“LearnSpace inspires confidence that refurbished spaces, with imagination and creativity, can offer appropriate environments for 21st Century learning”
We research the impact of the physical environment on learning; All aspects of built environment, including fixtures, furniture and ICT, are included in this research. LearnSpace also investigates the process of designing learning environments and offers training and development to those involved, particularly teachers and school leaders, in defining and developing spaces for learning.
The need for such a facility has been demonstrated in so many school redevelopments where the design does nothing more than recreate the spaces the predecessor building had. The facility is housed in a refurbished warehouse and office building and has extensive meeting spaces and a double height space of over 400 m2 that can be used to quickly and cheaply create a range of learning environments. The refurbishment was funded by a collaboration of public monies with generous donations of time, equipment and money from numerous private sector organisations involved in refurbishing and building schools. A range of programmes for teachers are being developed in conjunction with Leicester University.
One use for the facility is to mock up existing buildings, marking up structural elements that have to be retained, and allowing teachers to physically explore alternative layouts. This activity is particularly useful where non school buildings are being remodelled for school use. This is a scenario facing a number of potential Free Schools and existing schools seeking additional learning spaces from existing buildings.