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vBCms Comments Thread, Article: BSF - The James Review in ; there is also really strong evidence that the environment can make a massive difference too. Hear hear Si...
  1. #16

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    there is also really strong evidence that the environment can make a massive difference too.
    Hear hear

    Si

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayemm View Post
    @GrumbleDook yes I do tend to agree. But are we talking about evidence between a 60/70 year old school with single glazing and leaky roofs to a nice new shiny building in pastel colours but which basically just provides the same square rooms for people to use. Or are we talking about comparing newly built schools which are modeled on the old ones to the blue sky thinking of creative open learning spaces, outdoor classrooms and thinking beyond the 'box'?
    The review criticises the use of the phrase "educational transformation". This is because it was explained to too few people, and people got bogged down by buildings and kit rather than saying "how do we change what actually goes on in the school (where needed) and what do we need to do with the building and kit to get there?"

    A building that is falling down is no good to anyone, but why spend money fixing it by just replicating was was there beforehand ... especially when what was there beforehand might have actually been contributing to thongs not working the way they should. The equivalent would be to forget to build a server room with not enough power, have the building with no ceiling void or cable trays, to put network cabs in the classroom and then power them via a normal lead which is plugged in to a wall socket nest to where the pupils sit.

    Narrow corridors, lack of light, no canteen/restaurant/cookhouse, inflexible rooms which are too small or force pupils to sit in rows ... having these in a building which does not leak is better than one that is falling apart ... but to fail to take the chance to get rid of problems is plain stupid. When this happens with infrastructure, etc we are up in arms ... when stupid designs stop things from being done easily or flexible. It is not about just using pastel colours (but there is also a large chunk of research from psychologists and educationalists about how the use of different colours can impact on how people work or learn ... so you might want to think about the colours on your desktop background), but using the chance to fix things that we *know* are problems in schools.

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    wesleyw (20th April 2011)

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    "open learning spaces" are just a disaster waiting to happen. I've personally seen these spaces in use and seen one child kick off which has caused everyone to stop and watch the drama unfold. This doesn't happen in a single contained classroom.

    And in other open spaces with elevated walkways (like in a shopping mall) I've seen kids throw stuff (bags, coats, litter) over the side and even witnessed students leering down at female sixth former's cleavages.

    Not to mention the cost of heating and cooling these spaces. Cathedrals of glass look very pretty, but cost a fortune to maintain.

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    wesleyw (20th April 2011)

  6. #19

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    The risk of a student kicking off in an open learning area is not a problem. Some schools I have visited know have students who will just ignore the recalcitrant child, because they are more interested in just getting on with stuff ... The whole thing with the 'education transformation' label was to get school to work out how to change things about their school for the better.

    If your school is likely to have problems with things like open learning areas you have two choices. You either don't go with them and accept that it could limit certain things, but it will help prevent distractions .... or you work on you behaviour policy / practices to deal with it instead, but accept it could be hard work / long term.

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