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one school's own journey of learning

In the eight years since Furnware first met the team at The Cathedral School of St Anne & St James, they’ve undertaken a purposeful journey to understand how their learning environments can best support a child’s social, emotional, and academic growth.

If there’s one thing this Queensland K-12 independent Anglican school learnt when moving from single cell traditional learning environments to a collaborative teaching model, it was not to be afraid to adapt along the way.
In 2016, Head of Junior School, Luke Baills and his team were fresh into their new facility for upper primary learners. At the time, the school had engaged with an architect and a learning consultant to design their dream spaces. Furnware came on board as a partner, consulting with the team and recommending flexible furniture selections to best meet the needs of the new style of pedagogy that was about to take place.
The transition was bold. Not only did the teachers need to become comfortable collaborating as a team, but they also had to navigate choice in where and how students learned. With this choice came agency and responsibility. It was a big and steep change.

Fast forward to 2022, Luke and the team have evolved their thinking. Research trips to New Zealand to meet with innovative schools, time to evolve the original spaces and encouraging feedback from staff and students has informed the next phase of planning for their learning spaces.
Recently, The Cathedral School updated their Year 1 and 2 Learning Spaces. The furniture is flexible, but with a little more oversight of how it is used for younger learners to aid with classroom management. A pared back colour palette featuring woodgrains has been introduced - allowing the students' work to take centre stage. Careful consideration of lighting and the use of plants in the room has helped with an overall sense of calm in the space.
Luke is delighted with the new spaces and the overall learning space evolution at The Cathedral School. He will continue to take a purposeful and collaborative approach to planning the spaces – here at Furnware we look forward to catching up and sharing their continuing story with other schools to support the new teaching model.

Classroom guidance has improved dramatically, and we are seeing the positive effects of the spaces on the children's choices

Luke Baills - Head of Junior School (Prep to Year 6)

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

Read our previous case study of The Cathedral School of St Anne & St James here

All images are published with permission from the copyright owner - The Cathedral School of St Anne and St James.

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