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Turning Peases West Inside Out:

flexible educational environments for developing possibilities and pedagogies


Report by Patrick Dillon, Anna Craft and Penelope Best Images and drawings by Al Rigby and Katja Simma 20 November 2007

Contents
1 3 5 Executive Summary Introduction The Research Process

11 The participants stories 28 Consolidating themes 31 Concluding thoughts 33 Building on the partnership 36 References 37 Appendix

Turning Peases West Inside Out - Creative Partnerships Durham Sunderland

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Executive summary
This is a summary of empirical research funded by the Arts Council of England through its Creative Partnerships Scheme into how transforming the grounds in a primary school altered the way teaching and learning took place, both inside the school and outside.  This project brought together cultural partners (landscape architects, Colour UDL) and researchers (Anna Craft, University of Exeter and The Open University; Patrick Dillon, University of Exeter; and Penelope Best, Roehampton University) working in coparticipant action research with staff, pupils, parents and governors in a Peases West Primary School, County Durham.  Having established a baseline against which change could be reviewed, the research team documented the cultural partnership through the stories of the main participants. Of these, the learning and teaching stories, i.e. those of the pupils and teachers, are given prominence.  The following summary comments and questions are derived from an analysis and synthesis of the stories of all of participants in the project. They raise issues that carry over into the new work at Peases West, and the wider debate about creativity in education:

 The cultural partners undertook interventions that involved on-site activities concerned with creative environmental exercises, favourite and least-favourite places, imagined uses of space,  Each teacher felt ownership of particular building temporary structures, and designing and spaces indoors. Outdoors, time and space was managing space for specific purposes, and offseen as more owned by pupils. How might the site visits for staff to see outdoor education balance of leadership between the outdoors initiatives elsewhere. and the indoors develop further to encompass  The researchers and cultural partners first teachers taking a lead outdoors, and pupils established a baseline and then the researchers perhaps taking more of a lead indoors? collected information in parallel with the  The ways in which learning was gradually seen interventions of the cultural partners. Research to seep into the outside as well as the indoors, was undertaken in a broadly interpretative frame, particularly by pupils, was striking. How might i.e. seeking to understand rather than to explain, educational and social expectations across and involved ethnographic and inductivethe domains of inside and outside be more deductive approaches. A range of methods was broadly blended? employed, including direct observation, participant observation, interviewing, and gathering evidence through structured records kept by teachers and pupils.

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Executive Summary

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 At the outset of the project, pupils identified  During the project there was an implicit inside as a significant place for learning, and adoption of possibility thinking in other by the end they were identifying outside spaces words moving from what is to what might as where learning might take place too. Both be. In particular, encouraging pupils to pose pupils and teachers saw learning as occurring questions, to play with ideas, to immerse where there was also some kind of explicit themselves in the activities which were curriculum-related activity, so that the sessions designed to foster imagination, innovation run by the cultural partners were seen as and to a degree, self-determination. How learning, yet the informal sessions run during might learning spaces and the possibilities playtime to encourage traditional play were they offer be linked to the curriculum to develop not, even though they were always led by a more holistic and transformative experience an adult from outside school. How might the of learning? educational potential of work within the wider  The proposed re-design of the curriculum community be realised? provides an opportunity for teachers to develop  The researchers were struck by the difficulty pedagogy in relation to curriculum, space, in defining work. Sometimes it appeared to time, ownership, and identity. This initiative, mean not play. The project paid close and to be pursued in 2007-08, reflects a desire increasing attention to enabling contexts, on the part of teaching staff to adopt a more encouraging pupils and adults (not only integrative approach to the curriculum, teachers) to value pupils agency. The taking forward ideas about connection emotional dimensions were valued, with and interrelationships introduced by the careful concern for pupils motivation, selfresearchers in the concept mapping sessions, confidence and self-esteem. How might the and reflecting on a pedagogy of connection notion of learning work be extended to which combines a conceptualisation of achieve a better balance of cognitive, integration in the curriculum with tools to affective and conative experiences? facilitate it.  Pupils capacity for leadership was apparent. Older pupils were able to consider ways of engaging younger ones in co-analysis and questioning through evolving their own strategies. Remarkable was their ability to consider their environment for research or teaching, and the need for behaviour management and clarity in their introduction of work. Older pupils positioned themselves as both teacher and researcher for younger pupils. How might pupils be involved more proactively in research and mentoring activities?

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Introduction
Creative Partnerships is a nationally funded programme designed to resource and develop ways in which schools and external partners work together to promote creativity in learning and teaching.
The research described here was commissioned by Peases West Primary School as part of Creative Partnerships Durham Sunderland. The school worked with landscape architects to transform its outside space and investigate how this alters ways in which learning and teaching take place, both inside and outside. Research with the teachers and other adults in the school was largely ethnographic, building a cumulative account of the teachers story from the inside by both progressively focusing and encouraging issues to emerge. In addition to immersive ethnographic information gathered through participation in school life on recurrent visits, the teachers story was enhanced through This report documents and interprets the project, information collected on a periodic basis in drawing on the perspectives of pupils, teachers, response to criterion-referenced questions (as parents, school governors and the wider community. with the pupil research), together with adults The research process was coordinated with the responses to the interventions. interventions of the cultural partners in the school environment. The interventions involved on-site The research provided evidence of an increasing activities and off-site visits. As a finale to the project focus by the teachers on a pedagogy that was there will be more permanent constructions in the both creative and connected, encouraging pupils external environment based on responses to the to pose questions, to play with ideas, to immerse interventions and the findings of the research. The themselves in activities which were designed to cumulative experience of all involved in the project stimulate the senses, engage the emotions and has contributed to the design of this venture. foster imagination, innovation and self-determination. These qualities are reflected in evidence of a The research team gathered information in parallel developing maturity towards learning on the part with the interventions, in collaboration with a of pupils, greater sensitivity to space and its social teacher research team (comprising all staff) and dynamics and educational potential, and greater a pupil research team (comprising 15 pupils, three awareness of the importance of the interplay from each of nursery, reception/year1, year 2, between thinking, doing and feeling. year 4, and year 6). Research with the pupils was largely based on deductive and inductive analysis of information generated by teachers and pupils, through a periodic information gathering schedule. Information and responses gathered by teachers and pupils were analysed through a grounded approach, enabling the production of emergent themes out of which generalisations were derived.

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Introduction

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The School Peases West is a primary school for c.125 pupils in a rural location on the outskirts of Billy Row, a village two miles from the market town of Crook in a former mining region of Weardale, County Durham. The school is accommodated in a modern, onestorey building which incorporates a nursery unit. The interior is semi-open plan with four main teaching areas, shared areas for practical work, and quiet areas between rooms. The main hall is multi-purpose, being used for dining, physical education, assemblies and performances. There is an information and communication technology suite. The central part of the school is built around an open-air quadrangle with split levels, flower beds, a fish pond and seating. The school grounds comprise two playgrounds, extensive areas of grassland and numerous trees. There are extensive views of the north Pennine landscape to the south and more locally to the surrounding village giving a strong sense of place. The head teacher is Judith Stirk who has led the schools involvement with creative educational initiatives over many years. All of the school staff have been involved in the Cultural Partnership in some way, but in addition to the head, the following had direct involvement: Robin Nodding (deputy head), Margaret Nodding (nursery), Laura Teasdale (reception and year 1), Anna Offler and Melissa Morton (who job share years 1 & 2), Nicola Weatherall (years 3 & 4), and Jane Brook (years 5 & 6).

The Cultural partners The cultural partners were Peter Owens, Al Rigby, Katja Simma of Colour Urban Design Limited, a contemporary and research orientated landscape architectural practice specialising in work with schools. Peter Owens directed the work of the cultural partners and Al Rigby and Katja Simma had responsibility for the practical interventions at Peases West and the associated work with pupils and teachers. The Researchers The research side of the project was directed by Professor Anna Craft (AC), University of Exeter and Open University with Penelope Best (PB), Roehampton University and Professor Patrick Dillon (PD), University of Exeter the other members of the research team.

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The Research Process


The focus of the research was agreed at a meeting in November 2006 involving school staff and governors, cultural partnership administrators, and members of the cultural partner and research teams.
A throughline was agreed, i.e. a research focus that Thereafter, the work of the cultural partners was could be tracked systematically through the lifetime based around interventions which took place in of the project. The throughline was: three phases. The cultural partners were keen to focus the interventions so that articulacy with How does transforming the external space alter the external environment was developed and a ways in which learning and teaching take place, positive outcome was most likely from the initiative. both outdoors and inside? The interventions involved (i) on-site activities concerned with favourite and least-favourite The research process was coordinated with an places, imagined uses of space, building intervention model designed by Colour UDL temporary structures, and designing and managing the cultural partners. It involved first establishing space for specific purposes, and (ii) off-site visits a baseline consisting of: (i) the perceptions of the for staff to see outdoor education initiatives school environment held by pupils, staff, parents, elsewhere. The interventions were designed to governors, and the wider community (ii) their build articulacy with the external environment, preferences for different spaces within the school engage the students and staff cumulatively in environment, and (iii) their views about learning exploring the potential of spaces within the school and teaching within the school environment. Both grounds for learning and teaching, and in particular the cultural partners and research teams were to encourage involvement through thinking, feeling, involved in collecting information for the baseline. doing, and to prepare for a permanent change. The research team gathered information in parallel with the interventions, and their provisional findings from each phase, along with the outcomes of discussions with staff and pupils, informed planning for the next.

