Sunday, 15 November 2009
BCSE World Learning Environments Conference
The first Annual World Learning Environments Conference put on by BCSE took place in Knowsley. Cleverly, it took place in the amazing and innovative Halewood Centre for Learning and was attended by delegates from all over both the UK and abroad. (BCSE really DO put some smart conferences!)
Whilst the conference was very good, with some really interesting speakers, the idea of holding it in a school, and not the usual hotel approach, won great praise for BCSE.
This new building, built by main conference sponsors Balfour Beatty, attracted massive interest with its really innovative design. The small learning communities, use of space, lack of corridors, localised unisex bathrooms, and central atrium, complete with a wide variety of new types of furniture ensured literally hundreds of photographs were taken, with many people talking of returning with staff and other colleagues.
Even better was the fact that not only did the conference start with students singing and dancing (literally), Year 10 and 11 students (14-16 year olds) were also present for a portion of the day doing their normal work. This was not a totally empty showcase devoid of any sign of students. Obviously some students were on 'off site' activities to facilitate the large number of delegates to meet together, attend numerous seminars and tour the facilities.
The students I spoke to loved this new school, the Headteacher loves the school, and apparently most of the staff love the school. Sounds like a good recipe for potential success really!
For Professor Stephen Heppells blog on this conference - click here
For Mike Baker's blog on the conference - click here