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Wall-to-Wall Learning in the Classroom of the Future

Welcome to the classroom of the future.

The new Immersive Space at Humberston Cloverfields Academy in Great Britain has widened the horizons of its young students and is the first school in the Academy’s Trust family to have the amazing new interactive, 360-degree screen technology.

One pupil walked into the large room covered from floor to ceiling in a Monet painting and declared, “I’m in heaven.”

At the official opening, staff and pupils welcomed dignitaries, including representatives of other Enquire Learning Trust schools in the area and the two members of Parliament for North East Lincolnshire.

The Trust hopes that one day all children the group of academies will have an immersive space so they can go anywhere the world. Instead of previous interactive classrooms where images are projected onto a wall, this latest technology takes the images made for a VR headset and projects them across a whole room, allowing children to have a shared, enveloping and audible experience rather than the solitary experience of using a headset.

Pupils can ride a virtual rollercoaster, visit the Polar ice cap, walk among wildlife on an African safari and stroll in the garden of a Monet impressionist painting.

Elliston School in Cleethorpes could be the next school to host an immersive space.

The installation has been a partnership development between the Enquire Learning Trust (ELT) and Backstage Academy, the Wakefield-based university arm of Production Park — a unique support organization for the live-events industry, uniting technology, creative spaces and education.

After a chance meeting and informal conversation, ELT’s director of business and operations, Paul Kennedy, and Adrian Brooks, Production Park’s chairman, decided to explore the possibilities of the type of technology Production Park is using every day in its live-events business, to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom. To date, three classrooms have been created, one within each of ELT’s three teaching hubs, with plans to create two per hub by the end of the year, allowing children at all of ELT’s 29 primary academies to benefit from this ground-breaking educational experience.

Pupils can even take part in a yoga class with a virtual instructor or be in the audience of a Queen concert with Freddie Mercury singing: “Who Wants To Live Forever?” Carole Spruce, Queen fan and principal at Humberston Cloverfields, said: “Some of the reactions have been profound. Close encounters with predators and the journey with dinosaurs will leave lasting memories. Another child walked into a Monet painting and declared, ‘I’m in heaven.’

“It is incredible to see the difference it can make. We have noticed that the standard of discussion and vocabulary is also much improved. For example, in one lesson, children imagined Captain Scott writing his last letter home from the Antarctic, knowing he was not going to return, using as a backdrop some footage obtained in the Antarctic. We had turned down the temperature in the room and there was a mass ‘drawing in of breath’ as the children entered. This type of experience really fires their imagination and creativity.”

Melanie Onn, Grimsby MP, said: “I am very impressed. The children are all engaged and talk freely about all they experience. It is exciting to see the first one here.” Martin Vickers, MP for Cleethorpes, said he was impressed by the Monet garden walk.

“We live in a highly visual age. This is fabulous to see and glad there is still a place for formal teaching to engage with children and this enables them to use their imagination,” he said.

Ronnie Woods, ELT’s Director of Professional Learning, added: “It has been a fantastic experience, working with the team at Backstage Academy to create this interactive immersive classroom.”

This article was written by Peter Craig from Grimsby Telegraph / Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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