Many people outside the educational field don’t realise the important role that learning spaces in the classroom can have in a child’s learning journey. When your child spends their time at school in a comfortable environment that promotes collaboration and discussion, they will be more engaged and motivated during their lessons. In addition, when your child’s teacher gives them a choice in their personal learning space, they will be more enthusiastic about the learning process. It is important for you, as a parent, to understand why learning spaces are crucial in classrooms.
Benefits of Well-designed Learning Spaces for Students
Your child will realise many benefits when working in a classroom with personalised learning spaces. These include:
- Seating arrangements that don’t hinder your child’s learning experience. In an open-concept classroom that prioritises personalised learning spaces, there is no front row or last row of desks. Instead, there are often learning tables grouped together for small groups of four or six students to collaborate. This allows every student to enjoy the perspective they need within the classroom.
- Your child will have more opportunities to interact with their teacher. Teachers have more flexibility to move around and guide instruction in a collaborative learning space. With teachers moving around the classroom instead of standing at the front of it, students are less isolated and more involved in classroom interactions.
- With learning stations, reading and discovery corners within the classroom, your child has a variety of options to choose his/her comfortable learning space. These flexible learning spaces and seating options can help students stay engaged in their learning.
Differentiating Learning Spaces by Age Level
At OWIS, teachers have become adept at differentiating learning spaces by age level. These are a few examples of how learning spaces may vary based on the age level of the students:
- If your child is in our Early Childhood Programme, they will likely be in a classroom with large collaborative learning spaces as well as learning and activity stations. The emphasis during this stage of education is on hands-on and multisensorial experiences and social learning.
- As your child progresses into Primary school, they will encounter classrooms that are designed to facilitate discussions and group work amongst students. Desks are placed in smaller groups to accommodate 4-6 students, and there is a reading corner for students where they can relax and read, interact and play during specified parts of the day. When teachers want to do specific activities for group projects or build a learning station in the classroom, they work with students and rearrange the classroom furniture/learning spaces accordingly.
How Learning Spaces Promote 21st Century Skill Development in Students
Not only will your child be more engaged in a classroom with personalised learning spaces, they will also have more opportunities to develop critical 21st-century skills. A well-designed learning environment promotes collaboration, communication and interpersonal learning in students by encouraging organic discussion and natural teamwork. When students feel comfortable in their classroom environment, and they have the tools that help them learn best at their disposal, they will be more apt to stay engaged and participate in their lessons.
Also, the learning environment at OWIS is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, which serves as an essential complement to the classroom design. Technology, such as tablets, allows students to collaborate with all their peers and their teacher at the same time from their personal learning spaces. Technology applications also enable different groups of students to work on other lessons simultaneously, which increases the flexibility of the learning experience.
In the IB PYP classrooms at OWIS, your child will be given a choice and voice when creating their own learning space. Our teachers will allow your child to use their learning environment in a manner that suits them so that they can learn in the way that works best for them.
For more information about the IB PYP and the other programmes available at OWIS, contact us today to set up a virtual tour of the school.
Please note: All the images in this blog were taken in pre-Covid times.