As England’s schools reopen and educators grapple with how to encourage learning while keeping pupils safe, White Waltham C of E Academy, part of Ashley Hill Multi-Academy Trust, in Maidenhead, Berkshire is embracing an innovative approach. It’s the first school in the country to install Studio, an outdoor classroom by Learniture
Studio accommodates 15 students and with its wooden frame and open sides creates an inspiring, fully ventilated, Covid-safe space in which to learn. Learniture also provided weather-proof ZigZags (use-anywhere portable worksurfaces) and Bloqs (cubes that can be used as a seat or a worksurface) so that learners can sit and write or draw wherever they need to.
Key Stage Two students in Ashley Hill MAT schools spend 50% of their day working directly with their teacher and 50% working independently, which is when the Year 6 students at White Waltham CofE Academy will head to their Studio to enjoy learning in the fresh air. This 50/50 way of working was already in place before the pandemic but now learners will go outside to work independently, helping to enable social distancing. Being outside is known to reduce the risk of virus transmission, it’s also an excellent learning environment because of superior air and light quality and it’s good for your mental health to be outdoors.
James Clarke, divisional director, Learniture commented: “These are challenging times for educators and we want to help solve some of the problems schools are facing. Studio helps with the issue of capacity in schools while bringing new learning opportunities. Being outside, close to nature, reduces stress so learning outside could help children overcome the challenges of recent months and support them as they readjust to the rigours of school life. Studio is a joyous place to learn, it’s invigorating to be outside and because the furniture is agile you can use the space to explore new ways of learning and working together. Giving students a degree of autonomy over their learning environment is empowering and increases engagement and Studio is a fun place to be. Ashley Hill Multi-Academy Trust are innovators in their teaching and learning and we hope Studio enhances the school day for their students.”
For more information about Studio, please click here.