At Fingringhoe School, we have been on a school improvement drive over the last three years. In particular, our focus has been on raising standards through improving teaching and learning but also motivating and engaging pupils to want to do better. One of the ways we are doing this is through our core value: Courage which is centred around having a growth or positive mindset: Giving things a go, building resilience and our motto: “I can’t do that…YET!”
So, when Professor Heppell and Essex County Council approached us with an exciting project to improve learning spaces, we were intrigued. We had spent time developing pupils’ attitudes to learning but we hadn’t given much thought to the physical learning environment. Fingringhoe School was built in 1863 and is perhaps the smallest premises in Essex accommodating 4 classes.
Professor Heppell was a schoolteacher for more than a decade, and a professor since 1989. He works with schools and governments around the world to improve learning spaces. 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 has also been working with elite coaches in Olympic teams. Marginal gains, the professor says, are as vital in schools as they are in sport. If learning was the Olympics, this is what it would look like.