“Creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.”Sir Ken Robinson
Creating a dynamic and innovative learning environment is key to unlocking every student’s full potential.
So it’s important for educators to create spaces that engage and inspire. The right educational tools and design can help to transform any classroom into a hub of creativity and collaboration.
Here we explain how it can be done in a few easy steps…
EMPOWERING STUDENT-DRIVEN SUCCESS
Inspired by success stories like the remarkable transformation at Trumpington Park Primary School, we know that offering the right educational resources and products to reflect the ethos of student-driven learning is crucial to pushing the boundaries of educational expectations and allowing students to flourish.
Whether students are taking part in STEAM activities, or other forms of creative and collaborative tasks, what is certain is that they need adequate space and access to the right resources in order to thrive. Fostering an environment that facilitates movement, establishes boundaries, and defines responsibilities, can be transformational. For example, promoting mobile and space-enhancing, furniture promotes more fluid interaction between pupils, as well as giving them hands-on learning experiences for group projects and other collaborative activities.
Like many schools – both old and new – the classroom spaces at Trumpington had previously been designed on the traditional model of fixed banks of desks that restricted movement and limited collaboration between just a few pupils at a time.
But by ripping up the rule book and installing innovative new furniture – including moveable triangular tables with write-on and wipe-off surfaces to encourage spontaneous brainstorms and create a safe space to try out new things; taller tables allowing pupils to stand; and round tables and flip tables that easily transformed into display boards for groups to share their learning with adults and peers alike – the school was able to make astonishing progress that was both visible and measurable.
To spark the creative minds of learners, a resource-rich environment with shapes and colours is crucial. Incorporating tools that encourage safe and organized exploration in STEAM-based activities empowers students to dive into projects and experiment freely.
Lastly, remember that the key to success lies in believing in both your students and yourself. Your belief in their potential and your own ability to foster collaboration and creativity can spark incredible growth in the classroom.
- Embrace Flexible Spaces: Create adaptable physical and virtual learning environments that encourage interaction and group work. Using mobile storage encourages easy transportation in group activities, while adaptable furniture can be used in a variety of settings to promote collaboration and creativity.
- Encourage Diverse Perspectives and Teamwork: Foster inclusivity by enabling students to comfortably share their unique insights, for example in break out spaces that are designed with this specifically in mind. Encourage collaboration on projects and emphasize the value of diverse viewpoints in problem-solving with materials and resources that allow for autonomy.
- Implement Active Learning Strategies: Engage students through hands-on activities, discussions, and real-world problem-solving. Active learning fosters critical thinking, creativity, and communication.
- Set Clear Expectations and Guidelines: from setting goals and defining clear roles at the start of any activity, this helps to create a safe space for all individuals. Establishing norms for respectful communication during throughout the school day – and particularly within group settings – will help all children to feel heard.
- Plan specific group activities: design activities throughout the school week specifically to encourage group work. From group project work and presentations to problem-solving activities and collaborative writing assignments, many activities can be adapted for a group setting with the right planning and intention.