Entrance Path

Aerial View

Central Courtyard

Top Yard

Grass Bank

Nursery Playground

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The Research Process

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The foci and timings of the phases were as follows: Baseline Intervention 1 November 06 February 07 March 07 - April 07 Perceptions survey Preferences exercises Off-site visits to Rising Sun and Newburn Manor Nursery. Widening sensory engagement: Vegetable garden design and layout outside Desert island exercise Areas for improvement:  Ways of looking at space with Linda Lines from the Rising Sun Country Park Site survey/modelling Designed improvements Developing the design:  Improving the design preparation for permanent change led by the pupils Celebration

Intervention 2

May 07 - June 07

Intervention 3

June 07 - July 07

In graphic form, the intervention programme may be represented thus:

Summaries of information collecting strategies from the teacher and pupil research booklets are appended. Involvement Scale Level Indicators were adapted from Laevers (1993) by Kerry Chappell and Anna Craft. Instruments were used at agreed points, mainly corresponding with the interventions of the cultural partners. The research team also conducted interviews with staff and pupils during or at the end of each phase. These were either transcribed or summarised. The research team reviewed information collectively with the teachers at the end of each phase, and with the pupils periodically through Skype meetings. Penelope Best took overall responsibility for information collection with pupils, and Patrick Dillon with teachers. Information from cultural partners consisted of agendas for interventions and debriefs of the outcomes of interventions, photographs, and plans and drawings of the school annotated with details of preferences, interventions and outcomes of activities. Two members of the cultural partner team were interviewed together towards the end of the project. The interview was transcribed.

Information was collected by the research team, the cultural partners the school staff and the pupils. The information collection strategy was designed to be compatible with the interventions of the cultural partners. Information collected by teachers and pupils was facilitated by teacher and pupil research booklets which told the story of the project through the use of a number of instruments: observation post-its, involvement scale observations, photographs and concept mapping in the case of the teachers; observation post-its, photographs, plans and drawings, best bits and a body task in the case of the pupils.

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Establishing the baseline A baseline was established against which change might be reviewed. Whereas an absolute baseline is impossible in such projects, perceptions and preferences provide a useful starting point. It was decided to collect information from parents and governors as well as from pupils and teachers so as to help situate responses from pupils and from teachers as the project unfolded. Thus the following baseline research information was collected (abbreviations in superscript, here and in the rest of the document, are reference codes to the primary source material):  Notes of a visit of a member of the research team late November 2006. (B0.1)  An agenda for and outcomes of an enjoy exercise conducted late January contributed by the cultural partners. (B0.1 + annotated site plans)  Material collected by the research team during their visit late January. (B0.3: consolidated notes + photographic
images taken by pupils, tape recordings of interviews with pupils and field notes of meetings with staff and governors)

The following overview of preferences is shown on a school plan:

 Material collected by the research team during their visit late February. (B0.4 BO.9: field notes, post-visit notes
and consolidated notes + minutes of meetings, notes on a music workshop, recordings of interviews with pupils and pupils drawings)

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From analysis of all the baseline material, the research team concluded:

Teachers

Teachers see work inside the school as teacher lead and purposeful and activities outside the Pupils school largely as led by pupils imagination where Very young pupils are concerned with their play and emotion have important roles. Broadly immediate surroundings and relate mainly to this corresponds to curriculum inside except material items rather than feelings. They are not where special needs and particular forms of able to rationalise their choices. Infant pupils are learning are to be accommodated. Although the concerned more with physical locations than focus of the teaching staff is necessarily pragmatic, material items. Their choices reflect a growing on learning, and thus with the inside of the school, concern with social spaces. They do not like they recognise the importance of the wider school intrusions into their social spaces or spaces that environment to the general wellbeing of the are uncomfortable. Much more developed senses children and thus would like to see it well designed, of space and place are evident with the oldest well managed and physically and aesthetically pupils. They attach as much importance to feeling pleasing. They are aware of the potential of the as they do to doing and thinking. They have definite outside for learning activities but recognise the ideas about favourite places, and can rationalise limitations of the current structure. and discuss their choices. They have opinions about how spaces can be improved. They have Parents broad views of what constitutes learning, and can Parents value places for dedicated activities explain how different types of learning may be favoured by their children and places with personal associated with different places and how learning memory associations. Some parents have views can be affected by mood. Generally these about physical features and/or changes to them, outcomes confirm the importance of a varied and e.g. trees, seating. diversified indoor and outdoor environment that accommodates the developmental needs of Governors different aged children with material elements, social spaces and spaces that offer opportunities Governors are concerned primarily with the school for different forms of learning. There was a broad fabric and ensuring the best for the staff and consensus among pupils that indoors was for children. The governors differentiate between working and outdoors was for play. audiences and describe the school in different ways to accommodate the different expectations of these audiences. They recognise that the school environment plays an important role in the way the school is represented to external audiences, as well as how it is experienced by pupils, staff and parents. They recognise the importance of first impressions and memory associations for visitors as well as social, emotional and physical aspects of the learning environment.

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The interventions Interventions took place between March and July 2007 and were facilitated by the cultural partners working with the teachers. Intervention 1 Intervention 1 took the form of a number of activities at the school and some off-site visits during March and April 2007. The off-site visits for staff were at the Rising Sun Country Park, specialising in environmental education, Newburn Manor Nursery School which has developed resources and activities for outdoor education based around external spaces that do not dictate to children how to play, and a Forest School at Medomsley.

They were given a list of materials found on the island and then asked to formulate a strategy for survival. At the end of the exercise groups reported to each other on their strategies with details of what they would need to do practically on their island to survive. Intervention 2 Intervention 2, during May and June, was concerned with improving the learning and teaching potential of the school grounds at Peases West. It involved exercises in ways of looking at space, surveying and modelling, and designed improvements. It involved cultural partners working in the school with the pupils in the first week of May and teachers running a series of followup activities. Younger pupils work with the cultural partners involved taking imaginary friends around the school grounds, collecting material and making a place for their imaginary friends to stay. The older pupils were asked to make annotated maps of the schools grounds on which they recorded formal and informal activities, incidents that had occurred that were of significance to them, and special places. Follow-up work with teachers involved moving classes outside for a whole day, drawing on earlier work in the project, and addressing the design brief: choosing one area for improvement and developing ideas to improve it in the form of a scrapbook and sketches for a new special space. A number of suggestions were made by the cultural partners about activities that could be linked to the design work, including a temporary chalk maze, outside learning in different weather conditions, drawing lines on the ground to direct movement in others.

Newburn Manor Nursery

Rising Sun Country Park

The activities at the school were designed to widen sensory engagement. They involved (i) the design of a vegetable garden and (ii) an imagined desert island. In the vegetable garden activity, pupils were asked to imagine and draw a picture of an exciting garden which could be used to grow all sorts of food. The imagining was facilitated by a number of exercises in the school grounds and with some design and construction work using cardboard cut-outs. The desert island activity followed a similar pattern of imagining and then designing and making with simple materials. In groups, pupils were asked to imagine they were marooned on a desert island. They marked out the shape of their island with rope and gave it a name.

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Intervention 3 Intervention 3 was concerned with developing a design for improving the learning and teaching potential of the school grounds. In mid June, the cultural partners conducted an exploring with a mirror exercise with reception, years 2, 4 and 6. They marked out areas to be improved and conducted an observation and ideas survey on the areas chosen. In late June, they created some temporary installations based on the ideas marked out in the earlier session.

Between the two sessions, pupils undertook work on learning opportunities that could be associated with the design ideas and recorded them in annotated drawings. They collectively agreed on one idea and one place for an improvement and wrote a song about this special space in preparation for the celebration. Each year group collectively and, in the case of some year groups, individual pupils, made up a story to tell, a song to sing, a poem to be recited, a dance to be performed, or a game to play in their chosen special place. These were performed to the rest of the school, parents and invited guests as they toured the installations during the course of the celebration day. The culmination of the academic years work was a celebration day involving a tour of the installations with performances. Parents and governors were invited. The celebration took the form of a tour of the school grounds, with the whole school together. The group looked at the special spaces semipermanent installations developed from the pupils ideas from the two previous sessions. The group were introduced to each space by the teacher and pupils responsible, followed by a performance of a song, poetry or a game relating to the new space. The nursery children developed their secret garden with stepping stones and a willow sculpture, while the older groups developed shelters, spaces for reading and sitting, theatre and drama spaces, meeting spaces and exciting play spaces such as treetop walkways, rope walks, swings and rivers.

