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Learning in common

A Welsh comprehensive school has remodeled its library in a bid to encourage a more social approach to education

Posted by Dave Higgitt | May 26, 2015 | Interiors

Set in the heart of a former coal mining town in the South Wales valleys, Abertillery Comprehensive School is one of 40 schools chosen to be part of the Welsh Assembly’s Schools Challenge Cymru initiative, a multi-million-pound programme of improvements designed to increase performance in schools across Wales.

With funding secured from the programme to refurbish the school library, the project went to a competitive tender, which was won by education interiors suppliers Innova Design Solutions.

Charged with the design, manufacture and installation of furniture for the new library, Innova’s proposal was based on the ‘learning commons’ model, where space is shared for individual study, online education, reading and group work and where layouts and furniture can be reconfigured according to need.

To facilitate group work, collaborative projects and individual study within one space, Innova designed, manufactured and installed a range of furniture in line with the school’s brief to create an environment which was colourful, non-traditional and inviting. Fixed wall shelving and curved mobile island shelving units were used to showcase reading materials and create zones. Smaller mobile shelving units and book display units were installed to promote the latest must-read books.

Poseur benches and flexible, reconfigurable tables were fitted to encourage independent and social learning. The installation of plasma screens in these areas allows students to work together on mobile devices and tablets and to cast their projects up onto the screen for discussion and analysis. Soft, colourful, modular seating and flexible stools and desk chairs were chosen to allow students to read, discuss and study.

Jodie Withers, finance and data manager at Abertillery, said: “The whole project from the design stage right through to the installation has been faultless. From the first consultation we were presented with design ideas that we had not previously considered, yet fully met our requirements. The installation team completed the work on time and to a very high standard. We are very proud of our new library and look forward to working with Innova on future projects.”

www.innova-solutions.co.uk

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