Remembering Pupils’ Names

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Hanna Beech

Hanna Beech has been teaching for ten years and has a range of experience across Key Stages 1 and 2 in a large Primary School in Kent. She is a phase leader for Years 3 and 4, and also leads on teaching and learning for...
Read more about Hanna Beech

Can you remember everyone’s names?

Struggling to learn the names of your new pupils? Getting someone’s name wrong or forgetting it isn’t ideal! Try these quick methods to help you learn your pupils’ names in a flash.

What’s in a name?

  1. Go around the class, asking pupils to say their name out loud. Give out name cards to the pupils randomly. Ask a pupil to stand up and read the name card. You then have to take the card from them and give it to the correct person. The card holder can direct you with ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ clues.
  2. Ask pupils to state their name to the group and an animal or food that starts with the same letter. For example ‘I’m Ellie, elephant and eggs’. This might help to make associations!
  3. Ask the pupils to state their name to the group and link this with a famous person. For example, the pupil would say ‘My name is Henry’ and you can say ‘Like Henry VIII?’.
  4. Start with name cards. Put them in a pile and pick one, calling out the name. In round 1, the child has to stand up and shout ‘I am… ‘. In round 2, the table with that child all cheer and the teacher can choose which child it is from that table. In round 3, the pupils stay silent and the teacher has to place the card with the correct child.

Why is this a good strategy?

Building rapport with pupils is extremely important and that all begins with knowing their names. These methods are fun and will also help build class rapport.


Refer to pupils by their names as often as possible. Once you know first names, move to surnames next!

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