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Kelvinside Academy: Our pupils will share new 'thinking space' with the community

West End school says it wants to reach out to the community by offering use of its new creative library space.

It is a wonderful new learning resource which is the talk of the school.

But staff and pupils at Kelvinside Academy in the West End say they now want to share their new creative hub with the wider community.

Dubbed the Thinking Space, the recent makeover of what was once the old school library has been inspired by organisations such as Google.

Watch: Rector Ian Munro explains the thinking behind the school's new learning space.

The facility includes a 'Think Tank' - a room where pupils can learn by writing out their thoughts and creations using pens on specially-painted walls.

If they make a mistake or want to start again, they simply use a cloth to rub off the work and the wall is clear.

Elsewhere, ordinary tables have been replaced with comfortable 'thinking pods' where groups of students can work together - and collaborate.

There are still some books in this new vision of what a 21st century school library should look like, but mainly information is wired into the school through banks of computers in the new space.

The refurbished Fraser Library was officially unveiled by Ian Munro, Kelvinside Academy’s new rector – the youngest headmaster of a leading UK independent school.

Mr Munro, 35, said: “The Thinking Space has already become the beating heart of the school.

"It’s at the centre of our ongoing commitment to developing young people who are passionate about thinking and learning.

“Whilst the redeveloped library still contains a huge selection of books, pupils are making use of digital devices to access the school’s online subscription content platforms.

“We are incredibly ambitious for our learners and believe it is vital that they develop characteristics that will allow them to flourish in a rapidly changing world.

"Qualities such as independence, collaboration and creativity are just as important as exam grades. The Thinking Space is the perfect place to nourish these qualities.”

But he added: "We've got a fantastic resource here for our pupils to use but we are also aware that we don't exist in isolation at this school.

"And actually we are part of a West End community, we are part of a Glasgow community, and we are part of a Scottish community.

"So we are really excited about inviting other partners in to use this space - whether that's other academic institutions or community groups, we want to do that.

"We want to give our pupils the opportunity to work with different people from different parts and areas of Scotland in this wonderful creative space."

Pupils played an integral part in the planning and development process.

At their request, a number of playful features were also included, such as artificial grass flooring and LED strip lighting.

Teachers will use the space to develop innovative teaching and learning practices.

Deputy Rector, Dan Wyatt is already beginning to see the impact of the Thinking Space first hand through his approach to group discussion in his History classes.

“Being able to write on the walls encouraged my S1 pupils to be much more creative and original with their ideas.

"There was a huge increase in the amount of information generated, shared and discussed”, he said.

“It has created an uplifting and creative environment which has excited and enthused both pupils and teachers alike.

"We listened to our pupils throughout and the result is a modern, dynamic space that everybody at the school enjoys being in.”

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