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:
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.'