Sunday, September 7, 2014

Engaging Challenging Communities in Learning Design

Host: Headteacher:  Karen McBride
Governer: Rev Iain Brookes

The Croxteth Community Primary School and Child Development centre is in Mossway Liverpool - it is a new school build and opened in June 2012. This school is set in an area that has experienced generations of unemployment and the social issues that go hand in hand with low socio economic areas. The new school design has engaged the community and dramatically increased the school and home partnership around learning.

Karen explained that a lot of the design elements
came from student led design, This is a single storey building with classrooms arranged around three covered courtyards.

The building includes a impressive central learning zone / information centre, garden rooms, art and music rooms, a large community room and a creche.

There is an impressive ”4D Create” media room where the students can be immersed in  different worlds virtually to support their learning. There are outside areas for integrating play with the curriculum, as well as vegetable gardens and large tarmac areas.

There is very little wasted circulation space and areas such as the internal courtyards are utilised for moving through as well as learning and gathering places.

A key feature of the building is its sustainable ’green roof’ which has been planted with vegetation to absorb rainwater and provide insulation. Along with solar roof panels and water collection the school is very sustainable.

The students are taught in regular classrooms and the shared spaces are utilised for break outs for independent and collaborative work. These spaces inspire creativity.

I was really impressed  with the positive effect the inclusive process of school design had on this community. The improved results in student achievement is a testament to how school design can engage the community and strengthen school and home partnerships around learning.  

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