Some of you may have seen a report on the news recently about various schools which are moving into a more flexible and agile learning environment in their classrooms. The Junior School staff have begun a series of meetings and visits to observe, discuss and create some imaginings within this realm of how schools operate. At Trinity, we decided to start with a conversation about how children learn best and how we can create an environment in our classrooms so as to produce the best learning outcomes for our students. Our conversations have centred on a teaching and learning framework which captures the head, the heart and the hand of the students and teachers, and revolves around creating positive relationships with students and parents. These include communicating with respect, using varied group strategies in a learning environment and taking into account diversity, whilst simultaneously fostering imagination and creativity. It is an exciting journey and we are moving closer to the redesign of our classrooms so as to provide the kind of environment which will be creative, innovative and will foster deeper learning conversations with the children.
Some of you may be interested to know what a flexible and agile learning environment looks like. Usually the students do not have their own desk, rather they have classroom furniture which includes bean bags, desks, chairs, cushions, lounge suites, high tables and other creative seating options. This immediately eliminates the need for students to have one single desk where he/she puts belongings. A student belongs to the classroom and goes to the area best suited to his/her undertaking the required learning. A formal handwriting task will therefore be undertaken at a formal desk and chair, but a research task which has a student talking to a group of people about the question to be answered may be undertaken at a high table or on a mat where a group can sit comfortably together. The options will be set up collaboratively by the students and the teachers as they develop their learning intent.
Our Prep classrooms have been designed with this philosophy in mind and we are now looking eagerly at options for all our year levels over the coming months. The Prep teachers have been working together to generate learning experience that stimulate the students’ thinking and develop their independence as young learners. The Prep teachers have observed that the students are thriving under this flexible and agile learning environment.
It is a fantastic opportunity for all our teachers to refine and reflect upon their classroom practice and we will continue to update parents as our classroom redevelopment happens.
Mrs Trudy Moala
Head of Campus ELC to Year 5