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The participants stories


Everybody who participated in the project has a story to tell. This report is concerned primarily with the experiences of the pupils and teachers: they are the people whose daily lives are most directly affected by the school environment, and it is their stories that are reported in detail.
The stories of the cultural partners and researchers are related in outline, and there are some brief comments on the experiences of parents and governors. Peter Owens, Director of Colour UDL was pleased about the positive impact of the initiative and felt that the positive responses of the pupils was a moving experience. The project showed that, with simple building blocks, supported with empirical research, it is possible to create a connection between teaching and the environment in a school setting that unlocks possibilities for environmental education in the wisest sense. From the cultural partners landscape design perspective, it would have been helpful to have had feedback from teachers at the outset in terms of linking exercises with the curriculum. It was felt that although enthusiasm for the project was considerable, engagement at the beginning was limited. It is clear that, if the project were repeated, this scenario would be different. The open-ended nature of the end point was a challenge to everyone: Al and Katja expected the outcome to be organised around a more rigid structure, but in practice it evolved: things that we thought were going to happen developed into something else but it all seems to have worked well enough. Not knowing how pupils would respond to things, having to try things out to see what happened, having to test an idea on the day, were all challenges. Keeping open the possibilities for the design of the final, more substantial intervention at the culmination of the project was also a challenge: It has been important to give the children and teachers time to develop their ideas. Their opinions about what they want have matured. This will give a better design result than something pre-specified.

The Cultural partners story


The cultural partners were integral to the project and their site plans and drawings, agendas and debriefs for interventions, emails and memos are both sources of information for the researchers and an independent record of the project. The researchers interviewed Al Rigby and Katja Simma towards the end of the project (Int3.3) and the following is a summary of their reflections: They saw the project as addressing the relationship between academic disciplines and professional disciplines at a mature level. This was a learning experience and a challenge: bringing professional practices into a primary school and realising that they had to be made accessible in a different way. They had objectives for their interventions, which were meticulously planned, but the unexpected always emerged, and they found themselves involved in other things: the school feels like a community, it is difficult not to get involved. (Int3.3) They enjoyed the team work working within a horizontal hierarchy which included the children (Int3.3) - and the democratic way in which decisions were made. The realisation that they could initiate change was a strong experience.

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The teachers story In research into learning and teaching, there is always a dilemma of which to report first, as the reading of one inevitably influences the interpretation of the other. We have decided to report the teachers story first for two reasons. First, methodologically it was generated as a cumulative record, so there is perhaps more of a linear progression to it. This provides a developmental framework for the pupils story. Second, because the interventions were prespecified and the teaching planned around them, there is a real sense in which the teaching framed the learning. However, this is not to say that all learning was related to interventions and to teaching, as will become apparent in the pupils story.

Second, they were asked to observe the three pupil researchers (or target pupils) very closely during the interventions, using an involvement scale (adapted from Laevers [1993] within a concurrent study [Craft and Chappell, 2007]) in another of the schools in Cultural partnerships Durham Sunderland). Lastly, they were asked to collect photographic evidence of each of the target pupils during each intervention.  A concept map generated with the researchers and teachers in early May showing educational outcomes and connections in the project to the end of intervention 1. (Int1.2)

The first formal recording undertaken by the teachers in the project was reflections about their off-site visits to the Rising Sun Country Park and Newburn Manor. These reflections were recorded The approach with the teachers research was in their research booklets. The following is a largely a recurrent ethnographic one, with regular summary of their impressions of resources and visits made by PD in leading this. It aimed to use of space: there was effective use of a small build a cumulative account of the teachers story space (but the adjacent woodlands increased the from the inside by progressively focusing and perceived potential). The potential use of space encouraging emergent issues. The recurrent was not restricted by fixed equipment (but the ethnographic approach was complemented amphitheatre was seen very positively). The value by periodic information gathering undertaken of the flexible use of space was very apparent by teachers, scaffolded by their teacher (e.g. dens give children opportunity to use researcher booklets. imagination. (Teacher research booklets)) Reflecting on how some of the ideas might transfer to Peases West, The research information for intervention 1 it was noted that the amphitheatre would transfer consists of the following: well, particularly as there is a natural space for it, There was comment on better use of trees  Agendas for and outcomes of the vegetable garden activity conducted late March and desert (learning routes through them) and the potential for dens, exploration and investigation. island activity conducted late April, contributed by the cultural partners. (Int1.1) An end of intervention concept map was generated collectively between the teachers and  Material contributed by teachers in their one of the researchers (PD) as a making sense of research booklets following the vegetable information session in early May. It represents a garden and desert island activities and visits review of baseline information and reflection on the to Rising Sun Country Park (April 17th) and first intervention. Notes were written on a flipchart Newburn Manor (April 20th), and the Forest and the discussion recorded. The concept map School. (Teacher research booklets) The teacher research was generated from both the notes and recording. booklets asked them to collect three types of information. First, they were invited to use post-its to record their individual reactions to each of the field visits made.

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Map 1

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Map 2

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The starting point for generating the map were questions: How would you describe the project so far?  What have been the changes in teaching and learning? What are the challenges of the project? In exploring each of the questions, evidence was reviewed, examples given, and further lines of enquiry identified. The lines of enquiry are set out in the boxes in the concept map. As well as being research information, the ideas informed further school-based work within the project. The core of the map is change: in teaching and learning, and work inside and outside. The teachers descriptions of the project yielded a number of interrelated keywords: interactive, exploring, imagination, interesting, thought provoking, collaboration, teamwork. Responses to being asked about the relationship between this matrix of keywords and creativity were: sharing ideas, ethos of school, feeling confident, the unexpected, spontaneity, risk taking, and the link between the imaginative and the concrete. Changes in teaching and learning were described in science and numeracy, but generally the project was seen to encourage more opportunities for concrete and experiential learning and for generating questions outside. A greater sensitivity to the educational potential of the outside was reported. The challenges were seen as recognising the possibilities for planning work outside, the rules for using different spaces, and finding applications in subjects that do not lend themselves to work outside.

The research information for intervention 2 consists of the following:  An agenda for and outcomes of the improving the grounds exercise conducted in early May contributed by the cultural partners. (Int2.1)  A concept map generated with the researchers and teachers in early June showing educational outcomes and connections in the project to the end of intervention 2. (Int2.2) Teachers reflections on the improving school grounds exercise and their follow-up to it are recorded in their research booklets. Their observations are concerned with how pupils engaged in the activities and they are reported in the pupils story below. A second end of intervention concept map was generated collectively between the teachers and one of the researchers (PD) in June using the same techniques as before. Teachers drew on their reflections and also on the material they had generated in the teacher researcher booklets. This second concept map incorporates the first and builds cumulatively on it. The starting questions were thus:  What is your continuing experience of the project?  What have been the latest changes in teaching and learning, especially:  What it the relationship between inside and outside? What makes them special?  What are the relationships between cognitive and affective? How might we build on the outcomes?

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In terms of experience of the project, value was seen in the mix of expertise offered through the teachers, cultural partners and researchers, although at times there was some overlap of expertise and boundaries around responsibilities were blurred. There was concern about how to build on the contribution of pupils and the expertise they have developed as pupil researchers, and how to build on the expertise of teachers as researchers. This is an issue of sustainability. A proposed re-write of the Peases West curriculum (see below) will provide an opportunity to develop and apply these forms of expertise. PD introduced the work of Reggio Emilia in northern Italy as an example of how sustainability had been achieved. The teachers reported that their thinking about teaching and learning at this point was dominated by the notion of a fluid environment and flexible use of it. This has arisen from a greater level of co-planning between teachers, pupils and others, from more connections between the thinking, feeling, doing and playing aspects of learning, and from different forms of organisation and management of space. These in turn have influenced the changing relationship between the cognitive and affective aspects of learning, characterised by the view that imagination requires experience. Some characteristics of creativity were identified during the production of the first concept map. This time creativity was linked to the question of what makes a learning experience special. Responses were: beyond enjoyment, excitement and happiness, fantasy and reality, and possession, being part of it. The potential of using curriculum development to address the matters described above, at this stage of the project, had been restricted because the outdoor space had not yet been physically developed, i.e. the physical resources were the same (although later in the discussion teachers acknowledged that the way they thought about curriculum possibilities had changed). There was concern that pupils had been expecting some fundamental changes in the structure of the outdoor environment, the way it looks. Teachers reported that much of pupils early thinking in the project was centred on the imaginary and fantasy.

Many ideas were not realisable. As the project progressed the thinking became more realistic, especially for the older pupils, with more discriminating use of space, e.g. spaces for thinking, spaces for doing, and spaces for just being. There was more focus on learning outside. Vocabulary changed (e.g. use of home language, chilling out). Since PDs May discussion with staff, there had been outside work in RE (experiencing nature as creation) and D&T (kites, linked to the Japanese work). Teachers felt differently about inside and outside and this translated into the ways in which they worked, for example it was reported that if working outside was seen as a positive thing by the teachers this was picked up by the pupils and affected their responses to the curriculum. The research information for intervention 3 consisted of the following:  An agenda for the design development exercises and the celebration day in June and July contributed by the cultural partners. (Int3.1)  Transcript of meeting with staff, early July, to follow-up detail from concept map two and take stock at the end of the academic year. (Int3.2)  Transcripts and summaries of interviews with head (H), deputy head (DH) and cultural partners (CP) conducted by researchers. (Int3.3) Teachers reflections on the design development exercise were recorded in their research booklets. As with intervention 2, their observations are concerned with how pupils engaged in the activities and they are reported in the pupils story below. The main information in this final phase of the project was the transcript of the July meeting with staff and the transcripts and summaries of interviews with the head, deputy head and cultural partners.

