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Monday, 11 May 2015

How Colour Affects Learning

Does the colour of your classroom affect learning outcomes? What effect do different colours have on the behaviour and attainment of your students? And does it really matter?
The team at Space Oasis are often asked what colour a classroom ‘should’ be, but like most things there’s no one right answer. Slapping on a few litres of magnolia tends to be standard classroom d├ęcor, but a little knowledge goes a long way and in their latest article Space Oasis look at the meaning of colour and its impact on learning environments.

See below for Space Oasis' overview -

The colour of learning: the impact of colour within classrooms
Simply using industrial quantities of soft-sheen magnolia paint in schools, sometimes complimented by a dash of maroon or navy gloss, ignores research and knowledge about the meaning of colour and the effect it has on students.

“The amateur, convinced he/she has good ‘colour sense’ and able to choose colours intuitively and do it well, ventures to offer opinions often in conflict with the professional.” So wrote Robert Samuels and Harry Stephens in their 1997 report, ‘Colour and Light in Schools’. In their research they say that without any guidelines around colour principles, decisions become based on personal, fashionable or political tastes rather than on evidence or best practice.

Read the full report from the brilliant team at Space Oasis by clicking here...

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Transforming the 'Traditional Curriculum'

I have been inspired this weekend by the #GoogleEduOnAir Conference and I have been dropping into sessions where I can. The below session entitled, 'Transforming traditional curriculum design to embrace collaboration and critical thinking' caught my eye.

The event, run jointly by The Personalised Learning Network, Wapping High School and The Innovation Unit, explored an issue close to our thinking here at the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy.

In the session, Kerstyn Comley examines recent case studies to demonstrate how technology is being used in the UK to embrace the concept of schools as communities of learners where students and teachers learn with and from each other. Kerstyn, who recently interviewed me about our practice at IPACA, argues that learning is more effective when it fulfils a real need and integrates of a variety of knowledge and information. 

A full copy of the session is available below -

Saturday, 9 May 2015

IPACA Sixth Form Shines at #GoogleEduOnAir

I've loved being involved in #GoogleEduOnAir tonight, thank-you Google for the invitation. All credit must go to our IPACA Sixth Form students who have represented the Academy so well across the last two days. See below for a press release I am putting out to share their success -

IPACA Sixth Form Shines on International Stage

Sixth Formers from the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy were asked to share their innovative approach to learning with a worldwide audience. The event, organised by Google's Education Team in California, showcased the very best in education from around the world.

Speaking about the invitation, Academy Director for Change and Innovation, Mr Gary Spracklen said, "We were humbled to be invited to share our work by Google. It's always an honour to share best practice, especially to such a large international audience. This invitation was all the more special because we have only be opened as a Sixth Form since September 2014. It clearly shows that what is happening with Sixth Form Education here on Portland is very special".

The Portland Academy's Sixth Form played a leading role in '#GoogleEduOnAir' which took place from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th May, 2015. On Friday, IPACA Sixth Form Student, Nicole Butcher, travelled to Google's UK Head Office in London to speak at the launch event. Speaking with confidence, Nicole shared how IPACA has equipped her, "To be a 21st Century Learner by embracing technology and inspiring learning in new ways'. Nicole, the only UK Student represented in the global launch, spoke alongside Jouni Kangasniemi, Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland. Speaking about Nicole, Mr Spracklen said, 'Nicole had 1,000's of people watching the launch event live from around the world. She did an incredible job speaking alongside such established speakers. Nicole did a fantastic job representing the IPACA Sixth Form and all of us here at the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy".

Nicole travelling to London with Mrs. Rod
Nicole's words at the launch were built on by a second IPACA Sixth Form Student on the Saturday evening. Ryan Jordan, who studies Engineering, ICT and Art A-Level, shared how the concept of 'Learner Led Design'  has been used to shape the IPACA Sixth Form. Speaking to international delegates, Ryan shared how IPACA Sixth Form, "is like no other Sixth Form in the world... it's unique!" The talk highlighted the work of students which took place last summer when IPACA gave Sixth Formers £5,000 to research, design and deliver their own learning spaces. Speaking about the project, Mr. Spracklen adds, 'It was a project that really shines a light on our Academy's ethos and values, especially those of always putting our learners first in all that we do.  As an Academy, we don't believe in just paying lip service to student voice but in enabling all to become confident, responsible and independent lifelong learners'.

See below  for our Saturday Hangout entitled, 'Challenging YOU to engage, innovate and inspire learning!' -

IPACA's involvements in '#GoogleEduOnAir' can be watched back at -