

Staff wellbeing

We’ve all been affected by the recent pandemic in some form or other. So it’s important that teachers feel like they have support from their managers and staff.

You could consider placing wellbeing signs in the staff room to give tips on how to deal with the worry of going back to school whilst the pandemic is still prevalent. These can be placed on a notice board or on the backs of doors, so they are clearly visible for teachers to reach out if they need to talk.

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