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The July meeting with staff was mainly to enable the researchers to report back to staff but a number of matters were raised in the course of that discussion. The interviews with the head, deputy head and cultural partners were framed around a number of questions but themes that had emerged from earlier phases of the project were also discussed. Taking the two sources of information together, the responses can be reported through the emergent themes of collaboration, pupils as researchers, use of space and resources, and pedagogy. Collaboration The mix of expertise in the partnership had thrown up some interesting issues: at one level there is such overlap that it is difficult to differentiate between different types of expertise and this leads to an experts advising experts advising experts syndrome. This highlighted the need to map connections, a process which had begun in the later meetings between PD and staff. On reflection, what could have been done at the outset of the project, was looking at the pedagogy of the connections. For example, the cultural partners are not educators and thus have no grounding in pedagogy. The teachers have the pedagogy and more discussion and planning focusing on curriculum and pedagogy between the cultural partners and teachers might have been helpful. The teachers also know the local situation, and perhaps this knowledge could have been better utilised. The argument also runs the other way the design expertise of the cultural partners being utilised in, for example, curriculum design. There is a need to find ways of establishing collaborative strategies at the beginning of a project and of having a better understanding of the rich expertise available within a project, and how it might be best deployed. The relationship between ideas (brought in by external people) and the practicalities of how they might work (drawing on the expertise of the staff) is one way of addressing this.

Pupils as researchers Teachers recognised the development of expertise within the pupil researcher team and welcomed this innovation within the community: I had no idea how the children were going to be used as researchers, and thats become much clearer. And I think its worked very well for my children. I liked the Post-it idea, I liked the photographs, thats an obvious one for children, isnt it. (Int3.2) Teachers were excited by the potential in this multi-aged pupil researcher team, for peer-mentoring, a structural process that was to be reinforced the following day by having older pupils interviewing younger ones. These points were reinforced in the interviews where the view was that there were gains in engaging the teacher and pupil research teams. The research tools were well received by teachers, having helped them with curriculum development, and will be used in the future. Involving pupils in research was beneficial in developing, for example, their confidence and vocabulary. Use of space and resources From the teachers perspective the real gains were around recognition of high value in the flexible use of space rather than fixed installations; the more flexible the environment, the greater the range of experiences that could be offered, as these quotations reveal:  We kept thinking we need equipment but we dont, weve got the space, we just need to think of different ways to use the space. (Int3.2)  the children are flexible because we thought about the special places All the year groups identified the special place and what they would put there, but when I was out with the Year 6s it wasnt the same - they were changing the ideas all the time. So if they had actually had the first idea built, then it wasnt the same as the idea that they [later] mapped out... So, is the permanent thing a good idea or is it just having the equipment to change something? (Int3.2)

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 I think it would be nice to have a mixture actually(Int3.2)  Things that maybe havent got a specific purpose so that they could use their imaginations on what they want to use it for. (Int3.2) The teachers reported evidence of increased awareness of space for broader purposes on the part of the pupils, as indicated in these quotations:  [At the beginning of the project] if you look at the little maps out there with the pink circles on, they all went for the playground and the courtyard the middle of the field because thats where I played football and theyve gradually spread out to the edges, and using little spaces that they didnt go in before. Thats been quite interesting probably realising that there is more space that they can use. (Int3.3)  theyre not thinking about football anymore, sport, which is very unusual for the boys in my class, sport isnt mentioned anymore if I say whats your special place, what can you do in it, no longer are they wanting a special place to do sport in - theyre all sort of keen to know how it is going to be a learning environment. (Int3.3) Teachers were recognising the potential of their outdoor space to offer learning opportunities which meld imaginative, playful engagement, with the more formal requirements of the curriculum, as this quotation illustrates:  I think everybodys favourite intervention was making the island, wasnt it when Al and Katja just brought a lot of things in and they said, mark out your island, how are you going to live there, youve got to make a shelter, youve got to provide yourself with food - that was just fabulous. They said its making a den, and a lot of the kids dont do that kind of thing, and they thoroughly enjoyed it, and so did I. (Int3.2)

There was recognition of the significance of the relative simplicity of learning outdoors becoming increasingly necessary for children growing up in the early 21st century, as this quotation illustrates:  A book thats had a huge impact on my approach to teaching this year is Toxic Childhood, by Sue Palmer, about how the modern world is damaging children and what we can do about it. She looks at the various factors affecting the modern child and how we can detoxify childhood look at the opportunities Im giving my reception class, the freedom to run outside, make mud pies, build dens and all of those experiences that children need and are so important in todays world. (Int3.2) The points were reinforced in the interviews. There was general agreement that the project was about using the outdoor environment for teaching and learning and that this exploration is a learning experience in its own right for all concerned. There was general agreement that pupils thinking had matured. Pupils thinking had undoubtedly contributed to the project. There was an issue about whether it could have been utilised even more proactively. Pedagogy The focus here was on different ways of using spaces, the connections the experiences that the connections and the spaces offer, and the idea that space is given shape and identity by the relationships created within it. The identity of the pupils was being reflected and developed in what was being created like a dialogue, it generates memories the pupils will take with them.

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The pupils story Research with the pupils was based around deductive and inductive analysis of information generated by teachers and pupils, through a periodic information gathering schedule. The information comprised responses to pragmatic and theoretically informed criterion-referenced questions. Theoretically informed questions were drawn from the theory of possibility thinking among other perspectives. The information and responses gathered by teachers and pupils were analysed through a grounded approach, enabling the production of emergent themes. Information generated by pupils was explored with the pupil research team in periodic analysis sessions. Information generated by teachers was analysed by two members of the research team and contributed to overall thematic findings discussed regularly with staff by a third member of the team. From these emergent themes generalisations were derived. The project thus worked with existing theoretical constructs about fostering creative engagement, and also adopted an emergent approach, which together allowed the development of thematic generalisations. The research information for the pupils story covering interventions 1, 2,and 3 consists of the following: Researcher field notes from baseline visits: Baseline visit 1 (BSV1) Baseline visit 2 (BSV2) Teacher Research Booklets  Teachers reflections- Yr. group, Teach, Reflection (Yr.2,Teach,Ref)  Teachers observations Yr. group, Teach, Involvement Scale (Yr.4,Teach, I.S.)  Pupil Research Booklets (see appendices) including:  Observation post-its, photographs, plans or drawings, and best bits, referenced as Yr. group, Pupil 1, 2, or 3, Intervention 1,2,or 3 (Yr.6.P3,Int 3)

Pupil interviews:  Research group interviews with adult researchers- Yr. group, Interview, Pupil (Yr group, ntv.P1)  Small group interviews with pupil researchersYr. group, Small group, (Yr 2, Smallgroup) Other pupil information:  Body task in final pupil analysis session- Yr. group, body task, Pupil (Yr6,Bodytask,P1)  Display for parents evening -Yr. group, Display, Intervention (Yr4,Dis,Int.2)  Skype : pupils meeting over internet to discuss findings with PB (Skype 1 or 2) The pupil researchers were asked to complete the relevant sections of their research booklets during and following each intervention with the cultural partners. The younger pupils in nursery and reception were assisted by the teachers, who in some cases spoke with the pupils and notated their responses. In their research booklets, the pupils were asked to write post-it giving information about what they had done and where, their feelings at the time and why they felt this way. They also took learning photographs capturing moments in the activities, and noted how they thought they were learning, how they felt and where there were learning. During the activities they made plans and drawings related to the cultural partners interventions and they stored these in the research booklets. Finally in the booklets, they were asked to choose their two best bits from the following: hearing about the activity, planning what to do, doing the activity, seeing what they and others had done , or something else. In addition following the final intervention the pupil researchers filled in a body task sheet which asked them to draw an impression of how their own bodies felt in the school building, outside in the school grounds and somewhere else, not at school.

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Pupil researchers were interviewed in small groups following each intervention with the cultural partners. These group interviews were transcribed where feasible and summarised in those cases when the quality of recording was insufficiently clear to capture every voice. The pupil researchers in years 4 and 6 were involved in information analysis both through virtual meetings via Skype with PB , as well as in face to face meetings with either one or all of the adult researchers. Additionally the year 6 pupil researchers were involved after Intervention 2 and again after Intervention 3 in interviewing younger pupils as part of the information checking and analysis. It was quite evident that their research planning and interviewing skills had improved allowing them to take into account the effects of the context upon the younger research pupils and select the best methods of engagement and recording. The themes that emerged were: preferences in internal and external spaces, use of space and resources, and the curriculum. Pupil and teacher research booklets were designed to provide complementary information: in many cases teachers commented on the activities that pupils were engaged in and that they, the pupils, were commenting on. Therefore in the pupils story that follows, there is a sub-story, a teacher commentary. The teacher commentary is given in italics.

Preferences in internal and external spaces At the outset of the project, for pupils, preferred, favourite spaces were outside and were linked to feeling and doing; pupils least preferred spaces were identified as both in and outside and linked to thinking, although older pupils viewed inside the school building negatively compared with how they saw the project work outside. The analysis showed that pupils were sensitive to the management of space inside, preferring less clutter, seeing space as defined inside, whereas they could appropriate the large, open space outside. The same space was experienced differently: for example, a packed corridor was experienced by some as a good place for meeting others, and by other pupils as a very uncomfortably tight space. Special restricted places being available to certain year groups were deemed important: Year 6 pupils had a particular relationship with the courtyard, and saw it as their space. Teachers, over time, began to focus their attention on how a holistic learning experience might be fostered in the outdoor spaces, and initially this was modelled by the cultural partners bringing adultframed activities into the outdoors, in which pupils ideas could be surfaced, thus melding the teacherled purposeful atmosphere of the indoors, with the playful, imaginative atmosphere of the outdoors. Over time, the outcome of developing the outdoors was that pupils experienced a greater blending of the two.

