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BSF Thread, More BSF Delays in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by sahmeepee Can we have a *cry* smilie please? How about 'usability', 'flexibility' and 'accessibility'. For a bonus ...
  1. #16

    broc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sahmeepee View Post
    Can we have a *cry* smilie please? How about 'usability', 'flexibility' and 'accessibility'. For a bonus -ity I'll take 'security'.
    Our HT told the architects that she wanted robust building security; one of the designs we got back was a cross between a sea wall and a tudor fortress opened out .....

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Simple ... it is built so that internal walls can be changed around if they want at a later date. The savings by choosing from a pre-designed catalogue will give a chunk more money back to the school to work with.
    Some peoples' back pockets more like.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    as much as i hate architects and planners using the terms 'character' and 'wow factor' i think template schools and, for want of a better word, 'functional' buildings like the one you suggested broc, will be difficult to do becuase part of the construction process now involves impact on the surrounding environment. School design and build is no different to other buildings in that they have a duty to compliment their surroundings and not stick out like a sore thumb.

    I know that can distract from whether the school is functional and is engineered to fullfill it's purpose. But we've got enough multi-storey car parks, shopping centres, supermarkets and the like blotting our landscape, let's not add new build schools to the list of square shaped eyesores.
    Most of the designs that are coming through are full of 'wow-factor' but also full of mistakes where the 'wow' turns into 'ow'. Most schools would not get a grey concrete box, but they would still get something worth the effort. If you look at Tesco and Morrisons, they have a similar design for their stores, but with a range of additional options to fit into the locale.

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    Our HT told the architects that she wanted robust building security; one of the designs we got back was a cross between a sea wall and a tudor fortress opened out .....
    you've seen multiple designs? :O
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    Even teachers are cottoning onto these problems now - http://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffro.../&threadPage=1
    Forget the idea of it being ICT suites ... there is a good body of evidence that show team teaching in this manner significantly moves on learning. It has been done by those innovative schools that are now going to lose out as they are having prescribed to them their facilities and have support staff with key skills stripped out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    there is a good body of evidence that show team teaching in this manner significantly moves on learning.
    Do you have a link for this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz350 View Post
    you've seen multiple designs? :O
    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!
    BB98 is a terrible burden upon free thinking & vision in schools. If you want staffrooms, management offices, individual subject resource areas or dare I say somewhere for an ICT technician to hide out you can only have these at the expense of smaller classrooms etc. Even storage and corridor space can affect classroom size. If you get rid of corridors and make the kids circulate around the outside of the building you might be able to have an extra office or two

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    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Most of the designs that are coming through are full of 'wow-factor' but also full of mistakes where the 'wow' turns into 'ow'. Most schools would not get a grey concrete box, but they would still get something worth the effort. If you look at Tesco and Morrisons, they have a similar design for their stores, but with a range of additional options to fit into the locale.

    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.
    It's called Design over Function

    We have a lot of it here

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Forget the idea of it being ICT suites ... there is a good body of evidence that show team teaching in this manner significantly moves on learning. It has been done by those innovative schools that are now going to lose out as they are having prescribed to them their facilities and have support staff with key skills stripped out.
    We had this... 3 ICT suites open Plan..... My God was it Chaos....
    1 disruptive loud child kills 3 classes.... one loud teacher teaching kills the other 2 classes...

    we had to build partitions after BSF had left and the 3 ICT suites work perfect now :-)

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey View Post
    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
    Most if not all full school rebuilds will be PFI, apart from some early pathfinder schools that pre-date the BSF funding being agreed.

    Refurbishment is generally not PFI, but no doubt there are exceptions too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    BB98 is a terrible burden upon free thinking & vision in schools. If you want staffrooms, management offices, individual subject resource areas or dare I say somewhere for an ICT technician to hide out you can only have these at the expense of smaller classrooms etc. Even storage and corridor space can affect classroom size. If you get rid of corridors and make the kids circulate around the outside of the building you might be able to have an extra office or two
    in our design the ground floor is 5m high floor to ceiling.... yet we cant put any mezzanine levels in the admin area else we go over the m2 allowed. Oh and the architects have the heads office the other side of a wall that has a music practice room the other side....... WTF are they thinking when designing these buildings i do not know....

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    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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