Using Seating as a teacher

Getting the most out of the seating app

Ryan Baylis avatar
Written by Ryan Baylis
Updated over a week ago

Creating a Seating plan

Teachers can create Seating plans for their classes. To create a seating plan, navigate to My Classes, click Manage Class and go to Seating.

To begin, click on Create new plan at the top right of your page.

Enter a unique name for your plan.

Template: If Admin users at your school have created templates already, you can choose one of these and use the ready prepared desk layouts.

Copy existing layout: If you've already created seating plans for a different class and you'd like to use the desk layout again, search for the title of the existing plan using the drop down list. Every plan you've made will be visible here!

Create your own: Alternatively, you can create a new grid by choosing the amount of rows and columns you would like.

Click Create to confirm your settings and open your new plan.

Placing desks

Click the Desks button at the top left; a menu of desks will appear on the right of your screen showing you all of your options.

Add new desks by dragging them from the desk menu onto your plan.

Once placed, you can remove desks by clicking the 'x' on their top right corner.

If you'd like to remove or relocate desks later in your plan, simply click the Desks button again to continue moving them.

Seat labelling tool

Click the Students button at the top left of your plan to open the student menu.

Pinned to the top of your student list, you will find the seat labelling tool; this allows you to reserve seats on your plan for other purposes and ensure that they are not used by students.

By default, it will say 'Reserved seat' in a blue colour, however you can click on the text to personalise it, then press enter when you're done. Choose your preferred colour and then drag and drop as many of these labels onto the plan as you'd like.

You can change the text and colour of your label as many times as you like to meet various needs i.e. reserved seat, teaching assistant, social distancing etc.

If you click the green plus on an empty seat, your current label setup will be available and you can position the label this way too!

Placing students

To quickly add students to your plan, use the orange Autofill button located within the Fill tab of the student menu.

You can also drag and drop students on the plan or click the green plus icon on each seat and then choose which student you'd like to place.

The students' inclusion groups are displayed on the student list; you can filter by category to easily seat these students or type their name into the search bar to locate them.

Once students are seated in the plan, you can drag and drop them to change their seats. To swap two seated students, simply drag one on top of the other and they will switch places.

If you make a mistake, hover over the student's image and click on the 'x' to remove them from the desk and place them back in the Students menu, ready to be re-seated.

If you'd like to relocate students again later, simply click the Students button to continue moving them.

Prioritise and sort your plan

Click the Sort tab at the top of your Students menu to prioritise an inclusion group; this brings all students in that inclusion group to be seated at the front of the class. 

You can sort your plan in various ways including:

  • Random

  • Boy/Girl

  • Surname A-Z

  • Surname Z-A

If you randomise your plan or apply any other sorting options, your seat labels will will not move, ensuring that your plan structure remains in tact. For this reason, it's a good idea to place your labels first and then seat and sort your students afterwards!

Welfare Notes / Student notes

Welfare Notes:

If your school uses Satchel One's Welfare Notes app, you will be able to surface and create new Welfare Notes via your Seating plans by clicking the 'i' when hovering over a student.

You will be notified about any newly shared Welfare Notes that you haven't read yet by a blue pulsing dot; it will appear beside your students to draw your attention to them. Simply click on the student's image to catch up on the newest information.

Student notes:

If your school does not use Welfare Notes, you will still be able to log information about students in your Seating plans.

Click i to view or add notes for a student, for e.g. "Works better at the front of the class". These notes will appear on this Seating plan only and can be viewed by any colleagues that visit your plan.

Student notes have a 255 character limit.

Additional options

Click on the Additional options button to layer extra data on your plan.

Schools using the Satchel One Behaviour app can show points on their plans.

SIMS schools that have included Assessment on their Data permission settings can add assessment results on their plans.

You can choose to view student inclusion data directly on your plan too.


When in Edit mode, you have some actions available on the top right corner.

Fullscreen: Fullscreen removes the drag and drop section and the names of the filtered categories. Any additional information you have surfaced on the plan will be removed; this is a 'safe mode' of the plan that can be projected in the classroom without revealing any personal information.

Assessment: (SIMS only) Allows teachers to select 4 pieces of assessment to display on their plan.

Edit the grid: Allows you to increase and decrease the number of rows and columns. If you have desks and students outside the new grid, they will be returned to their respective menus.

Duplicate: Teachers can create a duplicate of the plan for that class. This allows them to keep the current plan and make minor adjustments to a new one. Plans can be duplicated to another class you teach; in this case only the desk layout is copied and students will not be carried over.

Flip plan: This will flip the view from the front to the back of the class.

Remove Students: Removes any seated students from the plan and returns them to the Students menu, ready to be seated again.

Delete: Delete the seating plan; all data will be lost, including any standard student notes (Welfare Notes will not be affected).

Export and Print

Seating plans can be exported for your personal use and shared with your examining body or your students to help them remember their seats.

You can export a seating plan by clicking the 'Export' button in the action bar.

Use the orientation drop-down to choose whether your plan will be exported on a portrait or landscape page.

The page size drop-down allows you select A4, A3 or even A2 for larger plans. 

The 'Actual size' option can be used to set the width and height of the exported PDF to match the dimensions of your plan.

The additional options check boxes can be used to display more info on your exported plan.

Top tip: You can always use the 'Actual Size' page size to obtain a digital copy of plans that may not fit on traditional paper sizes.

Viewing saved plans

All seating plans are automatically saved in the Seating screen of each class. You can go back to view and edit seating plans for your classes by returning to the Seating section under your class at any time; you'll also be able to view plans other teachers have put in place for classes you are linked to.

You may create several seating plans for the same class, and even use different settings for each for e.g. each plan can display different aspects and assessment results.

If you'd like to see the plan for a class you don't usually teach, you can use the 'Search for students and classes' bar at the top right of your Satchel One screen; type in the class name, go to the Seating tab and view the plan you need!




Can I see Seating plans made by my colleagues?

Yes, absolutely! If you'd like to see the plan for a class you don't usually teach, you can use the 'Search for students and classes' bar at the top right of your Satchel One screen; type in the class name, go to the Seating tab and view the plan you need!

Can other people see the unshared Welfare Notes I have made for my own personal reference via my Seating plans?

Yes; when exporting a plan staff will see the option to also include any shared Welfare Notes related to this plan and / or any unshared notes written by the author of this plan.

What happens when I duplicate a plan.

Duplicating a plan allows you to utilise any plans that you or your colleagues have created by copying the desk layout. This layout can then be used for any other class across the school. If you would like to duplicate this plan and use it for the same class group, you will also carry the students across in their seats automatically.

What happens if a new student joins my class?

They will be in the students list ready to be seated. If you need to, edit the grid to add another row or column to accommodate them.

How can I view more of my plan on my screen?

You can zoom out on your browser and you can also collapse the navigation panel by clicking the icon at the very top.

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