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1 2 3 4. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Car park Conker Tree (Aesculus hippcastanum) Top yard playing football Wall at patio north of building - talk to friends atio south of building - nice quiet place, talking to friends Top yard playing football Top yard playing football Courtyard watch fish Top yard football Top yard playing football Top yard playing football Sports field football matches Sports field playing football Top yard playing football Courtyard laugh with friends Courtyard playing games

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Courtyard its fun Patio south of building favorite place to talk Near gate under trees-sitting under trees, talking, playing games Slope at south west corner rolling under hill Slope at south west corner going down hill Trees near gate sitting and talking Ditch along sports field go there and hide Top yard playing football Courtyard sun shine, lay down and pretend to go on a cruise Fence along north boundary lots of snow Courtyard only year 6, kid proof Sports field playing football Top yard playing football Entrance school day Top yard playing football

Use of space and resources There were interesting distinctions between pupils and teachers views about learning, play and socialising, in relation to spaces available in the school. Pupils initially framed learning according to assumed acceptability within research conversations: learning was linked to curriculum and taught subjects e.g. inside spaces with worksheets. (BSV2) At the outset of the project, pupils talked about the best places for learning as being defined through feeling physically comfortable, not too cluttered, and where one can think. (BSV1) They shared varied definitions of thinking, for example strategic planning on football pitch; thinking about friends in quiet corner; fresh air helps me think. (BSV1 +2) As the project progressed, active learning was seen by pupils to be particularly helpful, where you dont just sit, you move around.

During the course of the project, across all age groups, pupils enjoyed planning and doing activities more than hearing about and seeing these. (all Pupil researcher booklets Int.1& 2) Following Interventions 2 and 3, pupils across all age groups rated doing the highest, and seeing what they and others had done second. Planning became significantly less important and hearing about the activity was virtually non existent. Descriptions of activities also often used action words, making, going getting connected with fun(Yr.2 ,4, 6 Res. booklets). It was noted that hearing about an activity might be boring but once we got started it was deemed good. (Yr.4.P2) Primarily the doing was outside and involved end products and props (e.g. bamboo sticks, rags, string, flour, mirrors) with which pupils engaged directly with their bodies, shaping themselves to the objects, as distinct from shaping to a desk or table.
(Skype 2)

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The enjoyment in doing and seeing what had been done was particularly evident for year 6 pupils who expressed excitement and happiness in experiencing what they perceived to be rare activity:  Never done anything like this before; might not ever happen to me again; thing you wouldnt normally do at school; a change(Yr6 P.1+2+3,Int. 1& 2)  Happy, excited, hyper, over the moon, jumpy, because it was exciting and different.(Yr6 P.1.Int.2) For older pupils enjoyment was connected with involvement and with confidence: Its a challenge to show other people; (Yr6, P2, Int2)  It was fantastic and I felt good about myself;
(Yr4 P3 ,Int2)

Working with others was linked by many pupils with enjoyment, typical comments being:  I felt good because we all worked together
(Yr4,P.1, Int 2)

 I felt happy because we worked together


(Pupil photo shows collaboration between pupils and is labelled, in capitals, Lots of people are working together, Yr4,P2, Int2)

 his apparent collaboration was not always borne T out by teachers observations who noticed the tensions: persisted even though it wasnt going to plan (Yr.6.Teach.Ref.) Over the course of the project even the younger pupils recognised the significance of and opportunity to develop their creativity and imagination:  We were learning by using our imagination to make things; (Yr2,P2,Int2)  Learning how to survive by pretending to make things; (Yr2 P3.Int.2 )  It was really fun to do because you never got told off if you drew lots of escaping places that we drew on our maps. (Yr4,P1,Int2) Sometimes the open-endedness of the tasks was exciting:  We were building a tunnel, it was fun and excited... [what made you excited?] I didnt know what to do.(YrRecpt/1.Smallgroup3)

 I felt really happy and pleased with my map.


(Yr4 ,P2,Int2)

Defining how one learns however also proved hard: You dont know how you learn (Yr6,P1Int3) yet doing was identified as a means of learning. (BSV1+ Yr6. P1,2,&3, Int.3) Pupils in year 6 found it particularly difficult to deconstruct how they learnt and were challenged when asking younger pupils, thats a hard question. (Yr6, P.1,2&3, Smallgroup )

Constraints on learning included bad weather, feeling ill,(Nurs. P1,Int.1; Yr2 P.3, Int.1) difficulty with the curriculum, coping with mixed-age learning things we dont understand and little pupils who talk about different things (BSV1 Yr6) and being fatigued by SATs preparation, numerous projects, visits to secondary schools. (Yr.6. P1,2,3, Intv.PD)

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The transferable nature of learning skills was recognised: strategic thinking skills on the football pitch, (BSV1) and learning/teaching skipping and football skills within a family. (BSV2) Some learning was viewed as skills based, some individually strategic and forward focused, and some socially targeted. During the course of the project pupils increasingly recognised how they were working often commenting on working together.(see above) The increased collaborative opportunities through team work were seen by pupils as a distinctive part of the project in contrast to the independent work expected in other school work. (Skype2) Collaborative work gave a sense of fun, confidence and pride as summed up by a pupil in year 4: proud of self; felt fun and good because we all worked together. (Yr4 P.1,2 ,3, Int 1& 2 ) Throughout the project, places where pupils felt happiest were seen to be favourite places (BSV1) and these were increasingly the outdoor places, although the differentiation was less obvious for the younger pupils. (Yr2+ Recpt1, Bodytask) However, there were tensions, in particular around choice about when and how to be messy or dirty. For some pupils opportunities to be messy are part of happiness and yet school spaces and behaviour are viewed by pupils throughout the project as tidy and clean. (BSV1) Therefore, unexpectedly becoming dirty, for example, slipping in mud, could lead to shaming feelings, (BSV2) and feelings of annoyance anoid when trousers covered in gluey flour. (Yr4 P1,Int.3) This is a challenge for teachers to address. For pupils in particular, there was a sense of extended legacy and ownership: It will never end;  It wont be done for a long time and we started it and some others will finish it. (Skype2) This may reflect the only permanent intervention undertaken at that point the establishment of planting beds, which would be tended year on year beyond their time in the school.

Teachers views of learning, play and socialising in the outdoors varied. Different constructs were highlighted as factors in learning across the age groups, as follows. In the nursery (3-4 year olds), physical/cognitive aspects of learning, characterised in the spectrum concentration vs distraction, were particularly emphasised. (Nurs. Teach, I.S.) In reception (4-5 year olds), emotional aspects of learning came into focus, characterised in the spectrum enjoyment vs fear (Recpt, Yr1,Teach, I.S.) and enjoyment vs discomfort. ( Recpt/Yr 1 Teach,IS) In year 2, relational elements appeared to be prioritised, with an emphasis on pupils proximity to others during learning. (Yr2, Teach, I.S.) Here the spectrum of waiting to be directed vs cooperating was evidenced. (Yr2, Teach., IS) In year 4, social elements were emphasised more, with high value placed on partnership, volunteering, sharing and social ownership of ideas. (Yr4, Teach, I.S.) In year 6, there was an emphasis on balancing individual and social work, and responding and suggesting. Working alone and with others, ownership, and leadership, were highly valued. (Yr6, Teach. I.S; Yr4 Teach.I.S. Int3) Whether these perspectives were born of the age-related responsibilities of each teacher, or teachers own perspectives or both, was unclear. Whilst it was clear that pupils valued the active learning, collaboration, opportunities for playful engagement, and ownership involved in the project, and teachers recognised the increased engagement of pupils when outside (All uears.Teach, I.S.) teachers also expressed anxieties about and sensitivities to the outdoor work. Concerns included the worry that stronger characters might dominate in a group. (Yr2, P1,2,&3, Teach.Ref) Sensitivities included awareness of possible of impact of space/location and size of group on learning, (Recept/1, Teach. I.S. & Yr6, all Teach, Ref.) particularly the importance of space and time for critical thinking for younger pupils.

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The curriculum Pupils enjoyed the project activities, which were seen as distinct from school-based ones, as one pupil said:  They [the cultural partners] bring in stuff, material, ideas, something lively into school, like an electric spark, everyone smiles when they arrive. (Skype2) Ownership integral to the cultural partners approach seems to have been important for the pupils:  They do fun things, letting you make your own things and have your own ideas. (Skype2) Pupils rated highly project and other curricular activities, however, preparation for the national tests for seven- and eleven- year olds (SATs) was rated very low. Pupils saw the team work as an important element of the project:  Get to know each other better; can get more information from each other; seeing and showing others. (Skype2) They regarded active learning as helpful: making things; dont just sit, you move around. (Skype2) Older pupils were also really, really happy and excited if they could be with friends moving about outside, walking, talking, drawing. (Yr4. Smallgrp3.) Teachers were aware of pupils enjoyment and how much they got out of looking at each others outputs. In particular for the younger pupils, comments were made about how much they enjoyed using all of the available space. However, teachers were also concerned about the need to make a stronger connection between plans and actual permanent change to the outdoors, since most of the interventions were temporary, such that there was a potential for generating unreal possibilities, and disappointment, from creating plans rather than an actual plot and actually making; activities were fun yet not totally related. (Yr2, Teach, Ref. Int1 +2) This concern persisted and began to coalesce around whether younger pupils could manage to shift between conceptualised space and real space; whether they could understand, for example, the relationship between a model of a bridge and a concrete object upon which they could stand. Teacher observations reinforced the idea in the team as a whole of physical experience being a necessary precursor for conceptualisation about space. (Yr2 Teach. Ref.)

