10 ways to deal with pupils who have forgotten equipment


Forgotten equipment may be due to complacency, lack of organisational skills or lack of resources at home. Either way, it might seem far less significant than many of the challenges you are facing, but left unchallenged, it can cause significant disruption to learning, prevent pupils from taking responsibility for themselves and cost you your pen collection! Here are our best strategies for dealing with forgotten equipment.


  1. Keep textbooks and exercise books in the classroom and photocopy pages for homework.
  2. Pens and other equipment – Offer to lend them some of your equipment in return for ‘collateral’ such as a watch, phone, piece of jewellery or shoe!
  3. Encourage pupils to borrow from each other
  4. Praise everyone who has brought their equipment and explain why it helps so much when they do.
  5. If lack of organisational skills is the issue get your pupils to write a checklist, tell them to stick it to their bedroom wall and teach them to look at it every morning before leaving for school.
  6. Write a reminder on a strip of paper, wrap it around the pupil’s wrist and staple the paper together like a bracelet.
  7. Get the parents/carers involved and show them the checklist.
  8. Have a resource box of pens that are marked (pink nail varnish tends to be a good deterrent).
  9. Keep a clear record in a book or wall chart and refer to how many times a pupil has forgotten equipment that month.
  10. Ask the pupils at the end of each day what they need to remember the next day