learning spaces


LS 2.2 Editorial

In this issue of Learning Spaces, we continue to celebrate what is great about how we are creating educational spaces in the UK, but also to look outwards to see what some of our colleagues are doing internationally. UK education design talent is much in demand around the world, and rightly so, but we wondered if we’re doing enough to learn from other countries about how they are developing their educational estates.

Standard school designs or bespoke solutions - Is there a third way?

Ian Wilson suggests a design solution which provides all the benefits of repetition and standardisation but where each school can respond differently to prescribed programmes and accommodate their own site constraints.

Special report on Outdoor Learning

At Learning Spaces we always try to include an article on external learning opportunities in each edition. This edition we decided to consider the impact of having separate enclosed spaces as part of the environment.

New in the learning Spaces Zone

The Hackney Pirates and their Ship of Adventure

Hackney resident and former teacher Catriona Maclay believed that, with some additional support, young people who have fewer opportunities and are falling behind could become fully rounded learners who are able to achieve at school and in the wider world. As a result the Hackney Pirates were founded in 2010 and this has become their vision.

"A Hub on the Hill"

This was the vision for the site overlooking Plymouth Sound, articulated by the then Principal Helen Mathieson when we first met in December 2011.

Health and Safety implications for schools as clients

There is a new piece of safety legislation, Construction (Design & Management)
Regulations 2015 (CDM15) come into force on 6th April 2015 which is going to affect all schools in control of their own building or property management.

Clever classrooms

For the first time, research has confirmed the positive impact factors such as good lighting, careful colour choices and a sense of ownership over the classroom space can have on children’s achievement. Hannah Sharron reports.

Is off-site construction the answer to the school places crisis?

By 2023, the number of pupils in England’s schools is projected to increase by a staggering 880,000. How will our buildings cope? Kevin Harvey presents the possibility of off-site construction – an approach already helping primary and secondary schools across the country overcome an array of place planning issues.

Learning spaces cpd library

Case Study: Re-cycled architecture

How an award-winning sports hall was created from thirty re-cycled shipping containers. Ruth Taylor reports.

You can’t bunk off in the toilets anymore

Following the article on school toilets in Brighton, here is another toilet success story, this time from Bristol. Dick Hibdige, Deputy Head and project manager for the rebuilding of Bedminster Down School, explains how it was achieved.

LS1.3_p24-28_Sun safe play in playgrounds

How can children play outdoors in school whilst being protected from
the sun? Sam Walker explains how Creature Canopies are the answer!

The Campus - Weston-Super-Mare

There are many examples around the country of so-called extended schools, where different community facilities are co-located on the same site. What is different at the Campus is that a primary school, a nursery, an all-age special school library and community facilities really are integrated.

Learning environments

In the last edition of Century 21 Schools Andy Beard described how the design for the new Bishops Park College in Essex "seeks to address the issue of how the individual learning needs and preferences of pupils can be satisfied."

Student Posture

Teenage back problems on the increase! Are we responsible? What about the future?

Rhetoric or Reality? School Transformation

The Building Schools for the Future programme is a huge investment by the Government in education. It aspires to deliver a transformation in educational practices and outcomes – indeed this is the only return that justifies the scale of investment.



The learning narrative

Ante Runnquist looks at the process of designing new learning spaces and how starting the conversation in the right place makes all the difference in developing greater understanding between pedagogy and design.

Designing a sustainable tropical school

Stefan Jakobek looks at the challenges and opportunities of creating highly sustainable learning environments in climates which are very different to those we experience in the UK.

Natural acoustics in the classroom and beyond

Nicky Saunter from The Woolly Shepherd discusses how they use wool and natural fibres to help combat the major issue of acoustics in schools.

School development - Before, after and beyond

Mie Guldbaek Broens from Danish consultancy LOOP.bz, considers how education has changed the way we design schools, drawing on work in Gentofte to show how a collaboration between educators and designers created spaces which meet the changing expectations of staff and students.

BIM for Schools- why?

The government have set targets for the adoption of BIM across all publically funded projects by 2016. Education and Justice are pathfinder departments. Helen Taylor asks what is BIM and why should schools care about it?

What do you want in your outdoor space?

As the need for more school places sees the outdoor areas in may schools squeezed to provide temporary accommodation, Juno Hollyhock gives some advice on how to get more from the space you have.

Challenges in remote Kenyan schools

Peter Barton, Head of Education, Aga Khan Education Service Kenya, explores education provision in Boka, near the Kora National Park.

essential reading

Create A City image

Create A City

Create A City will challenge your student’s thinking and creativity. By looking at the areas in which they live, and examining the many influences in the creation of a city, students can develop all aspects of their own fictional city.
Moving to Secondary School image

Moving to Secondary School

Moving to Secondary School helps teachers to understand and ease children's anxieties and to focus on the positive.
Radical Encouragement: Creating Communities For Learning image

Radical Encouragement: Creating Communities For Learning

Radical Encouragement is an approach to developing dispositions, skills and strategies for better thinking and learning