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The researchers story The researchers have a story to tell as well. This report is their formal story. The section that follows outlines the processes through which the cumulative analysis of the information was undertaken. The research process is not neutral. Researchers adopt lenses through which toview the research situation and perspectives that influence the way they work and make sense of what they see. These lenses affect both what they notice, and also how they go about the research process. Within this team the researchers held a mix of perspectives, as follows: Anna Craft is particularly interested in possibility thinking, of posing, in multiple ways, the question what if?, and therefore to shift the emphasis from what is this and what does it do? to what can I or we do with this?. Implicit within this approach is finding, honing and solving problems. She is committed to nurturing self-realisation in both children and teachers, and she recognises that perspectives are situated within the social and cultural values held by participants in the process. Therefore, her approach to research in education tends to involve collaboration and co-participation with children and teachers. In identifying questions to research, she seeks to understand and characterise perspectives rather than trying to tease out causal relationships. She therefore uses a qualitative approach to collecting and making sense of information, or information. She is interested in how theory and practice can inform one another, so she combines the analysis of theory with multiple ways of coming to understand the lived experiences of children and teachers. She therefore draws on a wide research literature from mainly psychology and philosophy of education, as well as on analysis of empirical information.

She uses a range of qualitative tools to collect information, with an emphasis on generating a shared information record (e.g. artefacts, images, recordings, transcripts, written field notes). Her analytic approach involves working from theory (deductive thinking) and working from empirical information (inductive thinking). In working from empirical information, she adopts a broadly grounded approach in which the information is coded to show emergent themes, and then compared with the wider literature; information collection may be progressively focused as a result of this process. Samples of the information are analysed by more than one researcher so that there is more than one set of interpretations (triangulation). Eventually, through a progressive focusing of information collection and deductive and inductive analysis, a number of key themes or findings emerge from her work. Patrick Dillon is concerned generally with the cultural situatedness of education which may be investigated at scales ranging from national to local. His interest in cultural situatedness leads him to a pedagogical position that is heavily influenced by the prior experiences and identities that people bring with them into learning situations (Dillon, 2008). He sees knowledge as located, something that arises out of transactions between individuals and their environments, rather than something that is transmitted. Patricks methodological approaches are ethnography, grounded theory and phenomenology, all of which require research findings to be interpreted relative to the experiences, beliefs and values of the individuals concerned, and the social and cultural contexts in which the information was gathered. Patrick has developed a pedagogy of connection which recognises the interconnectedness of learning experiences and promotes an integrated curriculum with strategies that maximise the opportunities for pupils to make meaningful relationships between what they learn and their personal experiences of the world (Dillon, 2006).

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Penelope Best is particularly interested in ways in which learning and experience are embodied, noting the centrality of the body in sensing both objective and subjective events and making sense of both inner and outer realities (Best, 2005). Concrete bodily experience is interlinked with cognitive, social, and emotional development. Penelopes background in dance and movement observation studies stimulates her curiosity about how space shapes experience; how personal, interpersonal and physical environments limit or expand possibilities. In her research work within supervisory practices she has introduced a construct, interactional shaping (Best, 2003) which synthesises observed movement phenomena and psychosocial theories. Her role within the present research project was primarily focussed upon the pupils engagement with their physical world in terms of how this was shaped by, and in turn shaped, their social, emotional and cognitive experiences. She has developed a research tool (positional drawings) for accessing participants experience of where they feel located in relation to others, systems, feelings or ideas. Penelope incorporates metaphor, and creative activities as useful means to assist expression and understanding of often unspoken experiences and environments. She is situated with a qualitative research approach which aims to elicit appreciation of multiple voices and perspectives through co-constructive dialogues. The dialogues are sometimes between people, sometimes between a person and their own creations and sometimes between different types of information, including words, images, and movement. Different media facilitate expression of different aspects of experience. Penelope utilises similar research strategies for analysing research information as AC while also drawing upon literature within developmental psychology, the arts therapies, and reflexive practices within learning and movement observation. The team drew on all three perspectives to design and undertake this collaborative research project. They valued highly working in a way where there were multiple participants and perspectives, so collaborating with pupils and teachers as well as the cultural partners was a natural starting point.

The project therefore involved, for each of the researchers, a mixture of working with information collected on the site, exploring relationships between this information and theory, and building a cumulative interpretation drawing on all of their perspectives. It also meant that the researchers saw it as important to blend two methodological approaches: (i) a tightly structured and closely documented strand within the project where raw information could be shared (through transcripts, images, field notes), led by AC and PB and scaffolded through the pupil and teacher research booklets, and (ii) an organic running-record of the account, in an ethnographic tradition, where information and interpretation were woven together seamlessly into emergent stories, led by PD. These two elements of the practical research, scaffolding and ethnography, were brought together holistically and cumulatively as outlined below. In practice, this played out as follows. The first full visit of the research team to Peases West was in November 2006. Over a two day period they met staff, pupils, governors and parents and engaged with them in a preferences exercise. They also met the cultural partners and members of the Cultural partnerships managerial team. At the end of the two days period they had a provisional research focus and plan for collecting baseline information. They also had the beginnings of an ethnographic story about the school and those learning and working in it, and plans for their scaffolded story. Between November 2006 and March 2007 baseline information was collected through a perceptions survey, and, in collaboration with the staff and cultural partners, interventions were planned and research instruments developed. The end of January, following the visit of the research team over two days, was the next taking stock point. This was the first time the research team undertook detailed scaffolded work with the pupils; they also undertook separate structured exercises with staff and governors. Work with governors in particular reinforced the importance of memory associations. Although the project has subsequently addressed memory associations,

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particularly those of pupils, the potential of the associations within the wider community have yet to be fully realised. The proposed redesign of the Peases West curriculum (see later) may provide an opportunity for this, similarly with traditional games and play (see later).(BO3) Themes to emerge at this point were:  What constitutes learning (from the viewpoints of pupils and teachers)? Perceptions about where learning takes place.

The meeting with staff in early May to generate the concept map at the end of intervention one was the next point for taking stock. New themes discussed at this meeting were curriculum and creativity. These themes were developed in the meeting with staff in early June to generate the concept map at the end of intervention two. Both meetings afforded opportunities to collect further ethnographic information. Meanwhile, pupils and teachers were collecting scaffolded information that was analysed by PB and AC and also by PB with the pupils.

 Roles within the inside and outside environments The research team met in Exeter in mid June to discuss progress and (i) compare the methodologies and types of leadership associated with each. of the two researchers undertaking fieldwork (PB  The dominance of doing, acting, and thinking and PD), and (ii) triangulate outcomes against ACs modes of education and the possibility of independent review of the information available at reflection and description of felt-experience that time. The complementary approaches were and lived-experiences. compatible with both the expertise and working styles of the researchers and the different contexts These themes were raised with the staff in of working with adults and children. They also subsequent discussion. The implications of provided a check on the internal validity of the the themes for curriculum interventions were research findings by revealing corroboration discussed, including: bridging inside and outside and contradiction. learning spaces, both in the perceptions of teachers and in activities offered; widening sensory A final information collecting visit was made in early and kinaesthetic dimensions of learning; use of July to follow through with matters arising from space in informal play and curricula activities such preliminary analysis of both the pupils and the as drama; adapting approaches from Reggio teachers stories. Feedback was given to teachers Emilia. From the visit, the team had a large amount and a discussion was held with all staff about how of scaffolded information as well as a rich set of they might build on the project. ethnographic information. The research team continued with their analysis All three members of the research team visited at and synthesis during July, August and September. the end of February to continue with field work and They met again in late September to undertake meet with staff and the cultural partners for further further triangulation of information and to draft an planning about interventions and instruments for executive summary. The executive summary was collecting information. The visit of the research presented to the Peases West Governors and staff team also coincided with Trevor Wisharts music by PD in October. The final report was completed in workshop with years 5 and 6. It was at this point November 2007, drafts having been approved by that they decided to focus the research on the all stakeholders. stories the pupils story of the research (to be coordinated by PB, using primarily the scaffolded approach and the teachers story of the research (to be coordinated by PD, using primarily the ethnographic approach). They subsequently developed the research booklets to collect information about the stories alongside the interventions of the cultural partners.

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Consolidating themes
A number of themes emerged during the project, others during the final analysis of information and report writing.

Leadership
At the outset of the project, clear distinctions could be seen between leadership indoors and outside; the former dominated by teachers. Outside, pupil monitors acted as guardians in the playground, initiating activities. As the project progressed, the role of the adult as leader outdoors, expanded, so that teachers were starting to see how the curriculum indoors might be linked to the playful possibilities outdoors. The extent to which the balance of leadership between the outdoors and the indoors may develop further to encompass teachers taking a lead outdoors, and pupils perhaps taking more of a lead indoors, remains to be seen.

