Back-to-school at Branksome Hall has never felt more futuristic. Over the summer, a number of exciting upgrades were made across campus, including the development of innovative new spaces that will enable students to bring their creativity to the table in novel ways. These include the new iHUB in the Senior and Middle School and additional ‘classrooms of the future’ in the Junior School.
Excitement around the new iHUB is palpable. As three Grade 12 students (Zoe, Logan and Charlotte) explored the iHUB on their first day back on campus, they were clearly energized as they envisioned how they might use the space. Looking at the flexible desk set-up, Charlotte commented that the iHUB would be ideal for group study and discussions. Logan added that she loved the bright space. “Hopefully during a spare you can come in here,” she said. The iHUB is welcoming and airy, equipped with flexible furniture and lots of whiteboard space. “The whiteboards are great for visual learners,” Zoe said as she looked around the room.
In addition to being an innovative place for students to work throughout their school day, the iHUB will be home to Noodle----the new accelerator program being launched this year. If there is a central place where the spirit of innovation lives on campus, the iHUB just might be it!
Across the road on the west side of campus, two new classrooms of the future were added to the Junior School. Based on the learnings from the original pilot classrooms of the future that were launched in the Junior School in 2017, these recently constructed classrooms have been upgraded based on the feedback from students and faculty.
These state-of-the-art classrooms enable teachers and students to interact in a collaborative way. Mary Fiore (Junior School Mathematics Coordinator) and Kendle Sohier (Grade 6 teacher) are thrilled to be teaching in these new spaces. “I’m looking forward to using two projectors to extend learning opportunities in the classroom,” said Ms. Sohier. “The rooms are designed so teachers and students can share ideas simultaneously,” added Ms. Fiore. Standing in these thoughtfully designed classrooms even for a moment, it’s evident that the spaces have been designed to adapt and change to the evolving needs of students. Chairs and desks are easily movable and there are a variety of seating options, many of which are on wheels so students can select an option that best fits their learning styles. There are also no teachers’ desks in these rooms, reinforcing the notion of collaboration between students and teachers.
The construction of these innovative new spaces was made possible, in part, thanks to our commnunity's support of the 2018-19 Annual Appeal. We are grateful to all those whose generous contributions help Branksome undertake important campus improvements such as these.
While the iHUB and classrooms of the future may not be equipped with jet packs and teleporters, they represent Branksome’s commitment to incorporating cutting-edge technology and innovation throughout the school. We look forward to seeing these spaces----as well as our many other upgraded spaces----filled with our inquisitive and creative students during these first weeks of school!