This paper reports on a pilot study trialling the implementation of a successful pedagogical approach, used for actively engaging undergraduate university students in mathematics, into a high school mathematics classroom. At our university, 'Whiteboard Room' tutorials where students work (sometimes in pairs) on standard whiteboards which line all four walls of the classroom, rather than individually at desks, have been common practice for many years. This pilot study investigated if working in a whiteboard room would be similarly engaging for secondary school students. Utilising the university's teaching facilities, a pilot study of Year 8 and 9 students' affective and behavioural engagement was undertaken. Observations of students' on-task behaviours in mathematics lessons conducted in a 'whiteboard room' were compared with those evidenced in a standard desk room. Students were surveyed about their experiences and affective responses, and their classroom teacher was interviewed to gain insights into his perceptions of the learning experiences and his students' engagement in both rooms. Students evidenced considerably more active on-task behaviours in the whiteboard room than the regular desk classroom and reported more positive affective responses to their whiteboard room experiences. The classroom teacher identified a range of positive pedagogical benefits of the whiteboard room and was impressed by his students' active engagement. This pilot study was developed to orient subsequent phases of data collection and to explore possible implications for further research and instruction. Whiteboard room experiences were so positive for actively engaging these students that their high school has since installed a whiteboard room.