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Project Inspire July 2019

Project Inspire - What's it all about?

What’s it all about? Our Year 6 Class have been chosen to take part in an exciting project, working alongside Professor Stephen Heppell and Essex County Council, to make learning better. The project focuses on the improvement of learning environments so that they are innovative and stimulating, with the aim of inspiring children to achieve more. Professor Heppell was a school teacher for more than a decade, and a professor since 1989. He has worked, and is working, with schools and governments around the world to improve learning spaces. Check out his website for more details:

Making learning better is complex. We can learn a lot from sport: Professor Heppell has also been working with elite coaches in Olympic teams. It is the details, the aggregation of marginal gains, that add up to real progress. For us, in the classroom, theseĀ  marginal gains may focus on a wide range of environmental details including:

  • air quality (oxygen/CO2 levels)
  • temperature
  • light and brightness (colour of walls and ceiling can affect this)
  • sound/accoustics
  • room layout
  • stimulating and different ways to test out new skills within the classroom
  • ownership by pupils (if pupils feel they belong, they learn better)
  • displays and colour (lively but not chaotic or too busy)
  • pupils’ diet and sleep habits

So! Together with the Professor, Essex CC, pupils, parents and many generous volunteers, we decided to start a journey of making our Year 6 classroom a better learning space…

These photos demonstrate what our classroom looked like in July 2019. Carbon dioxide levels were high, lighting was poor, the false ceiling was brown and ladybird infested! Even the best lessons had pupils yawning.



  • Barnes Construction
  • Beardwell Construction
  • Professor Heppell and Team
  • Essex County Council Infrastructure Delivery and Education Directorate Teams
  • Thorlux Lighting
  • Learniture (for next generation learning spaces furniture)

If you’re interested in reading more research, check out:

Clever Classrooms Salford University

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