This week I went back to Trumpington Park Primary School to find out from the staff what they thought about the PLS Design Framework and the impact it has had on their teaching and the student’s learning.
Now that the full class has moved into the space, both teachers, Anna Patuck and Emma Norman have been able to reflect on the difference the new space has made. Going back to the start of our process, Anna comments on workshop two which focuses on the school values and ethos.
“It was helpful to start with school values as we may not have necessarily done this before. The starting point was really helpful as it was worthwhile as it got us to dive deep into our core values and think about how this affects a space. We then started to think about lessons in more detail, which is always important.”
Following on from this workshop, the PLS Design Framework gets teachers to think about their current and future practice. Emma reflects on this workshop and explains how their mindsets have changed;
“This workshop was really useful because it allowed us to look at the issues we currently have. It made us think about how our current furniture was possibly holding us back from doing different learning activities and ultimately made us reflect on how we’re actually using the whole space. We now look at our lessons with a different mindset, because we are keen to utilise our space as effectively as we can.”
Thinking about the impact the new space has on their students, both Anna and Emma have witnessed how much more choice their students now have in terms of where and how they want to learn. In their previous traditional classroom layout, tables were in rows or groups of 3 and it meant that students were not able to collaborate properly with each other. Now, their new learning space has allowed all students to move tables easily to suit their learning needs. Students are taking more ownership of how they want to learn and with whom. This was a major key area that the PLS team focussed on during the process.
Another difference that both teachers have found is that children who would normally be taken outside to work with a teaching assistant, are now staying in the room with all their peers. The teaching assistant is now able to support students in any area of the room and this has meant the learning space is now more inclusive. Both Anna and Emma said that they hardly have students leaving the learning space now, which is fantastic.
“The PLS process has changed everything and for the better.” – Anna Patuck
Next week we will be going back to New Zealand to hear from Doug Crutch. He will be updating us on the progress Grey Lynn School have made since our last visit.