Our Optimal Learning Environment
Since September 2015 we have been creating our “Optimal Learning Environment” in our school.
Optimal Learning is “the acquiring of skills or knowledge in an environment that supports the children’s needs as completely as possible to enable them to flourish and meet their unique potential.
An Optimal Learning Environment is one in which children feel safe and are cared for; where ideas and opinions are valued; where personalised learning takes place; where children understand their knowledge and are guided in further learning; where children have opportunity to develop leadership skills and where they have calm and reflective space in which to learn and explore through action learning and inquiry” (Vivienne Mills, 2012)
We started with an audit of our environment across our school and considered what sort of school we wanted to create to ensure that all children had the opportunity to learn at a deep level. All of the children and staff took part in this audit, and from there we created an action plan to enable the dream to become a reality. We chose new calm colours for our school, re-developed our ICT suite, created more peaceful classrooms and ensured that all space had a functional learning purpose within our school.
The plan was costed up, discussed with our management board and approved. The work then began with creating, as the children fondly say, “The World’s Most Beautiful School”.
As part of creating our optimal learning environment, both physically and philosophically, we have also re-named all of our classrooms.
These are now known as;
- Explore (previously known as Canyon)
- Discover (previously known as Weyr)
- Inspire (previously known as Heads office)
- Reflection (previously known as “Quiet” room)
- Create (previously known as Intervention room)
- Dream (previously known as Imaginarium)
- Knowledge (previously known as front office)
- Serenity (Staff room)
- Vision (Data storage room)
The environment is now much calmer and supports a deeper sense of learning for all children, including those who may have higher anxieties or require a calmer environment.
We are currently working towards achieving our AET (Autism Education Trust) Standards which will be complimentary to creating our Optimal Learning Environment.
You can follow the transformation of our school here on our website.