An exciting journey to create the best learning space.

The vision statement for Silverdale Primary School is "Learn to Journey - Journey to Learn" and this philosophy translates beautifully through to the Modern Learning Environment at their school.

The old classrooms were drab and grey.

Silverdale Primary School was built in 2006 and as a relatively modern build, was quite conducive to a flexible learning space.  However, with classrooms full of grey desks and chairs, the spaces were “drab”, and “although we held a student-centred philosophy in teaching and learning, you wouldn’t have known this by looking at the space,” says Woody Riley, Team Teacher in Koromiko MLE.

The Mod Ottomans are a favourite amongst students.

Principal Cameron Lockie says they wanted “purposeful collaboration between the students, autonomy and independence, and an opportunity for a range of learning tasks happening within the learning space, so children can choose when and what learning they want to engage in”.


Bodyfurn Sled chairs with contrasting D and Rectangle Tables welcome collaboration.

The students themselves were involved in choosing the furniture, researching and justifying the value each piece would bring to the environment for them. When the furniture arrived the students then worked in groups to create spaces where they would like to work.  Team Teacher, Mark Ralston says “at first some of the ideas seemed quite peculiar, although we soon realised that that they were quite brilliant and far better than any configuration we could come up with!”.

We really like how the children are excited about their learning environment and actively offer to rearrange the learning spaces".

Mark Ralston - Team teacher at Silverdale Primary School.

High Tables paired with Bodyfurn Lab Stools are ideal for students who like to be elevated.

The team set out to build a colourful, creative, inspiring and functional workplace for both teachers and students alike.  They wanted areas where groups of students would be able to work collaboratively around whiteboard tables, as well as an area where students could work quietly and independently.  They also recognised that some students prefer to stand, others love to work behind and under things and some just like to lie on the floor.

The whiteboards are the biggest hit and everyone loves working out solutions as they are discussing them.

The introduction of a colourful furniture range really made this MLE sing and the area now reflects the space that principal Cameron Lockie and the school architects had originally envisaged. Team Teacher Woodie Riley points out the team are thrilled with the learning environment. “We are truly inspired by our new space. We are continually reflecting on, and developing our environment, our practice and the learning experiences of our students in creative and innovative ways. The space now matches our child-centred philosophy of teaching and challenges us to shift our practice to match our beliefs.”

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