Thursday, 15 August 2013

What's a cable tie between friends?

I see an awful lot of things as I move around the country, visiting all sorts of education places...  some just fabulous, others..... well interesting in one word I could say.
Recently I spotted this projector held onto a power bar in a teaching space.... the only thing holding it up was cable ties.....
Inventive - yes, ingenious - maybe, modelling good practice - no, complies with the dreaded health and safety policy - don't think so,  some thing to be replicated by students elsewhere - no!  
I just wish I was in the room when the inspectors came to call - there is just so nothing right about this, even if it works!  

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Curvy Tables

Whilst visiting a primary school recently, we were pleased to spot some really interesting furniture in the Early Years / Foundation Stage rooms.

Rather than the boring rectangular tables we so often see, we spotted a number of fun, really curvy and interesting tables that were great for group work and also teacher supported work.  They can still be joined together to form fabulous bigger tables.  (See above)   

And, rather than the usual rather nasty uncomfortable chairs we so often see, were really comfortable ergonomically designed chairs and the totally great Hokki stools (or 'wobbly stools' as they are often known).  

Even at this age, comfortable chairs, aimed to support developing backs are essential and definitely worth the costs.  The Hokki is designed to enable backs to flex and move naturally as students work.

The furniture is by VS.  Regular readers know that we have long been fans of their furniture - it's great to visit a school that is totally furnished by them,  I'd say they were pretty enlightened really about the importance of getting furniture for young people right!

For more on VS furniture click here.


the-learning-crowd was delighted to be asked to run one day workshop with twenty plus Governors and Senior Leaders for a new school scheme recently. For many this was the start of their journey to try and understand what their vision was, what they wanted to be able to do and how that may change in the future.

It is always great when you give senior leaders (teaching and non teaching) dedicated time to reflect on  practice and consider the future.  Really focused thinking, discussion and optimism emerges in every conversation.  People at coffee, lunch and at the end of a very full day were energised and buzzing about the future.  If only every one could still do this in an every growing time of change.  

It was a very busy and active day, but with quite a lot of laughter as well.  The feedback was brilliant and set the right tone for expanding people's ideas and thinking.

It will be no surprise that no one liked the suggested 'cookie-cutter' or model schemes being suggested by some bodies!

This is going to be a very exciting and challenging scheme..... we're looking forward to working with them on the next stages.



New Scheme opens

The new extension scheme at St Saviour and St Olaves Girls C of E School was officially opened earlier this month. Gareth of the-learning-crowd was pleased to be the Education Lead throughout the design process, working with 4 Futures, Southwark Council and Balfour Beatty.
Working with architects The AoC, this 8 million pound extension scheme provides much needed additional space, including: new science facilities, new music rooms, an activity studio as well as a fab new Sixth Form suite, new main entrance and several other improvements to the school.
The students showing us around were very grateful for the new spaces and thanked anyone involved very profusely.
This is the fourth opening of schemes in Southwark that the-learning-crowd has been education lead on, with more to come!