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September 29, 2023

The Importance of the Learning Environment

Whether as young or adult learners, having the right space and environment can be the key to productivity and future success. If dynamic and proactive learning is to take place, both students and teachers need to feel that the space is set up to facilitate this. This is why we have begun to redesign the classroom space in the Senior Department with writable walls and modular furniture and are drawing up final plans for the internal renovation of Clough. It will improve not only the first impression for all but will also create a classroom designed to elicit curiosity and develop growing independence. It is with this in mind, that over the summer months the new Learning Hub was completed which you can read more about below as provided by our SENDCo (Carolyn Lambert).

The New Learning Hub
The Learning Hub is proving to be a great success with pupils of all age ranges and abilities. We have so far this term been able to offer space for 1:1 and small group learning, including independent study time; small and separate rooms for learners with Exam Access Arrangements and invaluable ‘chill-out’ time and space for children who have become heightened or dysregulated during the school day. We are also pleased to have reinstated our popular ‘Talkabout’ group on Thursday mornings. In addition, we have been able to offer 1:1 emotional support for pupils with a wide range of needs and the sense of calm in the building seems to have had a noticeable effect on the children who use it. It is early days yet, and we are awaiting the arrival of our new furniture, but we are delighted with the way that the Learning Hub has been embraced across the school, by staff and learners alike.

Open Morning
We are busy preparing for our Open Morning on Saturday 7th October. It will be wonderful to welcome all visitors to our school to have a taste of what Saint Felix has to offer. We would especially welcome those parents in Year 6 and Year 11, who will be able to tour the Senior Department and Sixth Form facilities.

Vision Evening and the Strategic Development Plan
Many thanks to all of you who attended the evening or watched the live stream. I hope that you found it useful and informative in setting out the future plans for Saint Felix. I have attached the slides for those that were unable to attend as an indication of what was said on the night. Combined with my observations across this term, it will form the basis of the formal Strategic Development Plan which will be published to parents in January as well as going on the new website.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Oakman