This led to us setting our sights high in the development plan. Well, I say we. I mean me. 12 page long development plan but was looking for a way to deliver a lot of this. Barriers of funding, time and support.
Enter the 21st Century Learning Alliance. 500 word bid linked to ICT, School Space and Every Child Matters. Sent it off thinking that we may have a small chance. Promptly forgotten. Email landed a month or so later saying that we had been successful. Start thinking how we could deliver this. Start off small – an extra curricular project linked to a three day workshop and linked to planned school changes, after school focus group. A year later…….Key point is to seek out external funding and partners, look into the community both local and the wider geographical community
So to the project: School spaces also affect learning, indeed through the project we found that school space influences how pupils learn.
The project was closely linked to the BSF project at Priory school
Then somebody came along once it had almost reached completion. However, one of the aims was to find out how well school space could be used to support geographical learning, develop outdoor learning, every child matters and ICT.
So new school gone?
Aims – we wanted to address the issue that the views of one of the largest groups of stakeholders are often overlooked, or pupil voice is paid lip service. What would happen if we got young people talking directly to the decision makers? This has led on to the concept of Student Curriculum Leaders – something which isn’t new but….
Recap of aims, transferable and applicable to any situation as school space affects learning, changes don’t have to be large. As with any project – this started off small but aimed to include as many young people as possible by having an impact on schemes of work.
We identified a group of students to work with – after school in a small workshop and managed to convince SLT to allow us 3 days off timetable for a workshop facilitated by The Geography Collective. The workshopAlso linked to Personal Learning and thinking Skills – all about developing work related skills in students
Better arguments – access to toilets is a basic human right, as is access to clean drinking water. If the school doesn’t care about this basic right then how can it care about our learning?
Naughty learning has become an embedded concept.
I could talk at length about the benefits of Mission Explore to young people, school and learning and how technology can help to document learning, however, I’d rather get out to do some!
Introduction – who we are and where we come from
Young people as school space creators David Rogers @daviderogers davidrogers.org.uk firstname.lastname@example.org Jo Debens @GeoDebs email@example.com
To engage learners in exploring and interpreting space, especially around school buildings. To develop a core of learners that can actively, confidently and skilfully use their knowledge of the built environment to engage architects and planners during the BSF process. To investigate how space around schools can be developed to maximise cross-curricular learning opportunities. To provide a record of the transformation of Priory School
Magic glasses Students ‘put on’ the perspective of a different stakeholder. Consider points of view of others. Debate needs, wants, desires. This was to enable student voice and prepare for planning the school spaces.
Activity: Little People Take your little people somewhere you think they would feel comfortable / uncomfortable. Use your phone / camera to take a photo of this Be prepared to explain why you chose these spaces….think….from a different perspective
BBC News School Report 2010. Students filmed the Space Explorers project as part of their news day, which they then shared with the outside world as well as with the rest of the school.
Guerilla art. Students created signs to help others to re-evaluate the school site, to consider new perspectives and ways of demonstrating views to senior leaders. A creative way of showing their views to others.
‘Desired, Inspired, Required’ board. Students from Priory School collaborated with students from other schools & with the council to discuss Human Rights and their ‘needs and wants’ before drawing up plans for how to best use spaces in Priory School.
Collaboration with other schools. Students were given a budget and asked to consider how best to use and redevelop a school space. This involved debate, compromise and decision making.
Workshop collaborating with the Geography Collective…students able to share with adults
Up on the roof! Using school spaces to encourage inspiration.
The ‘sombrero of destiny’…the wearer gets the role of group leader. Students led the way with this project, choosing activities to pursue.
Presenting their work to senior leaders…the school leadership team, governors, local news and council were very impressed with students’ resourcefulness, creativity and problem solving skills.
Planning school spaces with the council … learning how to debate, decision make, and compromise
Floorplanner… 3d school space designed by students, annotated on PowerPoint and shared with senior leaders & architects
“I am more confident with adultsnow and put my hand up more in class too.” “I was really nervous beforebut we have practised now and they are just human!” “It was easy to talk to them in the end, though we didn’t always understand the words. But they probably didn’t understand me either.” “We had a meeting with the Board of Governors. I felt quite nervous but it got better as the time went on.”
What skills have you learnt throughout the project? “Using computers and technology, discussing with people, working in groups, explaining myself.” “Teamwork, using Google Earth and collage, speaking my mind, being creative, discussing bits.” “Teamwork, using Google Earth, Presentation skills, being able to express myself, using a budget, and probably others I can't even remember.” “I learnt to be more creative, to think of how to solve problems, to not waste money, to talk to important people, to teamwork, and lots of other things.”
Geography? What is your Geography? Seek out and apply for external funding Get Geography involved in whole school initiatives Use what is on your doorstep: get out of the classroom Get pupils talking to SLT and the community Link projects together and embed
Jo Debens Geography Teacher @GeoDebs firstname.lastname@example.org David Rogers Head of Geography @daviderogers email@example.com http://daviderogers.blogspot.com