Search form

Innovative spaces at UWCSEA

CSS MenuMaker
Innovative spaces - Junior School classrooms
Courtney Carlson
Senior Communications Manager

Courtney joined UWCSEA in 2012 and served as Communications and Marketing Manager on East Campus until 2018, when she moved into the cross-campus role of Senior Communications Manager. A communications, marketing, and programme management professional with extensive experience in non-profit and education management, Courtney has always been drawn to mission-driven organisations and the College is no exception. She enjoys writing, sharing and amplifying stories about the amazing work of the UWCSEA community and the UWC movement to educate for peace and a sustainable future.

Jocelyn Sutherland
Primary School Teacher

Innovative spaces at UWCSEA

Junior School classrooms support unique learning styles

Innovative spaces are all around us at UWCSEA, including everyday ones such as classrooms. Jocelyn Sutherland’s Grade 5 classroom (5JSu) on East Campus is a great example of how a space can support students’ unique learning styles and can also be shaped by the community that uses it on a daily basis. She says, “I believe a learning space should make students feel welcome, happy and safe. The classroom is another place for students to practise soft skills such as self-awareness, growth mindset and resilience. The design should help students feel valued and respected, and the layout should address a variety of learning styles.”

Innovative spaces - Junior School classrooms

A - ‘Campfire’: This central area is used for whole class gatherings including morning meetings, storytelling, celebrations and presentations.

B - Flexible seating  (or standing): Students have the freedom to choose a place to work that suits their learning style and the task at hand, which could include a stand up desk, couch, floor cushion, or traditional desk.

C - ‘Cave’: Students come here to reflect independently, journal or read when they need a quiet place to work or a ‘brain break’.

D - Makerspace: This mini creation station offers a variety of paper, markers, fabrics, reusable materials, and building materials to use during transition and break times.

E - Cultivation: 5JSu’s theme for the year is ‘#cultivate’, and the students have helped to cultivate the shared learning space. Each student received a plant to nurture along with their own learning, and they brought objects from home to personalise the classroom.

F - ‘Watering hole’: A social and conversation space where students collaborate, share thinking, and work in small groups for activities such as book clubs, brainstorm sessions, and math rotations.

Jocelyn has taken inspiration from the book From the Campfire to the Holodeck: Creating Engaging and Powerful 21st Century Learning Environments by David Thornburg (2013) in designing some of the spaces such as the ‘Campfire’, ‘Watering hole’ and ‘Cave’.

21 Jun 2017
Media and Republish
Subscribe to our monthly
UWCSEA Points of View

*By subscribing, you agree
to our privacy policy.

Articles by the same author

Related articles