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Monday, 9 March 2015

Trillium Creek - Reflection Two - Spaces

As the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy becomes closer to beginning work and ultimately moving into our multi-million pound Maritime House Campus, I am using this time to reflect. To reflect on our experiences, our shared beliefs and our vision for the future. This week, I am thinking particularly about my visit to America in October 2014 and my time in one school in particular, Trillium Creek Primary School. This is the second post in a series, for my first post about Trillium Creek Primary School, please click here.

This evening, I want to focus on the spaces within spaces that I believe help make Trillium Creek Primary School a special place for learning. At the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy, we have long recognised the value of such spaces whether it was the inflatable classroom at Grove Campus (now based in West Base at Osprey Quay) or the Art Shed in Royal Manor Campus -

At the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy, we believe in Professor. Stephen Heppell's simple Rule of Three at Learn3K that helps define third millennium learning spaces. This includes the suggestion that in many cases three walls are enough. We recognised that in practice this doesn't only apply to commons areas, breakout spaces, places for focus and so on, it has also characterises the many agile little spaces-within-spaces that have proved so popular with children and teachers alike - they offer a space for mutuality, for an intimacy of collaboration, for serious study and focussed conversations, for peace & quiet sometimes, for focus and of course, with always one side open and an eye line in, for safety too.

At Trillium Creek Primary School, the spaces within spaces (or rooms within rooms) were many and varied -

I like to think the above spaces were created at the request of learners to support a particular kind of learning. Ewan McIntosh writes a great blog post about the 'seven spaces for learning' here, in it, he talks about the following -
The Seven Spaces provide a common language that does not make mention of architectural or technological concepts, is totally accessible and lets more members of the school community take part in building a new school or new ways of learning. When the time comes for schools to rethink their physical space or technology deployment, teachers, leaders and students can fall into a trap: rather than thinking about what they know about most (teaching, leading learning and learning for themselves), consultants and architects will attempt to 'teach' them how to 'speak architect' or technology geek talk. The result is that too many educators and learners end up with technology and physical space that is great for teaching the old way, painful for teaching in different styles and which locks learners into a groove for many years to come. The Seven Spaces are changing that.
As we move forward with Maritime House, I hope we can be a community that focuses on leading learning and be prepared to break from the old to foster a new approach for the benefit of all our learners.

Spaces within spaces at Maritime House will be one ingredient in a wider recipe unique to Portland.

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