The Xinjiang Class (Xinjiang neidi ban, or Xinjiangban) has far-reaching implications for Beijing's governance of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Existing literature has focused primarily on the Uyghur–Han dichotomy, with limited attention being paid to the actual multi-ethnic interactions that constitute the situated dynamics of policy implementation. Utilizing the notions of the space of prescription and the space of negotiation to develop an analytical framework, this paper argues that social relations in the Xinjiangban are ongoing constructions borne by everyday experiences of domination and negotiation, and that space is constitutive of this situated dynamic. Based on nearly four years of research at a Xinjiangban, we make a case for the fluidity and incoherence of the implementation of the Xinjiangban policy. Those who implement it at the school level produce a space of prescription that deploys specific spatial–temporal arrangements to manage expressions of ethnic identity. Driven by the need to achieve upward mobility, minority students are open-minded about the Han- and patriotism-centred education. However, they use innovative and improvised tactics to create spaces of negotiation to re-assert their ethnicities. In the Xinjiangban, minority students do comply with spaces of prescription, but they simultaneously keep their ethnic and religious practices alive.