27 SES 04 A, Participatory and Contextualised Development of the Physical School Environment to Facilitate Educational Change: Three Case Studies
This paper presents the experience of a UK primary school that participated in the latest wave of the Open Futures programme (2011-2013). Open Futures is a skills and enquiry based learning programme, (http://www.openfutures.info/index.htm ), for primary schools, which intends to facilitate change in pedagogy and curriculum. There are four integrated strands: growit; cookit; filmit;and askit (Philosophy for Children). Our recent evaluation suggested the notable success of Open Futures in facilitating rapid whole school cultural and pedagogical change. Here we consider the process of change enacted in one school. This was revealed through three school visits, structured interviews with the head teacher, visually mediated interviews with a sample of students and the collection of other available data relating to student and school outcomes. The physical environment was an important part of the change this school experienced, with various effects and roles evident at different points in the process. Initial physical adaptations to facilitate new learning experiences, particularly relating growit and cookit, were tangible signs of the programme, linked to other early changes made to curriculum, staffing and timetables. Then, as the programme developed, these specific learning environments contributed both to embedding the changes already made and facilitating further developments.
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