Room for the future

What happens to that well-equipped computer room when primary pupils gain easy access to computers in the classroom? It does get used for other activities, like science and technology, says Kathleen Johnston, principal teacher at Port Ellen Primary, on Islay. But it "lacks an essential ingredient" - children.

"I wondered if we could change its focus. I had in mind a learning environment that motivated children to use and develop investigative and research skills, ask questions, problem solve, take ownership of what and how they learn." So the room is now divided into themed areas.

There is, for instance, a display on plant-life, containing posters, books, CDs, magnifying glasses, growing plants and recommended websites. Pupils will be encouraged to interact with the displays, by adding what they learn. Different learning styles will be catered for. There is a TV and video corner, and a separate area for listening to recordings.

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