Staff at Trumpington Park Primary School in Cambridge, have been led through the PLS Design Framework to re-design their Year 4 classroom. In addition to introducing zones within the room, staff were keen to look at how specific types of kit could enhance the way they delivered teaching and how their students could learn in more effective ways.

One specific type of kit that they chose to have in their new learning space was to have writable table surfaces. All the tables within the room have a writeable surface so there is no confusion for the students. Both the teachers thought this would eliminate the need of extra resources that they currently use and it would also allow students to freely capture thoughts and ideas as they are actively engaged in their learning.

By having their tables with writable surfaces, the year 4 teachers are keen to see the positive impact this will have on their students. Some of the learners are reluctant to try new learning methods because they are worried about making mistakes, but by having this option, the teachers are hoping it will boost confidence and their attempt to try things more willingly with their learning.

Writable surfaces are favourable for practical lessons where students can use the table tops to draft their design ideas, but staff at Trumpington Park Primary School are keen to use this resource in all their lessons. For core subjects like Maths and Science, students will be able to do their workings and rough drawings on the table itself as they are listening to their teacher deliver the main input. It requires no additional resource apart from a dry-wipe pen and eraser, which most schools already have access to. In relation to capturing student’s learning that is done on the tables, teachers can easily take photographs or videos of the learning and use this to evidence the student’s journey.

In addition, there are many more benefits for having write-on surfaces for example;

  • A good tool for presentation and collaboration.
  • Ideal for group work, each student can contribute their ideas on the tabletop.
  • The teacher can use the surface to model/demonstrate something in a guided group.
  • Support staff can use the surface to explain concept/method to students.

Over the coming weeks, students at Trumpington will be introduced to their new learning space. Due to current Covid restrictions in schools, the students will first use their space in small groups in order to become more familiar with the new kit and explore ways they can do their learning. We are looking forward to hearing from the students about their thoughts on the new learning environment and also see the positive impact that their new write-on tables are having on their day-to-day learning.

Bhavini Pandya Gratnells Learning Rooms Leader and Project Co-Director
Bhavini Pandya