By Urs Cunningham | Posted: Friday June 9, 2023
The countdown is on .... Pōhutukawa are getting ready for their big move into the new building early next term.
The team will be moving into our beautiful new building early in Term 3, and we are all very excited about it. The new spaces are quite different in design from our current hubs, and Pōhutukawa kaiako have been preparing for the change. This week they began to work with ākonga around the changes ahead.
Here are the floor plans for the new building:
As you can see from the plans, there are a range of different learning spaces on each floor, and the design deliberately incorporates spaces for large group learning (such as the larger flexible learning spaces, or larger breakout areas), small group collaborative learning (such as smaller breakout areas, maker space areas, and social stairs) and individual learning spaces (such as the alcoves, cave, and bleacher/terrace areas). This is quite different from our current learning spaces, which, while quite open and flexible in some ways, do not have the wide range of purpose built spaces.
This range of learning space lends itself to some deliberate decision making that kaiako and ākonga need to make in order to ensure they are choosing appropriate places to teach and learn. Our Pōhutukawa kaiako have been exploring this over the term and have worked together to create four different learning spaces for the hub, and the different areas in the new building will be tagged as particular learning spaces. This will help ākonga and kaiako to decide which spaces they need to choose for their different learning activities.
The four learning spaces
1) Ako Space: This space is for learning that is purposefully led. It may be a workshop, guided group session, or activity that has someone leading or teaching.
2) Mahinga: This means a space where collaborative work or activity is done. It may be ākonga working alongside each other on different learning tasks, or a small group working together on a collaborative task.
3) Āwhina: This means a help or support space. It may be for ākonga who are feeling less confident about the task they are doing and would like some support from an adult or taitamaiti (child), and it may also be for ākonga who feel able to stop and support others with their learning, if they need it.
4) Kotahi: This is a place for quiet individual learning, where ākonga can get into 'flow' and do not wish to talk with others or be interrupted at all.
Kaiako and ākonga can choose the appropriate learning space based both on the activity or learning task they are looking to do, and also their own personal learning preferences. In preparation for this, Pōhutukawa kaiako introduced these learning spaces to ākonga this week, and discussed questions and thoughts the tamariki had about it. The team were really impressed with the way ākonga engaged with the concept and the thoughtful questions they asked about it.
Over the next few weeks the hub will practice making deliberate and thoughtful choices about where they choose to teach and learn, based on the different learning spaces. There are signs and symbols up around the current learning spaces reminding everyone of the learning style that fits with each space. These signs will then move over to the new building with the team to help them best use their new learning spaces. With some practice, the team is confident that they will be ready to move into the new building and make full use of the well designed learning spaces. We can't wait to see how it goes!