Our campus is a modern school environment. It doesn’t just look good, it is designed to optimise learning. Just as Wework and the Google campuses have revolutionised the way people and companies work, so schools are rethinking their spaces to bring out the best in students, and we are at the forefront of that movement.
Learning no longer happens exclusively in the classroom. The days of students sitting in rows in front of a blackboard are a thing of the past. Our campus is designed with flexibility and plenty of flow area. Discussions can be taken outside the classroom. Students gather in small groups to collaborate and share ideas. This gives them the chance to get to grips with complex ideas while learning to collaborate and build relationships.
Throughout the campus quiet spaces are set aside for contemplation and independent learning, so that when the class gathers again as a group, the students have had the opportunity to reflect on material and gain deeper insight. This approach helps prepare young people not just for university life but the real world beyond.
Our campus is informed by the work of one of the leading futurists in educational technology, David Thornburg. He identified four archetypal learning spaces – the campfire, cave, watering hole and mountain top – that work together to boost learning outcomes. We have developed these varied and creative learning environments in our school using cutting-edge design and materials.
At Charterhouse Shenzhen, the “campfire” is the classroom where students gather to listen to their teacher, stories are told, questions are asked, and the group learns from each other. Thornburg’s notion of “cave” is found in the library spaces and quiet corners where students can withdraw from the noise of the classroom for quiet reflection, giving them the private time needed to consolidate learning. There are plenty of “watering holes” scattered around the campus, informal spaces where students can gather to share ideas and information, collaborate and learn from each other. And when students are ready to publicly demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, there is the “mountain top” – the auditorium, gallery spaces and multimedia networks.
We know that the design of learning spaces matters. Our well-designed campus allows for flexibility and student movement which in turn leads to better academic performance, improved concentration and increased social engagement.