‘We went beyond asking ‘how can we tinker with what we’ve already got?’ to ‘what would the perfect space look and feel like?’’, says Janet Hayward, Headteacher of Cadoxton Primary School. The school initially applied this approach to its Year 6 classrooms and has since rolled the model out across the whole school, making adaptations as they go but sticking to its basic approach of:
- Clutter-free spaces with minimal furniture to allow for flexibility;
- Eight computer workstations at the back of each classroom;
- A ‘magic paint’ white wall to allow for teacher demonstration as well as projecting iPad work via Apple TVs and co-constructing learning; and
- Sofas and bean bags as well as table and chair configurations that can be used flexibly.
The transformation in the school’s learning environments has been a ‘process that has gone hand-in-hand with transforming the entire learning experience’. The school has worked with learners, teachers and many other partners which has impacted on its Key Stage 2 results moving from a Core Subject Indicator of 60% to 90%.
Behaviour and happiness has also dramatically improved as has attendance, which has increased from 90% to 94.5%. Four years into this journey of change, Ms Hayward says the challenge is ‘to keep the revolution moving - working with our pupils to provide them with the best spaces to allow them to achieve their very best’.