Indeed, the importance of ownership particularly of space and leadership for year 6, may have been connected to the impending transition for that group who, were about to leave a school space in which their bodily experiences had developed in relation to a peer group which became increasingly larger physically as the number of younger and smaller ones joined the school. At this point in the project, as one researcher noted in a memo, they were big fish in a little sea, soon to be eaten or lost within a much larger spatial environment.
(PB memo, 13.8.07)

Time, space and ownership


Throughout the project, it seemed apparent that inside time as a whole was more owned by teachers. Each teacher felt ownership of particular spaces indoors, as signified in the often-used phrase, my classroom. Outdoors, time and space was seen as more owned by pupils. Teachers as well as pupils perceived this to be the case. Teachers viewed the outside as belonging, as it were, collectively, to everybody, although as indicated above, the year 6 pupils view the courtyard as theirs. Some of the older pupils expressed appreciation of the outdoor activities experienced, and also anxiety that there might be few or no further occasions such as this particularly the case for those going on to secondary school, as this year 6 pupil said, of the second intervention (designing a vegetable garden): I might never get to do this again I tried to make the most of it, signalling the perceived unusualness of shared time and space and ownership of these, and a (perhaps well-founded) anxiety that this might not be the case at secondary school.

The ways in which learning was gradually seen, particularly by pupils, to seep into the outside as well as the indoors, was striking. The question will need to be addressed of how acceptable it is to get muddy or dirty outside and thus how more broadly to blend social expectations across the domains of inside and outside.

Learning spaces and ways of learning


At the outset of the project, pupils identified inside as a significant place for learning, and by the end they were identifying outside spaces as where learning might take place too. Interestingly both pupils and teachers seemed to see learning as occurring where there was also some kind of explicit curriculum-related activity, so that the sessions run by the cultural partners were seen as learning, yet the informal sessions run during playtime to encourage traditional play (which are a regular occurrence in the school and not part of the project described here), were not, even though they were always led by an adult from outside school. We were struck, however, by the difficulty in defining work sometimes it appeared to mean not play: Im not keen on work says a young pupil (year 1) when asked to draw in the body exercise and is told doesnt have to be work, just draw stick people if you want. (Yr6 Smallgr p2.p3)

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As the project progressed, and the three interventions were introduced, ways of learning, indoors and outside, were seen by both pupils and teachers to be quite distinct. Inside, work tended towards being individually-focused. Outside, learning activities involved collaboration, and group work was often adopted by the cultural partners. It was striking that pupils appreciated being able to talk with others and have a lauf; (Yr6, Pupil2, Int.3) their photographs and drawings were most often of pupils working together. (Res. booklets across years Int.3) Having said this, there was clear appreciation of alternative spaces for being alone, away from others, thinking spaces, chill out places, reflecting quiet spaces, and spaces for smaller groups of pupils. (Yrs 4&6 material on walls for parents eve. Int.2) For the older pupils, decision-making in teamwork often involved a democratic approach; (Yr6. Post Int. p3,4) or was perceived as each pupil doing what he or she wanted as long as it was acceptable to others: (Yr6 pup.2&4) whole group kept thinking till we all agreed with idea. (Yr 2Smallgrp2,p.2) In contrast, with younger pupils decisions were perceived to be made by adults, (YrRecpt/1.Smallgrp1.p2) or pupils shifted between waiting to be directed by peers, (YrR Recpt/1. pup.Smallgrp2.p2 +Smallgrp3.p1) or quickly taking on a guiding role. (Yr.Recpt/1.Teach obs) Pupils capacity for leadership was also apparent. Older pupils were able to consider ways of engaging younger ones in co-analysis and questioning through evolving their own strategies if little kids think its funny, then they put more into it, make it fun and exciting; shorten questions so they make sense, get them relaxed, control them, get them to stick up their hand. (Yr6 pup.1,2&3 Post. Int. p.5) Remarkable was their ability to consider their environment for research or teaching and the need for behaviour management and the clarity of their introduction of work. Older pupils were seen positioning themselves as both teacher and researcher for younger pupils.

What remains to be seen is how, following the end of the project, the teachers themselves may take on the roles adopted by the cultural partners, and in doing so, how far the pupils learning will be conceived of as being individual and how far collaborative in other words, to what extent the collaboration stems from what the environment can offer, and to what extent it is a consequence of different adult facilitation and identity. Perhaps more significantly, is how learning spaces might be linked to the curriculum and into a more holistic and transformative experience of learning. As one teacher put it, at the end of the project: pupils enjoy using the space, but this [the space] has not changed. (Teacher reflection 3)

Identity
Throughout the project it was clear that pupils and teachers perceived the indoors as a place where pupils are learners and teachers know their roles (e.g. to teach). Outdoors we saw a shift such that pupils were seen as players, as having fun. Teachers behaviours changed also, so that they were speaking more loudly, observing pupils differently (partially scaffolded by the research process) and occupied space differently (e.g. sitting on the ground). During the course of the project teachers roles outdoors focused more on supporting the lead taken by the cultural partners, and also on documenting pupils engagement. It is not clear what transitions in identity may emerge once the teachers themselves are responsible for learning outdoors indeed one teacher was aware of the challenges ahead if observation were to take a big role: [the documentation process meant it was] good to catch their responses[but] a problem when trying to control the whole class. Teachers were all struck by how involved pupils were outdoors, and also by the affective dimensions of the outdoor activities.

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Involvement and feelings


Pupils involvement indoors was seen as being much less than it was outdoors, where, for most pupils, at least for the first two interventions, involvement rose over the course of the activities. During the final intervention, the increased involvement was more of a mixed picture, such that the involvement of some of the youngest pupils (aged 3-5) actually decreased during the activities, to which teachers and pupils attributed a number of factors. These included the choice of activity, which may have involved some pupils more than others, or because the investment of ownership in the activity was less natural. The weather, which was unseasonably cold, played a part, so that some pupils were uncomfortable outdoors. These factors, combined with the removal of choice about whether or not to go outdoors which is normally available to the 3-5 year olds, may have led to decreasing engagement for some. Having said this, all teachers and most pupils commented on the contrast in feelings indoors and outside. Feelings were not seen to be relevant indoors, where the primary focus was teaching and learning. Outdoors however, feelings are seen to be not only highly relevant, but also positive, with a rise in happiness cited by all pupils over the course of the project.

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Concluding thoughts
It is striking that the styles of pedagogy (and thus implicit models of learning) adopted by the cultural partners contrasted with those of the teachers such that the cultural partners introduced physically active activities mostly outdoors, which offered pupils space to engage with their own imaginations, and to work with others, compared with more desk-based approaches indoors.
As has been noted, this is largely a reflection of the pragmatic approach the teachers have to adopt in order to deliver a prescribed curriculum. However, teachers were intrigued by what the pupils were able to do outdoors and yet were also reflective about how they might have done things if they had been in the lead. Teachers of pupils in years 1 to 6 (age 5-11) in particular, wished for greater and more explicit integration of the outdoor activities with formal learning, so that the objectives of the particular activity were clearer for the pupils. Whereas the oldest pupils went some way to achieving this integration: pupils used previous work/discussions to inform what they were doing, (Yrs5&6 Teacher reflections) younger ones were, their teacher thought, more confused about the objectives and how one task might be related to another. To gain the most from experiences, teachers of younger pupils would have liked more detailed preparation through closer collaboration in the partnership, especially discussion prior to interventions of the proposed means of managing group work and retaining focus and addressing health and safety matters. (Yr2 Teach.3 obs) Evident in the project was an increasing focus on creative pedagogy, and fostering childrens creativity, and in doing so there was an implicit adoption of possibility thinking during the three interventions: a shift from what is to what could be. In particular, encouraging pupils to pose questions, to play with ideas, to immerse themselves in the activities which were designed to foster imagination, innovation and, to a degree, self-determination, are all features of possibility thinking (Craft, 2000, 2001). The project paid close and increasing attention to enabling contexts, encouraging pupils and adults (not only teachers) to operate playfully and value pupils agency. The emotional dimensions were valued, with careful concern for pupils motivation, self-confidence and self-esteem. As in previous studies of possibility thinking, time and space was allowed for pupils ideas to develop, and teachers stepped back, so as to notice and document closely what pupils were doing (Burnard et al, 2006, Cremin et al, 2006). There were some limitations imposed by the way the project was structured: whilst pupils were offered opportunities for investigative control, these were relatively limited, and the teachers roles were defined by the team as a whole rather than stemming from personal pedagogical style. As teachers take on the development of the outdoors it remains to be seen how they balance structure and freedom, adult- and child- initiated learning, and to what extent they feel able to explicitly value pupils experiences, imaginations and evaluations. In some ways the entire project was set up to foster possibility thinking and it was striking how the binary opposite of indoors vs. outside was integral to this. The project could be viewed in terms of teams: the teacher researchers and pupil researchers on the inside, and the cultural partners and researchers on the outside coming in to work with the insiders. This binary opposite could also be seen in the approaches of the three researchers, one of whom (PD) brought a strongly ethnographic approach and thus might be seen to have an inside approach, and two of whom (AC and PB) adopted framed questions with both deductive and inductive analysis, and thus might be seen to have an outside approach.

