Monday, 16 March 2009

A good start to the day..

My walk to the station is usually in the very early morning (well 5.30) and my return very late. Hence it is usually dark with nothing to see. Today, on my way to a school visit on the South Coast, I left later. Being fortunate enough to have to cross the River Thames, today I could really appreciate a) the view, and b) the early morning light.

The sun and lots of light really do make a difference. On four occasions today people started conversations about the importance of windows for students and also noted what a huge difference it made on the mood of people when the sun was shining. Nothing new here, we all know loads of daylight is a really important feature in schools and that everyone needs to be be able to look up from close up work to see long distances, thereby keeping their eyes and brains active. Therefore the external environment is also important, even if it is in the middle of a large city.

The secret is to ensure that designers put the windows in the appropriate place for the intended use of the space, so that teachers don't spend ages trying to block the light all out. Typical comments about windows made to me recently include windows being a) too high for wheel chair users, b) too low for ICT rooms thereby creating all sorts of issues on computer monitors, c) not enough glass and d) too much glass. We all have enough knowledge and experience now so should be able to get it right.....

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you think of Knowsley Park Centre for Learning? That's Knowsley, Merseyside. It's built into the side of a hill ,in a corner, instead of in the middle of the Prescot School site because the planners didn't realise that 4 massive pipes taking water to Liverpool ran through the middle of the school fields. This means some people may have access to sunlight and nice views over the Welsh hills, but there will be a great number who will be lucky to get natural light and many windows will look out on suporting walls of stone in wire baskets. Sorry ... forgot ... no-one is allowed to be negative about the project. Well actually it's not negative it's just pointing out something that should have been noticed at an early stage.

Your views (pun intended) would be appreciated.

Gareth Long said...

Sorry - don't know about this, but all I can do is stress the importance of light and visibility in school environments.... every site has its challenges....

I never discuss situations I don't know about....

Anonymous said...

....but you said in an earlier blog reply that you have met with Knowsley ... talking about cpd I think ... will you meet them again in any capacity?

Gareth Long said...

yes I have been on a couple of occasions. It is quite possible I will be back in the future, maybe later this year...

Gareth Long said...

oh and thanks for reading the blog and commenting