The classroom is such a busy, noisy place it can get a bit much when you’re a small person. Little Retreat provides a safe space where you can enjoy a moment to yourself, or just curl up with a book.Find out more
FEATURES OF LITTLE RETREAT
A sanctuary for little people who need a little space
A happy classroom has a place for everyone. If you’re having a bad day or you’re one of the quieter children, Little Retreat provides a space where you can gather your thoughts and take a moment for yourself.
Inspired by nesting boxes, Little Retreat is somewhere fledgling learners can build their resilience by taking some time out to gather their thoughts. With cushions and cuddly toys inside Little Retreat becomes a safe haven for children, and its open front and side gaps enable passive supervision by adults. The outside of the pitched roof is clad in LearningSurface® so children can write and draw on it, which is fun and helps build confidence and pencil (or dry-wipe marker!) control. Open gaps under the eaves mean staff can see in, children can peek out and it makes a great ‘posting slot’ for passing books, pens and toys to the occupants.
Providing a retreat space, or reflection zone, is hugely important for learning and for meeting the diverse and varied needs of children and their emotional wellbeing. It’s very difficult for anyone to concentrate in a noisy environment because we are unable to suppress auditory input, we literally ‘can’t hear ourselves think’, so providing a quiet space for thinking or reading can be valuable. A quieter space for reflection can also help consolidate learning because it provokes ‘rehearsal’ that strengthens neural pathways, so using a Little Retreat as a space to reflect could help embed learning.
Giving children who find school hard – perhaps because of shyness, neurodiversity or just having a bad day – somewhere to go when it all gets too much can be life-changing. It means there is a place for them to go when they are struggling. Simply by taking themselves off to Little Retreat could signal either that they need support, or that they have learned coping strategies and taking time out is one of them. You can read about how a Little Retreat works in St Mary’s Pulborough here (LINK), helping to create a learning space that works for every learner.
Benefits of Little Retreat
Creates a safe space for reflection and time out
Having somewhere to go when it all gets too much, or if you just feel like curling up with a book, can be valuable both in terms of emotional wellbeing and to help embed learning through reflection.
Meets diverse needs of learners
For children with additional needs or who are having a bad day, creating a safe quieter space away from the energy and noise of the main learning environment enables them to feel confident coming into school.
Writable panels on the roof, ‘posting slots’ under the eaves and the addition of cushions and cuddly toys make Little Retreat a really fun addition to the learning environment.