When I was involved in the Building Schools for the Future programme in England I was often disheartened at the engagement with Headteachers when their school had been selected for a complete rebuild. An initial stage was to develop a vision of the learning that would take place in the building and to build from those principles. Bearing in mind that this was a once in several generations opportunity to design a learning building fit for purpose, for several headteachers, the considerations never engaged with learning opportunities. One head passed me a vision wish-list which comprised:
It was always dangerous when this thinking vacuum became filled with the dreams of an ‘innovative’ architect… whenever I head the words ‘glass fronted atrium’ I knew I had a battle on my hands. The ensuing plans usually ended up being a glass fronted corporate edifice that might have been the headquarters of a medium sized commercial enterprise, a hospital or small provincial airport!
Mary Wade presents some more significant considerations in terms of designing classrooms to enable learning of many varieties to take place. Her article could form a useful audit tool for your school: Visualizing 21st-Century Classroom Design | Edutopia