Ready for Learning at Muckhart Primary School: R4L
Over the summer holidays, staff and volunteers cleared out classrooms of excess clutter. We moved shelves, took down curtains, moved bookcases and basically de-cluttered the rooms as far as possible. This was to make room for the numbers of children but also to put researched improvement in place.
With the condensing of the 3 classes into 2 it seemed an ideal time to re-think the spaces and make them work for us and the children as best we could.
We worked with Educational Psychology team to complete an environmental audit. We looked at the research behind the Clacks Readiness for Learning approach and decided this was a good opportunity to move with the times and to make our classrooms R4L. We visited another school in Alloa who had already adopted this approach. As well as de-cluttering, Parent Council paid for the rooms to be decorated. This enabled us to make the 2 rooms and hallway more fluid in the hope that children would learn between the areas.
The R4L approach is based on helping all children and young people regulate – or manage – their brains at times of stress; to help them feel safe, settled and ready to learn. The approach is about using the best practice from Attachment Theory, Nurture Principles, Trauma Informed Approaches and the Neurosequential Model to help children become the best learners they can be. The R4L approach supports the structure and delivery of the curriculum.
Alongside calm spaces, the research advocates children have access to calming and alerting resources. Research suggests fluid seating can support learners by allowing them to work independently, in small groups or in pairs. In order to promote self-regulation we have begun to learn about the Zones of Regulation – encouraging children to understand and manage their emotions to get themselves into the “green” zone and Ready to Learn!
The third classroom downstairs has been turned into the library so the library can now be used daily. We also have plans to use this room for role-play for the younger children and have sensory areas in it too.