Rooms with a view bring inspiration to a building fit for the digital age

3rd August 2001 at 01:00
TO a teacher the beauty lies not only in the views of the Campsies, nor in the spectacular atrium which, bedecked with greenery and social areas, will make a major contribution to school ethos. Nor does it lie only in the absence of narrow corridors and the congestion and bad temper they bring, nor even in the airy staffroom.

The major achievement, Drew Grieve, the council's project manager, says, is that despite inevitable compromises the "prime educational objective" of embodying the school organisation model has been fully achieved.

The main features of that model are the provision of space, flexibility, access to ICT and multimedia, and the promotion of the curriculum as a coherent whole rather than a collection of disparate parts.

Well-equipped and spacious classrooms where related subjects are taught - art, drama and music, or history, geography and modern studies - are clustered round a multi-purpose space.

Here group work, research, projects, support for learning, and work with audio-visual equipment and computers (20 networked points), can all be conducted, while pupils are supervised through wide classroom doors that can be opened or closed depending on individual teachers and their lessons.

Every classroom is equipped with a television set and 10 computer points.

When Sandy Kelso, the deputy head, warned that learning and teaching space was not negotiable he was told that everything was negotiable "including your contract". But he persisted.

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