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The proposed redesign of the Peases West curriculum (see below) provides an opportunity for teachers to develop pedagogy in relation to curriculum, space, time, ownership, identity and so on, when the cultural partners and researchers are no longer present. This initiative, to be pursued in the Autumn of 2007, reflects a desire on the part of teaching staff to adopt a more integrative approach to the curriculum, taking forward ideas about connection and interrelationship introduced by the researchers in the concept mapping sections, and reflecting Dillons pedagogy of connection which combines a conceptualisation of integration in the curriculum with tools to facilitate it (Dillon, 2006).

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Building on the Partnership


Cultural Partnerships are ambitious initiatives. They generate energy and expectation. A major challenge is how to maintain momentum and build on achievement.
In Peases West, the project lives on in that it informs Ongoing creative work in teaching and learning (i) a redesign of the school grounds including the This is to continue through a Next Practice construction of some new permanent features, and initiative introduced by the Innovations Unit of the (ii) ongoing creative work in teaching and learning. Training and Development Agency. Peases West have been awarded funding to redesign their New construction in the school grounds curriculum. The aim is to generate a broad and Notwithstanding the commitment of the staff at balanced curriculum derived from the needs and Peases West to treat the school grounds as a abilities of the pupils, the expertise and interests of flexible resource, there was also a growing the staff, the particularities of the environment and commitment through the project to making some ethos at the school. This will be a locally relevant permanent structural improvement to enhance its and locally adapted curriculum that will have potential for teaching and learning. Ideas were implications for the roles of teachers as well as explored with the cultural partners through both the the experiences of pupils. It will reflect a local external visits and on-site interventions. The educational ecology. Preliminary thinking about exercises on preferences undertaken with pupils, the curriculum is that it will be experiences and teachers, parents and governors were taken into outcomes led (rather than objectives and subject consideration. In July 2007, the cultural partners led). A provisional outcomes grid has been agreed reviewed all this information and came up with a list by the staff, tailored to the particularities of Peases of ways in which the various suggestions might be West. It reflects the work of the school in the realised. The possibilities included: a story area, cultural partnership and other externally derived stepping stones, music area, quiet places, thinking projects, and the interests and expertise of the corners, timber and drystone walling , a shelter staff. The grid has cells for the formal and orthodox between upper and lower playgrounds, climbing outcomes of learning such as knowledge, skills and walls, interactive wall markings, willow tunnels to communication. screen fences, daffodil maze, and amphitheatre. Each of these ideas can be traced back to a particular learning or teaching experience or aspiration from the project. At a site meeting in September involving the head and representatives from the research and cultural partner teams, and a member of the company that has the contract for maintaining the schools grounds, the multi purpose theatre or multi-theatre was chosen as the way forward, in the favoured position in the south west embankment of the school grounds. An uneven transition between a playground and an embankment north of the multitheatre site will also be terraced so that the design continues through one of the prominent site lines in the school grounds.
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In addition, it has the following outcomes cells, their form heavily influenced by work in the cultural partnership:  Well-being social, emotional, spiritual and health and life skill aspects of education. Closely allied to the Every Child Matters framework.  Learning spaces building especially on the work of the school in the cultural partnership, learning spaces recognises the importance of maximising the flexible use of the whole school environment.  Wider links also allied to the Every Child Matters framework, concerned with the wider school community, neighbourhood, links arising from school visits and links arising from people coming into the school to work with pupils.  Personal achievements achievements of pupils that would otherwise go unrecorded.  Staff reflection a place for staff to record things that would otherwise go unrecorded, e.g. unusual or unexpected learning outcomes, things that worked. In the next stage of the development of this curriculum, the staff will consider how to build on the cultural partnership particularly by involving pupils and parents as stakeholders and designing tools and instruments for recording outcomes and building on approaches, skills and outcomes developed in this project. This feeling of extended legacy and ownership was summarised by a year 6 pupil in July 2007:  it will never end; it wont be done for a long time and we started it and some others will finish it.
(Year 6 comment)

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References
Best, P. 2003. Interactional shaping within therapeutic encounters: Three dimensional dialogues. The USA Body Psychotherapy Journal, 2 (1), 26-44 Best, P. 2005. Embodied choices and voices, in Nolan and Darby (eds) Reinventing Education: A Thought Experiment by 21 authors. Stoke Mandeville, Synectics Educational Initiative (SEI). Burnard, P., Craft, A. and Grainger, T. 2006. Possibility Thinking, International Journal of Early Years Education, 14 (3), 243-262. Craft, A. 2000. Creativity Across the Primary Curriculum. London, Routledge. Craft, A. 2001. Little c Creativity, in A. Craft, B. Jeffrey, M. Leibling (eds) Creativity in Education. London, Continuum. Craft, A., Chappell, K. 2007. Fostering Possibility through Co-Researching Creative Movement with 7-11 Year Olds. Proceedings of Imaginative Education Research Group Symposium, Vancouver, July 2007. Cremin, T., Burnard, P., Craft, A. 2006. Pedagogy and possibility thinking in the early years, International Journal of Thinking Skills and Creativity, 1 (2), 108-119. Dillon, P. 2006. Creativity, integrativism and a pedagogy of connection, International Journal of Thinking Skills and Creativity, 1 (2), 69-83. Dillon, P. 2008. Creativity, wisdom and trusteeship niches of cultural production, in A. Craft, H. Gardner & G. Claxton (Eds). Creativity, Wisdom, and Trusteeship: Exploring the Role of Education, Thousand Oaks, CA, Corwin Press. Laevers, F. 1993. Deep Level Learning An Exemplary Application on the Area of Physical Knowledge, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 1 (1), 53-68.

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Appendix: Summaries of strategies for collecting information


Teacher Research Booklet Tools for collecting information
A. For collecting information about your own ideas: Post- it Reflections: Straight after each visit or project session, jot down on three separate post-its, words that describe: Your overall impression of the event  Effects of the space upon teaching/learning possibilities  What if this were happening in a different space/location? For the initial external visits (e.g. Newburn), ADD one more post-it describing:  Possible applications from site for teaching/ learning opportunities at Peases West B. For your observation of the three selected children in your group: Involvement Scale Observation Observe each of the three selected children, engaged in activities with Colour-UDL:  At equal intervals (at least two times within each project session) observe each selected child for 2 minutes, make notes regarding their involvement; judge what level they are at DURING THAT 2 MINUTES using the level indicators given on page 18 of this booklet. (You may find it easier to observe, jot down few key words and then write up your notes in further detail shortly afterwards)  Carry out rating scale once for each selected child within each of the 3 phases of the research: Please remember to note the location or space where the observation took place. C. Providing images to set the observations of the three selected children in context: Photographic evidence Take images of the three selected children in the Colour-UDL sessions just prior to each observation. Think about what you can capture in photographs that tells you the most about how the children are learning. Remember you dont want people to pose for these pictures, and they do not need to be works of art. This is about capturing visual information that will be useful to your research. Pupil Research Booklet Overview of Tools for Collecting Information  Post-Its after special activity, use three post-its to write words which tell: Information what did you do and where? Feelings how did you feel about it? Why did you feel like this?  Taking Learning Photos during each of the special activities. Remember you dont want people to pose for your pictures. Capture in your picture information telling us about: how you were learning how you feel about the learning where you were learning Plans and Drawings use this booklet to store copies of any plans or drawings you make as part of your activity My best bits were: Hearing about the activity Planning what to do Doing activity Seeing what we did Or something else?

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Appendix: Summaries of strategies for collecting information


Teacher Research Booklet Tools for collecting information
A. For collecting information about your own ideas: Post- it Reflections: Straight after each visit or project session, jot down on three separate post-its, words that describe: Your overall impression of the event  Effects of the space upon teaching/learning possibilities  What if this were happening in a different space/location? For the initial external visits (e.g. Newburn), ADD one more post-it describing:  Possible applications from site for teaching/ learning opportunities at Peases West B. For your observation of the three selected children in your group: Involvement Scale Observation Observe each of the three selected children, engaged in activities with Colour-UDL:  At equal intervals (at least two times within each project session) observe each selected child for 2 minutes, make notes regarding their involvement; judge what level they are at DURING THAT 2 MINUTES using the level indicators given on page 18 of this booklet. (You may find it easier to observe, jot down few key words and then write up your notes in further detail shortly afterwards)  Carry out rating scale once for each selected child within each of the 3 phases of the research: Please remember to note the location or space where the observation took place. C. Providing images to set the observations of the three selected children in context: Photographic evidence Take images of the three selected children in the Colour-UDL sessions just prior to each observation. Think about what you can capture in photographs that tells you the most about how the children are learning. Remember you dont want people to pose for these pictures, and they do not need to be works of art. This is about capturing visual information that will be useful to your research. Pupil Research Booklet Overview of Tools for Collecting Information  Post-Its after special activity, use three post-its to write words which tell: Information what did you do and where? Feelings how did you feel about it? Why did you feel like this?  Taking Learning Photos during each of the special activities. Remember you dont want people to pose for your pictures. Capture in your picture information telling us about: how you were learning how you feel about the learning where you were learning

Plans and Drawings use this booklet to store copies of any plans or drawings you make as part of your activity My best bits were: Hearing about the activity Planning what to do Doing activity Seeing what we did Or something else?

Turning Peases West Inside Out - Creative Partnerships Durham Sunderland