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Positive Learning Environment - Primary

Part of the series Professional Skills

  Screen capture from Positive Learning Environment - Primary


This programme examines a new thinking in classroom layout which challenges conventional wisdom on the use of displays, colours and lighting.

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The Communication Friendly Spaces initiative involves a fundamental re-think of basic classroom layout. Research from around the world indicates that noise pollution, harsh lighting, use of primary colours and a busy, cluttered feel to a classroom all contribute to an environment which fails to encourage good communication skills.

Proponents of the new ideas argue that thought should also be given to the use of displays of pupils' work, which may also fail to promote the most positive learning environment.



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Extra materials (3)

Supporting information provided by the educational consultant for this programme

A useful guide to the Communication Friendly Spaces Toolkit provided by education consultant Elizabeth Jarman

A list of publications recommended by the education consultant for this programme

Related links (6)

Comments (14)

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    • Communication Friendly Spaces
      9 June 2009 - 12:34

      An interesting video. Plenty of food for thought on how to develop classroom space for all pupils, possibly up to the end of KS2 in the coming years.
      However, the government needs to plan to put alot more funding into Primary education, particularly the Early Years, to enable this to really happen across all settings in inner city areas as well as wider afield. The creative curriculum will not be properly achieved just with well meaning, peace meal initiatives by many schools who are already struggling to make funding stretch in so many different directions.
      The wonderful ideas being promoted from scanadanavian countries and Italy show the vast amount of investment that has gone into making their early years education so exciting for the children and the staff alike.
      Our early years professionals deserve the same...

      P.S. Why are most of the resource links attached to the video unavailable?

    • communication friendly spaces
      24 January 2008 - 15:49

      When are you going to tackle KS2? Very thought provoking!
      KS2 classrooms are dark caves with whiteboards - it is an effort to open and shut blinds so easier to switch on the glaring strip lights when more light is needed for individual & group work. Teachers are stuck in 1980/90's mode with drapes, primary coloured backing, textured bright borders and bold fancy titles - walls are sometimes other dark trendy shades to "brighten up" old buildings. Things reminding children about all sorts of vocabulary as well as their work dangling from ceilings (to "bring down" over high ceilings) - everything shouting for attention and overwhelming children's work. After viewing a display of work you should be unable to remember the backing, the style of lettering or the borders. A ceiling dangler full of pegs (to attach yet more essential vocab and tips for SATS) attacked me and caught me by the hair yesterday, so you have put my thoughts into words - lets have natural light, peace, calm, quiet colours and less clutter. KS2 please! PS I do like using the whiteboard!

    • Nel Nel
      Communication Friendly Spaces
      15 January 2008 - 20:10

      Fantastic! I'm thrilled that this way of thinking has been given more recognition. Certainly not a new idea - even in the UK; experienced practitioners will recognise the effect the environment has on all children, but particulalrly those with additional support needs. Personal experience working with children on the autistic spectrum knows that they can be overwhelmed with our traditional cheery and bright walls etc. Our responsibility to provide inclusive environments could certainly benefit from this approach.
      I think our leaders need to show us their commitment rather than their money -spend what you would be spending anyway - just choose differently,and work towards this goal using creativity and imagination on the way.

    • Communication Friendly Spaces
      16 November 2007 - 13:06

      Excellent video outlining this new and inovative approach to learning environments. I feel this approach is born out of a new confidence in early years education which has followed the new curriculum and the governments massive investment. I just hope that it will not stop at the younger end of education but will be taken on board by those in higher key stages. Underpinning this is a more general focus on the whole child rather than focusing on just their academic abilities. I hope more research is forthcoming to support this approach and question other 'traditional' ways of educating children of all ages.

    • Mayté Mayté


      Communicative Friendly Settings
      3 October 2007 - 06:49

      I really enjoyed this video, as well as the ongoing discussion. In Guatemala private education enjoys (or doe it actually enjoy it?) almost absolute freedom. Although we do have regulations and an Educational Legislation giving our ministry of Education a lot of power on establishing what, how and to what extent to teach, in practice every private school ends up doing whatever they fancy. From the costs parents must pay to the colour of the tiles, private schools' directors can do whatever they think is best. Unfortunately, not all the teachers are qualified, and this because of the very low salaries offered by the private sector. Still, you find a variety of settings, the best, in my opinion, deriving from a neatly perfect balance between too much stimuli to no stimuli at all. Space is not a probelm, except for what we call the "garage- cum-lounge schools", where those two spaces define exactly what the setting will be for the victims, I mean, the children who will attend. Those "schools" do not deserve to be mentioned here... I would be delighted if someone from Teachers' t.v. would accept my invitation to come and see for yourselves. I cannot offer to pay anyone a plane ticket nor a hotel room, etc., , but if you are prepared to accept being housed in my humble premises, that is, my house in San Cristobal which is next door to my Early Learning and Intensive Language Learning Centres, and to sit at my table with my Anglo-Guatemalan family, you'd certainly be welcome! Just let me know!
      Public schools, although very limited in terms of financial support, range from sophisticated to miserable, the latter being rahter the rule than the exception. I think European countries are really pampered and blessed to have so much available to implement education, both private and public. But I understand that when you have no idea what goes on in this third world countries it is difficult to see the positive side of what happens in one's own...
      Thanks for sharing with us.
      Cheers. Mayt.