What are the benefits of having learning zones within a collaborative learning space?
• Designated activity areas.
• Students learn and embed new skills in these zones.
• Opportunities for collaboration between students.
• Teachers and support staff can work with smaller groups.
• Equipment and resources assigned to specific areas of the learning space.
• Gives students the option of where they want to work.
• Appropriate for a range of learning and teaching styles.
Zoning up a learning space is important because it allows students and teachers to have defined yet flexible areas to work in. Each of these zones allow students to complete tasks with specific skills and use the appropriate resources that they may require.
When taking staff at Trumpington Park Primary School through our PLS Design Framework, it was clear that they wanted to include a variety of different learning zones within their new space. In order to do this, they were aware that each zone had to be carefully designed with the correct kit in mind, for the activities taking place.
Learning activities are at the centre of our PLS framework so it is crucial that these can be done effectively in any given space. The Year 4 teachers felt that their new space had to give their students the option of how, where and with whom they wanted to complete a given task. With this in mind, both myself and Project Director, Terry White, worked with the staff to first identify the types of learning activities they wanted to ensure were being done properly in the space and then we further developed this in order to choose specific kit that would allow the activity to take place.
In the new learning space at Trumpington Park Primary School, staff have now got zones for independent, paired and group work, in addition to practical, quiet and an ICT area which they didn’t have before.
All these zones will give students the options of where they want to work and also allow them to choose the type of furniture that best suits their learning needs.
Next week we will be heading back to New Zealand where our Facilitator, Doug Crutch, will be heading to Oranga School who started our PLS journey a few months back. We look forward to hearing how the staff are getting on and the changes they are going to put into place for their new learning spaces.