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The Power of the Environment

Valley Park is an unusual building, mainly made out of lots of breeze blocks. "So what?", I hear you say?

For many years, the school has had many developments, from bright coloured walls, to neutral tones, but what is the point and why is it so important for us?

The environment is one of the most sensory experiences a child will be given whilst at school. We know lots about how children learn, and we know that lots of bright colours, too many things on walls and an overload of information is damaging to children’s learning. Rather than thinking of colour schemes, and physical appearances, the most important piece of learning we have recently undertaken is to think of how children receive these areas in their brain, and what impact this has on their learning.

There is much academic research about the learning environment, and indeed a lot of discussion in education about what is ‘right.’ What is right, is what is right for the pupils you serve. We want Valley Park children to feel a strong sense of love and care throughout every inch of our building. We want pupils to know that they deserve beautiful classrooms and have beautiful resources – because they are so important to us! We want to create a culture of love and care for each other, and everything within the Valley Park community. If we don’t model this in our basic expectations, how can we expect children to model this elsewhere?

Lockdown has been an unusual experience for us, but one we have used as an opportunity to develop exactly what I have spoken about. To build a place of love and care. For our wonderful pupils. And we mean that from the bottom of our heart.

Each classroom is now carefully themed, with high quality labelling, huge availability of resources and themed for the children. Rooms are calm, quiet and clean and filled with opportunities for learning. The corridors will be developed as points of inspiration, sharing learning journeys with other children as they move through school. We want to share this with all the community, and so we will be posting videos of our school onto the website, for all to see. We are so proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time.