As part of our strategic work on developing a culture of thinking & creativity at Hills Grammar we are doing some research on how schools are making use of both traditional classroom space, and more innovative ‘open learning spaces’ to promote creativity and collaboration. Examples of such spaces include the Hills Grammar Junior School Centre for Creativity & Innovation (CIC), as well as the redesign of a number of Senior School departments to include useable ‘breakout’ spaces (Mathematics, Languages and English). To assist our thinking, members of the Senior Management team have visited several schools who are leaders in this interesting area of pedagogy and architectural design. In Creating Cultures of Thinking (2015), Ron Ritchhart summarises a number of current trends to make better use of the physical environment to enhance learning. These include: the use of glass to create ‘openness and transparency’; an emphasis on flexible furniture; the creation of ‘zones’ for different learning activities; and the creation of attractive spaces that have an ‘invitational spirit’ to attract students and visitors.

Geoff Gates | Director of Academic Programs Pre K to 12