Our Planning Learning Spaces in Practice project at Grey Lynn school, New Zealand, has continued to support the staff in re-thinking and further developing the critical links between pedagogy and space in their new collaborative learning environments.

The staff and students have moved from single cell, teacher-directed group organisation into open collaborative spaces.

This left the new principal, Alicia Whata, with the challenge of transitioning staff and learners from their existing practices based around a ‘single- cell’ approach to working in more open and collaborative spaces in their new learning zones.

Headteacher, Alicia Whata, identified that in order to effectively work collaboratively in the new spaces and ensure that all learners and staff benefit from the learning gains of the new design, they would need to go through a process of reflection around their current and future learning practice and the new ways they would need to organise the learning.

Grey Lynn’s school vision focuses on three main areas; Learning, collaboration and future-focused. With this in mind, collaboration was a key area that all staff wanted to ensure they developed in the new design brief for the learning spaces.

After having taken all key staff through the PLS framework with the support from Project Director Terry White and lead facilitator Sandra Jenkins, the staff feel ready to use their new learning and design model more effectively. Staff from the school have commented, “We appreciate the opportunities that the PLS process and workshops have given us to reflect and discuss the issues that impact teaching and learning in our learning hub, and to collaboratively generate solutions to any challenges”.

Deputy Principal, Otelani Kiata says “This strategic work has given the leadership team opportunities to dive deep to ensure that we have the systems in place that give traction to the why, the how and the what we do, ensuring all aspects align with our vision statement to “Learn today to Shape Tomorrow”.

As part of the PLS UK Core team, I am pleased to see that our PLS process is having such a profound effect on the way teachers deliver lessons at Grey Lynn School. Our goal from day one has been to ensure all school staff have a voice when it comes to the design of learning spaces and to feel empowered to make changes. This is the case at Grey Lynn and it’s great to see plans being adapted for future learning.

Next week I will be taking you back to our project at Trumpington Park Primary School, here in the UK, to talk with staff about their thoughts on the newly designed space.

Bhavini Pandya Gratnells Learning Rooms Leader and Lead Project Facilitator
Bhavini Pandya