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The Smarter Spaces Inset Day

The Smarter Spaces Inset Day

The Smarter Spaces Inset Day - learner-led design

The Smarter Spaces Inset Day brought together a coalition of influential figures from the worlds of education, design and policymaking who believe in the power of classroom design to help support learning and teaching. These innovators not only shared their ideas, but also informed the development of the Smarter Spaces campaign commitments as we prepared to take it to the national level in 2016.

Commitment 1: empowering learners and teachers to take an active role in the design of their learning environment

Dr Sharon Wright (Director, Creative Wit) presented on how learner-led design works. Pupils from St Ives School, one of the two winning schools in the 2015 Young Designers Competition, also discussed their experience of learner led design. They talked about their whole school's enthusiasm for the competition - three groups of learners had wanted to take part who eventually ended up working together to design the winning entry. The learners also shared their excitement for the 2016 competition.

Dr Wright's and the pupils' comments allowed the group to consider that schools are most effective when they encourage those both within and outside of the school to participate in the decision-making process. Participants made the following suggestions to help the Smarter Spaces coalition to facilitate learner-led design:

1.Promoting online platforms that pupils and teachers can use to share their ideas on how they would like their learning environments to look - e.g. Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and how these might form part of the Smarter Spaces Learner-Teacher Council

2.Building learner-led design into the curriculum - e.g. guiding schools on how to incorporate the 2015 Young Designers Competition as part of the art curriculum.

3.Supporting teachers to facilitate learner-led design - e.g. creating materials to advise teachers on the process of learner-led design and forming partnerships with teacher training organisations.

Dulux is committed to ensuring that the Smarter Spaces campaign draws upon a broad range of people and that their diverse experiences and expertise feed into the understanding of the learning environment.

Doing so means that those who really matter are able to actively participate in driving the campaign forward. We would welcome your thoughts on how we can work together to grow understanding of Smarter Spaces while inspiring and supporting schools across the country to make the change in the years to come.