Making a reality of your vision

It is rewarding to see as we are developing our PLS process in practice, how reflecting on the vision of a school, defining current and next practice are key design drivers for the design of new spaces in schools.

This further supports the process of engaging all stakeholders around issues of design in schools. As part of the workshops we deliver, we understand how important it is to work with a range of school staff in order to gain a broad insight into the school’s vision. At both our pilot schools, we have worked with a range of teaching and support staff to ensure different voices are heard.

At Grey Lynn School (New Zealand), Principal Alicia Whata says “The school vision while easily spoken requires the leader of the school the principal to enact and make action of our vision. Our leadership team has been provided with incredible support and a very specific way of thinking so that systems and processes can support our people to make that vision a reality in our spaces. The Planning Learning Spaces Framework has provided an opportunity for us in our school to develop clarity around how the learning is organised here. The teachers in any school organisation have the greatest impact on whether an experience and learning are positive or negative, therefore the outcomes that we are seeking through the very specific ways that we’re thinking of working with Planning Learning Spaces has really forced us to think about what our practice used to look like in a single classroom in a single cell space and how we move to a collaborative environment. It’s truly a case of moving from ‘me’ to ‘we’.”

By taking staff through our school vision workshop, we are ensuring that the school values underpin the core design principles that are put into the new learning space. Deputy Principal at Grey Lynn School, Toni Jarmin, says “This valuable work is being systemized to ensure levels of accountability to drive our school vision for learning.”

Reflecting on the work her staff carried out as part of the PLS workshop, Alicia Whata explains the positive impact it is having on her staff to work with the school vision. “This work is very supportive in connecting how our teachers organize learning every day ensuring alignment with our school vision.”