Welcome to North Wheatley Church of England Primary School!

North Wheatley Church of England Primary

Believe | Achieve | Thrive

Our Learning Environment

At North Wheatley C of E Primary, we consider the environment to be the 'the third teacher’, whereby physical places have the potential to influence what and how children learn. This is an idea taken from the Reggio Emilia approach which we believe can be adapted and applied beyond the early years and have a positive impact on pupils throughout the primary phase and beyond. 


'We place enormous value on the role of the environment as a motivating and animating force in creating spaces for relations, options and emotional and cognitive situations that produce a sense of well-being and security'.  – Loris Malaguzzi, Reggio Emilia


For us, this approach is about extending our 4 C's ethos of providing a calm, considerate, consistent and compassionate approach further than just our modelled behaviours but also pouring out into the school environment. It's about ensuring children grow up as capable confident learners supported by a nurturing yet challenging environment. Children deserve learning environments that inspire and support them to 'be the best me they can be'. 


We do this by:

  • thinking about the why - what is the purpose behind the choices we make in our learning environments. 
  • looking at the environment through the eyes of the children
  • auditing and reviewing our learning environments on a regular basis to ensure the environment meets the needs of the children
  • ensuring every classroom has a carpeted space where pupils can relax, snuggle up, enjoy a good book and/or provide a variety of spaces for learning. 
  • keeping our learning environments tidy and clear of clutter, modelling respect for our environment and belongings 
  • providing accessible resources and built-in learning opportunities in every classroom (age-related) to support the development of pupils independence and ensure they have opportunities to be actively involved as the 'pilots' of their own learning. 
  • using a neutral, muted colour scheme to ensure that the school environment doesn't become a sensory overload for our children and that the environment is used to support and celebrate learning. 
  • involving children in the design and decision making within the school environment to build a sense of ownership and belonging. 
  • ensuing this ethos is carried out across the school environment and not just limited to classroom spaces. 


Our ethos at North Wheatley C of E Primary is enriched by research. 'The Clever Classrooms' report by the University of Salford found that


'there is clear evidence that the physical characteristics of primary schools do impact on pupils’ learning progress in reading, writing and mathematics. This impact is quite large, scaling at explaining 16% of the variation in the overall progress over a year... As far as we are aware, this is the first time that clear evidence of the effect on users of the overall design of the physical learning space has been isolated in real-life situations.'