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reinventing the classroom to match modern learning.

As technology began to change classroom pedagogy, Mt Sinai College knew it needed to change its learning environments. The decision was made to trial an open-concept environment with flexible, fun furniture at the heart. The results have been outstanding.

The college was an early adopter of technology, integrating iPads into the classrooms back in 2011. It created a master plan to eventually convert all the learning spaces into open-concept, shared learning environments.

“It was really about the fact our classroom pedagogy was changing because of mobile devices and because of the way teachers are approaching teaching now – it’s not like it used to be,” said ICT & Primary Coordinator, Richard Prowse.

Principal Phil Roberts and Teacher Nicole Shapiro share insights around their move to more flexible learning spaces.

Soft furnishings complement the more formal furnishings.

Two rooms were chosen to experiment with the new flexible learning environment. Both spaces had walls that could be moved to create one open space. Sandboxing the new space would then feed into the planning for the rest of the school. 

Richard and Principal, Phil Roberts attended education conferences and visited other schools, researching the best way to transform spaces. Working with their own teams and their Furnware account manager, they then started the exciting transformation process - out with the “restrictive, dull, inflexible” and in with the “creative, fun and inviting.” 

Students are constantly reinventing the spaces.

“The existing furniture really wasn’t working for the teachers and so the new furniture has really changed things for them – it’s made what they’re doing really work. They’ve embraced it absolutely 100 per cent,” said Richard.

Teachers and students are thrilled with the changes. The classrooms literally reinvent themselves on a daily basis depending on the focus for the day. The door that divides the rooms is open more often than not – creating a truly dynamic, shared space.

Year 6 group teachers have really embraced the new space as it fits well with their project-based teaching model.

Richard Prowse, ICT & Primary Coordinator


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