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Behind the Prep Room Door at St John Henry Newman Catholic School

Behind the Prep Room Door at St John Henry Newman Catholic School

In this series, we unlock the door to the science department’s concealed treasure, as science technicians across the UK and Ireland reveal their preparations, setup, and valuable techniques for an efficient prep room.


Launching the showcase is technician duo, Science Technician Cheryl Miller and Principal Specialist Technician Emma Dent from St John Henry Newman Catholic School, a small secondary school in sunny Carlisle!


How would you describe your prep room set-up and layout?

Cheryl: We have a large prep room with shelving to store equipment and good size chemical cupboard. We keep some practicals already made up in Gratnells trays/ boxes and use trolleys to wheel practicals to and from the prep room to the classrooms.
Emma: Bright, organised and clean with a bit of crazy 🤪 in the mix!

What is your favourite part of your prep room?

Emma: The chemical store.
Cheryl: Our prep room door is always nicely decorated with inspiring displays for our students including scientist of the week and cool careers in science.

What is needing some TLC or improvement in your prep room?

Cheryl: Gratnells racks to store trays in with prepared practicals would be amazing! An industrial dishwasher! We would also love a circuit trolley…
Emma: We really could do with some more shelving…

With that in mind, what would you add to your prep room if you had an unlimited budget?

Cheryl: A circuit trolley or class sets of everything to make life a bit easier when turning equipment over.
Emma: Oh I do dream of a colour coordinated wall of Gratnell trays……

What is your top tip, advice, or essential must-have for someone setting up or inheriting a prep room?

Emma: Make it your own and be super organised. You need to know where everything is in 0.01 of a second when someone comes screaming in for the glass thistle funnel!
Cheryl: We also ask the teachers for a requisition sheet for practicals a week in advance so we are always preparing a week ahead this works really well for us! A prep room inventory of where everything lives is also really useful to have.


Thanks Emma and Cheryl, for sharing with us your amazing prep room, tips and set up – a LaBLiFe lab coat patch is on its way!

Want to showcase your prep room? Get involved here.

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