Planning Learning Spaces in practice
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 spaces that fully support their learning goals. The methodology works for schools who want to design new spaces or buildings, repurpose old ones or to successfully transition into spaces that have already been designed for them. A school may wish to build independent learning skills, encourage collaboration and exploration, personalise the learning experience, offer greater autonomy or become more inclusive: whatever the school’s vision, the Planning Learning Spaces Design methodology can help them create spaces that support the relevant learning activities and behaviours.
The PLS framework is being put into practice during a year-long research-led project at Trumpington Park Primary School in Cambridge, UK. Former head teacher and author Terry White is leading the project which includes Professor Peter Barrett – the author of the Clever Classrooms report – and the Gratnells Learning Rooms team. The school has been chosen as the first UK school and will also assess how the children and teachers cope with the restrictions of a Covid-19 classroom and establish parameters for how future classrooms could be adapted to meet the new requirements and also enhance learning.
Professor Peter Barrett and his team are already monitoring the children during this first term (Autumn 2020) and establishing how they cope, where they struggle, what could be improved and how generally the learning environment can be adapted to the situation and yet ensure the best possible learning outcomes for the children. This research-led project will take place between Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021.