Re-designing a learning space is not something that is left to just school leaders and designers. The students must be involved in order to feel part of the process. Our PLS Design Framework relies on the thoughts of the students at different stages so that we can ensure their ideas are incorporated into the new space.
After completing the new learning space at Trumpington Park Primary School (UK), the PLS team and school staff were keen to find out what the students thought about their new learning environment.
Reflecting on the whole space, students commented;
‘It’s more spacious and we have a new smaller room that you can go into. It’s good in this room because you can work with different people at different times, and you can be quiet there.’
The new space has been designed with specific learning zones and these are proving to be impactful with the learning activities taking place. There are now more spaces for students to work collaboratively, which was a key focus for the school.
‘I like the ‘cubby’ because it can be made quieter because of using the soundproof screen but we still feel part of our class.’
‘I love our triangular tables because you can write on the table and it helps me develop my ideas as we discuss things in our lesson. You can move them around and work in different groups and teams and I have worked with more people now and understood more things.’
‘Our round table is good to go to for group discussions and when we need more help.’
‘We love working together on our small round table because we can flip it over and use it as a whiteboard to share our work.’
The learning space has now given students more choices in terms of where they want to go and learn. Specific kit was chosen to allow students to work in different size groups depending on the learning activity. In addition to tables, we also guided the school through making different seating options to give their students more variety. All of this has allowed the students to take more ownership of the way they learn.
‘I like the high table because you do not always have to sit down when you work, and standing up for some of my work helps me concentrate. Sometimes I sit on the stools and they are good because are very comfortable.’
‘I like working on the high table because it helps me think differently about what we are doing and being high up feels good.’
‘I like the bean bags next to our write on wall because you can relax and work at different heights at the same time.’
‘Our grass benches are good because you can easily find a place when the class needs to come together and they are great to sit and read on.’
Hearing directly from the students about their thoughts on the new space is so important. It shows that the learning environment is having a profound impact on their learning and achievements. The PLS team are incredibly pleased to see the staff and students settling in so well in the new space and we look forward to hearing more about how the new class use it in the next academic year.