Video transcript – Preparing for the future

Classroom Teacher Tiffany Sirisisavath:
My name is Tiffany Sirisisavath, and I am a classroom teacher at Zig Zag Public School.

We started introducing learning spaces that are flexible at Zig Zag to help our teachers more easily implementing current teaching pedagogies, within the space available at our beautiful 150 year old school.

Zig Zag Public School is a small school. Nestled in the hills of Lithgow. We have 90 students across four classes. Learning takes place in our heritage two-storey building.

Our extensive playground, our kitchen garden, and we also make use of the creek at the bottom of our playground and the bushland around us.

Principal Vicki Gillmore:
At Zig Zag Public School the motto is "Learning For Life" which highlights our vision and commitment to ensuring all students have the opportunity to become responsible and caring members of our society, some of the process our school has undertaken in order to meet our strategic directions include: Training, and the implementation of L3 pedagogy in K-2 which we have now adapted to be implemented across K-6.

Implementation of whole school project based learning activities, and training and the implementation of evolving technology for staff and specialised lessons in technology for all students.

Classroom Teacher Tiffany Sirisisavath:
As our school began to embrace the L3 strategies in 2014 such as students self-selecting activities from a list of must-do and can-do choices, we found that the traditional setup of our classrooms was not conducive to the pedagogy. When I saw that there was going to be a flexible learning spaces by design course by the Futures Learning unit, I thought it could be an interesting course to go to.

The key messages I took away, that I thought would fit in to our school context were: collecting feedback from the students to see what they thought about the spaces, adapting some of our furniture, or investing in furniture that was on wheels, rather than getting rid of furniture, and then that way the spaces that we had could be moved around.

Changing our chairs from being chairs with backs to being stools to create more space, and after discussions with the children and interviews with them, it's very obvious that they love having those different places to go and work either independently or with friends.

School Captain Samara:
Hi, I'm Samara and I'm the school captain of Zig Zag Public School.

Vice Captain Bailey:
Hi, I'm Bailey and I'm the vice captain of this school.

School Captain Samara:
Last year we decided to make some changes in our learning spaces.

Vice Captain Bailey:
The teachers wanted us to choose what we wanted to be changed.

School Captain Samara:
We chose that we wanted the learning centre, and the halls.

Classroom Teacher Sirisisavath:
How did that feel to tell the teachers about your learning spaces?

Student 1:
It was fun because we got to tell you where we'd like to learn, and how we like to learn where we wanted to sit.

Student 2:
Because we got to tell you where we'd like to learn, and how we like to learn where we wanted to sit.

Student 3:
To help improve our school basically.

5/6 Classroom Teacher Marie Ellery:
Hi, I'm Marie Ellery and I teach the 5-6 group, and I've been here for ages.

It's a great tool when we're doing our work stations, because most of the children in this room work individually or in groups so, therefore, they choose which work station or individual work they want to do, and they go and find a spot where they're the most comfortable and they just seem to work so much better if some ownership of their learning, it just supports the way we do it.

Student 1:
I prefer working out here because it gives you more space and we can work different.

Student 4:
I like it because it's more space and it's easy to work when there's not as much noise around and you get more done, it's really nice to have those tables out there.

Julie Wallace 3/4 Classroom Teacher:
Hi, I'm Julie Wallace, I am classroom teacher at Zig Zag Public School and we're getting used to the new flexible learning spaces in our room so for maths today we're allowed to choose where their group goes and it's always interesting to listen to reasons why some groups wanna go outside the room, and today we've only got one group left in the classroom and the rest of the spaces are filled up at the hall, and that tends to happen when the 5-6s are downstairs cooking, so we get to use all of it to ourselves on a Monday.

Classroom Teacher Tiffany Sirisisavath:
Do you like learning in the corridor?

Students:
Yes! It's much more quieter out here and we can easily work.

Di Corney:
Hi, I am Di Corney, we knew the corridor's just a total waste of space because it was full of junk, cupboards of old, old things that had been festering around for years, so it was a great thing to get rid of lots and lots of the old bits and pieces. Look through it all, and then start putting in some new furnishings and utilise the areas that were there for us already.

Classroom Teacher Sirisisavath:
Do you have a favourite place to learn upstairs, Laura?

Student 5:
That would be the Learning Centre.

Classroom Teacher Tiffany Sirisisavath:
What activity are you doing at the moment?

Student 6:
We're doing Maths Bingo.

Classroom Teacher Tiffany Sirisisavath:
If you were in the classroom, would it be easy to play the activity?

Students:
No, way too loud.

Principal Vicki Gillmore:
Everyone was on board and then, once we had one area done, Tiff and I were busy doing validation, so everything was put on hold and the next year the teachers were up there. They were clearing out cupboards. They were moving cupboards around. They could see the outcome and they worked towards it, it was really, really good.

Classroom Teacher Sirisisavath:
It was.

End of transcript

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