SCHOOLCHILDREN and the wider community will have their heads in the clouds for all the right reasons thanks to a £30,000 revamp of a town arts centre.
Greenfield Community College in Newton Aycliffe is one of only seven schools in the world to receive the funding as part of School in the Cloud, an innovative education concept that encourages pupils to organise their own learning environment.
The grant will enable the school to create “Room 13” at Greenfield Community and Arts Centre.
As well as being kitted out with IT and technology facilities, Room 13 will feature a large glass wall, artificial grass and seating areas creating a social atmosphere for pupils and the community to learn independently.
It would see learners set questions and then left to use the internet and their own creativity to come up with an answers and solutions.
Katy Milne, director of arts and creativity at Greenfield, said it was a great honour to have been selected.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Greenfield to continue this global research and development into enquiry based approaches to learning here at Greenfield Arts," she said.
“We are confident that the new spaces will offer a range of new opportunities for creativity and learning for students at Greenfield, local primary schools the community and more.”
Greenfield has invested a further £5,000 into the project and Great Aycliffe and Middrige Area Action Partnership has donated £6,000.
The additional money will allow be used to transform the art centre reception area and to create a space called The Shed, which will contain specialist design and print equipment.
Building work is now underway and a launch event will take place on Thursday, February 13.
In the mean time, visitors to the centre can enjoy an exhibition by Newton Aycliffe artist Dan Walls of Illumination Wall Art, who has created artwork inspired by the project.
School in the Cloud is the idea of Newcastle University education specialist Professor Sugata Mitra who believes children can teach themselves and each other if motivated by curiosity and their peers.
Last year, he won the Technology Entertainment Design award (TED) and received $1m to pursue his dream to create spaces for youngsters to explore and learn on their own.
Greenfield Community College, George Stephenson High School in Killingworth, Tyne and Wear, and five schools in India were selected for a share of the funding.