Working with recommendations: Space and Places

SPACES AND PLACES: Exploring the physical environment of school


Starting outside the boundary of your school, film (without narration) your walk on to and around the school campus (external and internal). Pay particular attention to public spaces such as external signage, entrances, gates, entry halls and reception desks.

Watch your film back and discuss:

  • How your school might be perceived by the community? How inviting or welcoming is the school to the community? And newly arrived parents in particular?
  • How aspects of the walk around school (you might like to think about signage, images, displays or information about events & activities) encourage or deter recently arrived parents?
  • What could you do more of? Or less of to ensure that potential visitors to school, particularly newly arrived parents will feel reassured of a welcome when they arrive in school?


Third Spaces

  • Take a look at the definition of third spaces in the report. Where are you third spaces? What purpose do they serve? Who’s purposes do they serve?
  • If you don’t have any just yet can you identify where there might be opportunities for creating third spaces in your school? Will these be face to face? Or Digitally mediated?
  • What skills, attitudes and behaviours will different groups of participants need to develop to be effective, productive and proactive in third space? How will you help support and develop these characteristics?

Outreach and participation

  • In what ways does the school ‘reach out’ to the local community? How content are you that your existing out reach work is sufficient? What could you do more of? Who could help with you this work? What additional resources might you need?
  • What opportunities are built in to your year-long school calendar to work collaboratively with parent’s to get to know more about the children and young people you work with (and find out more about their families)? What unique information can only the parent provide? How might this information feed in to the way you work with young people?
  • What have you learned about the community you serve? What do you still need to know about the community you’re serving? What would you like to explore further? Who can help?
  • Have there been any recent changes in the dynamics of your local community?
  • To what extent does the community shape the work that goes on in school? How do you reach out in to the community and invite the community in?
  • What opportunities do you provide for whole family learning? How do you use your locality to support whole family activities and to make families aware of the availability of wider community resources e.g. libraries, resource centres and particularly places that may offer free wifi access?