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Jun 21, 2023

How do I use rulings to maximise learning in the classroom?

Exercise Books Rulings - Rhino Stationery

We know choosing an exercise book can be a very daunting task, if you've browsed our website or seen our catalogue, you'll already know that the choice of RHINO exercise books for schools is vast!

We stock a large range of exercise books in a variety of rulings, sizes, and colours - all of which are UK education-standard approved and of the highest quality you’d expect from RHINO - the stationery brand that teachers trust.

But how do you know which exercise book ruling is best for which subject and age group?

Our school exercise book guide below can help you decide!

Squared paper and squared exercise books can be used not just to improve maths skills, but for science and graph work.

Large squares, such as 10mm and 20mm are best when pupils are just starting out, for ages 4, 5, 6, and 7, in Years 1 or 2 for Key Stage 1 as the bigger squares will allow for extra room to write the numbers, equations, and for workings out!

You'll find a range of larger squared exercise books and paper, 10mm and 20mm in a variety of sizes:

  • 138 x 165mm
  • 8 x 4"
  • 8 x 6.5"
  • 9 x 7"
  • A4
  • 13 x 9"/ A4+
  • A3

Whilst smaller square ruled paper and exercise books, in rulings 5mm and 7mm, are more suitable for older children and pupils in Years 3 and up, ages 8, 9 10, and older, for Key Stage 2, 3, and 4.

  • 8 x 6.5"
  • 9 x 7" A5+
  • A4
  • 13 x 9" A4+

Have you considered a squared ruling with blank alternative pages? The plain page on the reverse of the squared can help pupils when they are taking notes during maths equations and formulas as well as drawing graphs and problem-solving!

Just because the subject is maths or science, squared isn't the only ruling that can be suitable, plain paper, and blank exercise books can also be extremely useful as well, as they can give children the freedom to map their workings out without worrying about keeping within the lines!

Exercise Book School 8x6 5 Squared Lifestyle - Rhino Stationery
Maths Squared Exercise Books & Paper

Which exercise books can improve pupils' handwriting?

Exercise books with handwriting lines are a great tool when your child is starting their journey with writing, they can help assist a pupil's confidence by providing a visual guide on how to create the correct proportions and spacing, leading to improvement of their handwriting and literacy skills.

You can find a number of our exercise books with handwriting lines in these sizes:

  • 6.5 x 8"
  • 8 x 6.5"
  • A4

Our handwriting books are also available in two different ruling sizes;


These learn-to-write exercise books have a generous, spacious guiding, the 6mm wide grey lines centered on 20mm red feints provide a larger space in which it’s easier to practice all-important proportions and spacing – and begin a lasting relationship with writing.


These early literacy books are a great tool to help your child learn how to write. With bold red and grey lines that encourage your child to write between the lines, providing the perfect guide on how to write for children and encourage handwriting improvement.

And don't forget our A4 Handwriting book can be used as an English subject book, perhaps in place of standard lined books to help encourage pupils when they are improving their handwriting skills.

Exercise Book School 6 5x8 Handwriting Lifestyle 1 - Rhino Stationery
Handwriting Exercise Books

Lined exercise books for schools are the most popular ruling type as they can be used in a variety of core subjects such as English, Languages, History, and Geography, to name but a few!

Our lined school exercise books are available with and without a margin, the most popular sizes are:

  • 9 x 7" / A5+
  • A4
  • 8 x 4"
  • 8 x 6.5"
  • A6+

Larger wide-lined rulings such as 15mm and 12mm feints are more suitable for younger pupils in Years 1 and 2, for Key Stage 1 as they allow extra space to write in between the lines.

Whilst the narrow-lined exercise book rulings, 6mm, 7mm, and 8mm, are ideal for making notes during lessons, as you can write on both sides of the paper. These are ideal for pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4 for writing, study, and workbooks.

If you are looking for a notebook instead of an exercise book for your pupil or perhaps for yourself, you can find A4 lined notebooks, A5 lined notebooks, lined notepads, and memo pads available on our website.

Exercise Book School 8x6 5 Lined with Margin Lifestyle - Rhino Stationery
Lined with Margin Exercise Books & Paper

Using Plain Exercise Books

Plain or blank exercise books and paper can seem a little overwhelming for a pupil at first, but blank exercise books provide the perfect starting canvas for mind-mapping ideas, making notes, drawings, and scribbles, whether it's for creative subjects such as art and design, crafts, or for storyboards.

Plain exercise books can be used as part of study workbooks for creating diagrams and mind-mapping. One of the best aspects of plain paper is that you can stick worksheets into them without worrying about the rulings showing through!

With a variety of different sizes for plain exercise books whatever you need, you have plenty of choices:

  • 8 x 4"
  • 9 x 7" / A5+
  • A4
  • A4+
Exercise Book School A4 8x6 5 Plain Lifestyle - Rhino Stationery
Plain Blank Exercise Books & Paper

Alternate ruled school books, or Top Plain/ Bottom Lined also called half-lined half-blank can be used for project workbooks, and for creating stories that require drawings as well as writing.

Let your child or pupil express their creative side with alternate lined and plain page books that are particularly suitable for Early Years Foundation Stages such as Nursery and Reception and Key Stage 1 and 2 children.

Exercise Book School A4 Alternate Ruling Lifestyle 2 - Rhino Stationery
Lined / Plain Alternate Ruling Exercise Books

Graph Ruling School Exercise Books

Graph exercise books and graph pads and paper can be used for science and maths, they are ideal for when you need to draw to scale, and conduct scientific equations as well as maths formulas, calculations, and problem-solving.

RHINO's selection of science graph books come in a choice of manilla covers, wipe-clean softback covers, or wipe-clean heavy polypropylene covers with 8mm feints and graph paper with alternate plain pages.

You can choose from our selection of 100 or 500 looseleaf graph paper pads, with or without punching holes.

Science - Rhino Stationery
Science and Graph Exercise Books and Paper

Music Ruling Educational Books and Flip Charts

Music can play a vital role in helping pupils' and children with developmental skills such as cognitive, memory, and creativity, as well as helping with anxiety and mental health.

To help develop music skills, exercise books are perfect for teaching, practicing, and learning music, you have a choice of 2 music-ruled exercise books, ruled with either 8mm or 7mm lines on one side and music 8 or 6-staves on the alternate pages.

You also have the choice of a music flip chart pad, which is the ideal educational tool for music teachers, the large A1 format is big, bold, and exciting for young minds to write and learn from.

To suit older pupils, college students, or university, our music refill pad has a 12-stave manuscript ruling, and it is a must-have for aspiring musicians.

Exercise Book School 8x6 5 Music Manuscript Lifestyle - Rhino Stationery
Music Manuscript Ruled Exercise Books, Pads and Flip Charts

Don't forget when you buy RHINO stationery you are helping to protect rhinos in the wild, as every purchase of a RHINO Stationery branded product, we donate to Save the Rhino International, helping to support rhino conservation.

As well as all of these other fantastic advantages that are part of the RHINO brand promise

Including benefitting from our 100% recycled manilla exercise book covers, using paper that is sourced from sustainable forests and we have switched from the plastic covering to a paper binding!


RHINO exercise books sustainability images 02 - Rhino Stationery
RHINO's Brand Promise