World Cafe Sessions - Summary by Diarmaid Lawlor


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  • Presentation to Heads of Planning in Scotland at TAYPlan, June 18, 2010
  • World Cafe Sessions - Summary by Diarmaid Lawlor

    1. 1. Scotland’s School Estate Conference World Café sessions: summary facilitated by Diarmaid Lawlor Head of Urbanism
    2. 2. Scotland’s School Estate Conference World Café sessions: overview of sessions • The collaborative briefing processes used by East Dunbartonshire in their investment programme in six secondary schools, and in their recent design work with SfT. This will be led by Jan Pollock, Quality Improvement Officer at East Dunbartonshire. • The principles of briefing for learning beyond the school gate, and the potential of using existing civic assets in places to support a range of learning opportunities, from learning towns to agile classrooms led by Dugald Forbes, educationalist. • Learning from briefing for refurbishment of small schools, how communities, teachers and learners were engaged, how the processes informed spatial briefing and the challenges to scale up to apply the lessons learned to larger, more complex estate challenges. This will be led by Annette Patterson, Asset Development Manager for Scottish Borders Council with Lesley Munro, Headteacher from Earlston and Gordon primary schools. • The idea of shared spaces to facilitate ambition and attainment by learners, of all ages, and backgrounds; and attachment by communities. This session will provoke questions about how we create spaces for learning, challenge zoning, ask questions about overlapping programmes and relationships in space between teachers, learners and communities. This session will be led by Steven Quinn, Head of Service, Education and Skills at North Ayrshire Council. • Learning about practical processes of briefing for and delivering spaces for outdoor learning, citizenship and development of children and young people. This will be led by Juno Hollyhock, Executive Director of Grounds for Learning. • Sam Cassels took the final session which looked at the options to re-think buildings we already have to deliver the Curriculum for Excellence
    3. 3. Scotland’s School Estate Conference World Café sessions: emerging discussion points [a] Deciding on decisions • Layering decisions in the briefing process Leverage • How do we get added benefit from the school as a place for learning, for all people, from 3-70 years old Balance of investment • Balance of investments and outcomes: how do we re-consider basis asset maintenance, new build and refurbishment to achieve better outcomes • What is the value of investment in the estate in terms of outcomes achieved?
    4. 4. Scotland’s School Estate Conference World Café sessions: emerging discussion points [b] Reflecting the reality of how we do things now • Changing patterns in how we work: is this reflected in the design of spaces for young people to learn? Supporting different learners in different ways • Challenge to the idea that attainment has improved, despite investments in the built estate • Building better spaces to improve modern skills for work, learning and life • Can we have smaller classrooms, use what was the corridor for some learners self motivated, and host people who need extra support in the classroom? • Is student attainment all there is to the idea of attainment? What about wellbeing, collaboration, behaviours? • Is attainment to do with teaching or the spatial environment?
    5. 5. Scotland’s School Estate Conference World Café sessions: emerging discussion points [c] What is the role of consultation and how do we leverage it? • • • • Who is involved in the briefing process? The people you involve in the briefing process will all be coming from different perspectives When you take people’s views on board, the embrace the spaces. It can help attainment Are there qualities of a basis brief, generic qualities that can bespoke from place to place or condition
    6. 6. Scotland’s School Estate Conference World Café sessions: summary feedback from topic groups [a] Collaborative briefing processes Collaborative briefing works well. The challenge is to get stakeholders involved earlier in the process, and to use a variety of techniques to engage everybody. Engaging the learner is important, and this in itself, with the realities of how decisions and actions happen, can be a valueable learning process for them. Learning beyond the school gate Learning beyond the school gate, and learning from the work of the people working on Learning Towns in Dumfries is an exciting possibility. This is particularly the case when schools are being brought together around a centre, using the investment in the schools, and the place, to make the centre work for a range of people, in a range of ways, at different times. Participants felt that vocational learning in particular could benefit from this model, and a desire to explore what more academic focused learning could look like.
    7. 7. Scotland’s School Estate Conference World Café sessions: summary feedback from topic groups [b] Briefing for refurbishment of small schools The challenge here is to scale up learning around processes for changing buildings for learning from the small to the big. The small scale allows intense discussions with all interests to develop consensus about actions. This discussion looked at the balance of outcome from prioritising the education brief over the property brief, and the way this set of values changes the trade offs and balance of decisions in investment. Some key issues emerged around how to structure the strategic brief, the vision; how we lead the process of education driven briefing; how we share intent on a wider basis to get buy in from learners, teachers, parents and wider interests. Shared spaces Participants felt that schools should sit at the heart of communities, used by communities. Fears over concurrent learning and community use need to be addressed to unlock the potential for whole community learning. This is about politicians, officers and community leaders working together to both identify the actual barriers, and work together to overcome them. We also need to interrogate why it has been difficult to achieve more of this form of concurrent use. Is it old thinking, is it too difficult? The changing landscape of finance and resources may bring opportunities to tackle these issues and make spaces work harder for everyone.
    8. 8. Scotland’s School Estate Conference World Café sessions: summary feedback from topic groups [c] Outdoor learning If we are serious about Outdoor learning, we need to value it, and influence policy to achieve it. We need to better understand the reasons why things around the use of outdoor space change from early years to secondary. At second level, young people go out, a lot less. The key question is how we make this transition different, in all contexts, from clusters of schools working together, to exploring opportunities within schools. A key challenge at second level, where the focus may be on exams and attainment, is to link outdoor learning and examinations. Make outdoor learning count as part of learning for all. Changing buildings and interiors of buildings we already have Influencing people about changing buildings, and interiors is about showing models. We should celebrate the fact that there are awards now looking at re-invention of a primary school and a building schools for the future scheme in the Glasgow Institute of Architecture process. These are two different examples of realising learning and education need in Scotland. There are some really good examples around. Share more.
    9. 9. Scotland’s School Estate Conference World Café sessions: Alastair Blyth final summary] Layering decisionmaking in the briefing process, and the quality of time spent on the different processes The importance of communication, consultation and collaboration in briefing Design is briefing, and briefing is part of design Briefing is a continuous process of problem finding and resolution through the whole life of a building We need more examples of good products [buildings and spaces for learning]and processes