Even teachers are cottoning onto these problems now - http://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffro.../&threadPage=1
I would like some input from anyone who has experienced open plan class room teaching. We are having a new school built and the BSF(building schools for futures) is saying that if we want 4 ICT rooms then 3 of them will have to be open plan. This means 120 kids and 3 teachers in a room with 120 computers. There will be no division at all.
I would like to know what the implications would be and also what the negative aspects of such a layout would be?
I have thought of a few problems. I am opposed to the idea of having an open plan room. I suppose I should also ask for all of the positive points of view although I can't really see that there are any.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and respond.
It is very easy to have 'extras' that bolt onto the side, the roof and so on to give it a better look and feel, and rooms can be shaped internally to still be interesting and functional.
They manage it in Sweden, US and Australia when throwing up large numbers of buildings, but every school wants something 'special'.
I think a reality check of function vs form maybe needed by some LAs and Heads, but most Heads of academies I have spoken with have admitted they would have preferred something that was cheaper to put up, more functional and with th flexibilty of change at a later date. At least they do get these Heads together now to talk about it ... and share experiences ... and it does get fed back via SSAT and other groups.
during consultation with staff they asked if we wanted resource areas in subject areas instead of just in 1 central area..... staff said Yes good idea if they could have it in addition to a Learning Resource Centre (aka Library) but guess what the Head + Architects interrupted that as.
"staff dont want a central LRC"
So now we are also fighting "BB98" (which was done before work force reform!! great idea to follow that then!!!) work space outside of classrooms is seriously lacking for support staff.
oh the joy!
Last edited by gaz350; 6th February 2008 at 11:44 AM.
My my local primary schools were rebuilt and a new secondary built under a PFI scheme and they all got identical bunker/warehouse designs. Can't say they are heidious but my old primary went from a lovely 1930s school with lots of open areas and huge field to the current boxes. Design was archeitect driven so very impractical in places, implementation was commercial so no clue about school needs. Promises were dumped and threats made that if schools didn't tow the line the company would pull out and leave them with nothing. Staff are seeing if the school lasts 10 years let alone the contracted 20. I'm sure it woudln't happen either but the expectation is that the last few years will be hell due to nothing being done before hand over.
Not sure if the company accounts could be got but it is almost certain they are coining it.
Not sure how related the PFI and BSF plans are related but if private sector are involved I can't see them being too far off & the same problems occuring
I'll hunt through my mail archives but off the top of my head the key groups of research that stick out are Calgary, Maine, Illinois, Warwick (who worked with Leading Edge schools as well as the ICT Test Bed) and the English Language School at B'ham Uni. Other reports, such as the ICT Test Bed reports frequently mention team teaching being enhance by ICT and team teaching enhancing ICT.
Also remember that some of the lessons that are being learnt are from Academies, and sometimes the new Heads / Principles are not involved at the planning stage ... they have had to pick up a school part way through the process and had to deal with the aftermath (David Young Academy is one that springs to mind!)
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