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transitioning to team-teaching in Townsville.

If there’s one thing The Cathedral School of St Anne and St James learnt when moving from single cell to a collaborative teaching model, it was not to be afraid if things needed to be adapted along the way.

I like that there are a lot of places that suit your learning.

Nicola - Year 6

Both teachers and students had to work together to refine their new learning spaces and the implementation of team-teaching.

There's plenty of space to work alone or collaborate in smaller groups in the new space.

The teaching staff had plenty of help and support when it came to imagining and designing their spaces. Flexible learning expert Dr. Julia Atkin helped facilitate the initial planning stages of the transition from single cell to collaborative teaching and Furnware's Australian Sales Director Matt Diener oversaw furniture selection to support the new teaching model. Then once teaching staff agreed on what their philosophy of a flexible learning space actually was, they were ready to start planning their move to collaborative teaching in their new environment. 


Different levels and seating options means students can choose where they learn best when a teacher is presenting.

One of the biggest challenges for the school was the age range of the students.  Within years 3, 4 and 5 heights can differ dramatically - space and design had to be carefully considered with plenty of table height options and seating with low chairs and high stools. As Matt explains, “we need to be really really conscious of the environment we are creating. It’s got to be practical, it’s got to last, it’s got to be fit for purpose, for age group and for size of student.”

Being able to move around with devices really influenced the classroom design and furniture choices.

Since the junior school were the pioneers in the move to collaborative teaching, the journey was invaluable and everyone needed to be on the same page with a mutual understanding of what they wanted to achieve. In the initial stages the team-teaching process was constantly being reviewed and refined via feedback from the students, with teachers adapting lessons to better suit their learning.

I like that I’m able to move around and I can move somewhere else if I’m being distracted.

Louise - Year 6

Break-out spaces provide quieter working space with less distraction.

Although the students now have greater ownership over their own learning and are more self-directed, they initially needed time to adapt to their new learning space and understand through choice comes responsibility. Selecting the correct space and furniture for the right task has taken some finessing and guidance but overall the shift to team-teaching and flexible learning has been a positive growth experience for both teacher and student. 


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