Schools and governments around the world are starting to recognise that learning spaces have a significant impact on academic attainment. There is a growing body of research showing that classrooms purposefully designed to support the learning activities that go on in them, rather than ‘one size fits all’ boxes, provide clear benefits to learners and teachers. For schools that want to improve their learning environments, but need support with the process of change, help is at hand from the team behind the best-selling book Planning Learning Spaces.
The Planning Learning Spaces Design Framework helps schools to translate their educational vision into learning space design principles, enabling them to create new, or refurbish existing, spaces that actively support their learning goals. Schools are guided through a reflective process, building the link between curriculum and design through a structured framework. Focusing on the school’s vision, values and ethos, the process helps translate learning behaviours and activities into design principles. The process builds consensus throughout the teaching staff and the wider school community to support sustained change, empowering schools to be creators of a new, ongoing relationship between pedagogy and space.
Our message is simple “you can’t successfully design education spaces unless you fully understand the learning and teaching practices they need to support”.
The Planning Learning Spaces team along with Gratnells Learning Rooms and Professor Peter Barrett, have chosen a primary school based in Cambridge to be the first in the UK to pilot this project. Trumpington Park Primary School along with four other schools, belong to the Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET). As a Multi-Academy Trust, the schools within CPET have a passion for sharing great teaching practice with one another, to in turn, provide excellence for all their students. Trumpington Park Primary school welcomes children from the surrounding areas and is currently open to children in Reception to Year 4. As the school is newly built, it is not yet full to capacity. This means the school has flexibility in terms of the rooms they use for teaching and learning.
The PLS team are excited to be launching the project here in the UK and by working with a school that not only celebrates change, but also learns from it, will prove meaningful in the journey we embark on.
We will be bringing you regular updates as the project unfolds at Trumpington Park Primary School.