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Big Spaces within schools are changing

The objectives and principles of the Curriculum for Excellence require space use to be challenged on a variety of levels – providing an environment that fosters the development of our young people The following are changes and themes that DEGW has identified and will have impact of the use of Big Spaces within schools.


our remit is to look at big spaces

At degw our remit was to look on ‘big spaces’ and consider how they can form part of a flexible spatial framework through which the objectives and principles of the curriculum can be developed. This work was a continuation of the Sense of Place study. next

click to see our design response on big spaces in the ‘Sense of Place’ study


our remit is to look at big spaces

at degw our remit was to look on ‘big spaces’ and consider how they can form part of a flexible spatial framework through which the objectives and principles of the curriculum can be developed. ‘big spaces’ are:1. more than dining, performance, exercise and assembly space. 2. spaces to come together both formally and informally, socially and academically, in large or small groups 3. in between spaces, which can support independent and student led learning activities


our response: at degw our response is to ask:1.! what types of big spaces support emerging learning styles and patterns 2. what is the changing role of big space across the whole school experience 3. could big space be the ‘glue’ across the learning experience. As the child grows and the learning objectives change, could the use of these valued spaces smooth transitions between key learning stages and beyond?


our response:

big spaces are containers for people and stuff‌‌


big spaces are containers for people and stuff‌‌ stuff: the settings and components that support flexible learning environments, both for individual and collaborative settings.


big spaces: what are the characteristics of the box? ‌.containers can be little or big


big spaces: what are the characteristics of the box? ‌. closed or open

closed

permeable

open


and how many big boxes do we need within a school?

How do we determine what is a big space and what is a small space in our schools? Are there better ways to establish the best size, shape and characteristics of our learning spaces?


and did anyone stop to ask: what’s in the box?

DEGW has developed a range of tools to help schools define their particular requirements that reflect their learning aspirations. These requirements vary depending on a range of influences ranging from local context, curriculum, teacher grouping, student grouping etc. All these interrelated factors inform specific spatial requirements that are different for each school – there is not a single solution choice. To find out more about the tools we use to understand what is happening inside schools, follow the links to Project Faraday at the end of the presentation

to design better big spaces in our schools, first we must ask: 1. what is happening in learning and how is it changing? (model) 2. what will you be doing? (activities) 3. what sort of size and type space will be most effective? (characteristics)


how can we determine the right mix ‌.

box groups of up to 30

double box:groups of up to 60

big box:groups of up to 100

flex box:Groups of over 100


so what is changing and why does it matter? From our work with others, we know there are a number of changes which directly impact upon the role of big space in our schools. The following provides a snapshot of just some of the changes and the implications we see: learning changes

spatial changes

1.! progression: shifts towards progression by stage, more independent learning 2.! teacher role: more facilitation, less didactic 3.! curriculum: more diverse mix of subject based, interdisciplinary studies and thematic based learning. 4.! timetable: longer sessions, half day / full day timetabling 5.! teaching: increase in paired / team teaching 6.! student groupings: double class / larger groups becoming more common 7.! core model: shifts towards more learner centric models

1.! large group teaching – spaces in which to hold teacher-led activities with large groups 2.! break-out areas - spaces for smaller group and individual activities to complement large group activities 3.! learning commons – spaces in which to accommodate half-year and other large groups, often for short periods at the start and/or the end of classes. 4.! learning schools – providing clusters of related and complementary subjects, with access to shared common facilities. 5.! learning hubs – spatial and virtual links between different ‘learning schools’ 6.! personalised learning – spaces for independent student led learning activities.


… because you might need a type of different box From our work with schools mapping changes in learning, pedagogy and activities exploring the spatial characteristics with users leads us to the understanding that these changes have a significant impact on how we design space. from this

to this The spatial requirements mapped using our methodologies look very different to those using traditional briefing activities. The implications are that we will be using the same space in a different way in order to meet with curricular change.

* Based on our experience working with schools in the UK over the last 2 years

In particular, the requirement for ‘big spaces’ is growing ….


what are we doing inside our big spaces what are the activities which are important and require ‘big spaces’ to be delivered most effectively? small group large group performing talking eating assembly listening

+

debating making presenting reading thinking talking

individual library / lrc debating researching reading documenting thinking


there are 3 emerging types of big space in schools: Flex Zone

Fully flexible event space: performance, assembly dining, social. High degree of flexibility – readily adaptable to suit a variety of requirements Major boundaries, enhanced technology, versatile atmosphere. Major flexibility and adaptability required. Whole school use.

Learning Zone

Adaptable space to suit a variety of teaching style and group sizes, while also supporting individual learning Minor boundaries, basic to advanced technology, versatile atmosphere. Spaces assigned to functional groups, which may be disciplinary / cross disciplinary / cross year to support thematic study

Knowledge Zone

Individual or small group shared knowledge space. Central resource area with fully enabled technology wide accessibility and external links Minor boundaries, individual & collaborative groupings, basic technology but fully enabled, informal student-led learning. Moderate flexibility requirements. Whole school use.


students of all ages will use the range of spaces: Flex Zone multi-flex

Learning Zone

hub

activities hub

Knowledge Zone

subject hub

knowledge park

learning common


there are 3 emerging types of big space in schools: For links to large multi purpose flexible spaces which might form part or the Flex Zone, click here

Learning Zone, click on the diagrams to see more

hubs

activities hub

The Knowledge Zone has not been developed as part of this study

subject hubs

learning common


learning zone models: learning hubs early years hubs double box, contained

back


learning zone models: learning hubs activities hubs double box, permeable

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back


learning zone models: learning hubs subject hubs double box, contained

`

back


learning zone models: learning hubs learning commons big box, contained


thank you


Conceptual Conceptualframework: framework_visuals visuals//ideas ideaswork workin inprogress progress


Conceptual Conceptualframework: framework_visuals visuals//ideas ideaswork workin inprogress progress


Conceptual visuals / the ideas work in progress Conceptualframework: framework testing settings


thank you


Conceptual visuals / the ideas work in progress Conceptualframework: framework testing settings


Conceptual visuals / the ideas work in progress Conceptualframework: framework testing settings


Conceptual visuals / settings ideas work in progress Conceptualframework: framework testing


Conceptual Conceptualframework: framework_visuals visuals//ideas ideaswork workin inprogress progress


The Outcomes – A summary Group Size

Individual

Small Group

Large Group

Function

Learning

Learning & Social

Social & Pastoral

Library & LRC:

Debating Researching Reading Thinking Documenting

Small Group Setting (Academic)

Debating Making Presenting Reading Thinking

Dining:

Eating Talking

Individual Breakout Space:

Reading Thinking

Small Group Setting (Social):

Talking

Assembly:

Listening

Activities & Pedagogies

Formal

Informal

Informal

Low change & flexibility over time

Medium change & flexibility over time

High change & flexibility over time

Not age sensitive

Design Principles

Den – micro space Protected – slightly enclosed / recess space Small, quite, comfortable, Inspiring without being personalised Possibly fixed elements – lighting control

Age sensitive

Ability to control the boundaries Slightly enclosed – corner locations Access to camping out components & flexi wall Mobile adaptable furniture

Ever Changing

Busy, noisy, varied, interesting Lights, colour, sounds, interaction – providing the backdrop

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