A multi-million-pound 10 classroom building has been officially opened at Felsted, creating a state-of-the-art environment to inspire collaboration, creativity, and innovation, embracing the latest teaching techniques.
Deputy Head Sarah Capewell explains: ‘The Marshall Centre for Learning has been designed with the latest educational research in mind. We know that when students collaborate and share their ideas, they can achieve bigger and better things. Two of the classrooms have a moveable wall which allows us to create a “Big Space” when we want to bring groups together for team-working - or perhaps for a task that requires more movement around the room, because research shows that moving around really encourages students to get their brains working too.’
Each of the building’s classrooms is equipped with writable walls for collaborative projects, as well as large interactive screens to which students can link their mobile devices, sharing their work with the class. It also incorporates workplace-inspired break-out rooms for informal discussions, and areas for independent study, including a series of learning pods and coffee shop style high benches and stools. On the ground floor is an exhibition space, which will showcase students’ artwork.
Sarah continues, ‘We’re already finding students gravitating towards the Marshall Centre during the day between lessons to work on projects with classmates or on their own, or just to find a quiet place to read a book. In the evenings, it’s a favourite spot for boarders who are able to study in the building, and call on subject specialist teachers who are on hand to help them.’
Felsted’s Head Chris Townsend adds, ‘The Marshall Centre for Learning has quickly become the focal point for the senior school. It signals our commitment to enabling our students to develop individual learning styles, to make the most of the academic education we offer, and support success in their lives and careers.’
Funded through donations from past pupils, staff and governors - as well as a significant bequest from a former student Derek Marshall, a successful businessman in whose honour the building is named, the Marshall Centre for Learning is a design and construction collaboration between architect John Squires, and Stuart Cadman, Managing Director of Cadman Construction, both with many decades of experience in the education sector.
The Marshall Centre for Learning was declared open by former Felsted student Matthew Spacie MBE, founder of the charity Magic Bus, which provides education and healthcare for children in India.
‘I know this building will allow the wonderful teachers here at Felsted to continue to offer the best possible education to students and to embrace the latest techniques,’ he said, unveiling a commemorative plaque on the exterior.
The modern-style brick and glass Marshall Centre for Learning occupies a prime location in the centre of the campus.