In each school, there is a number of rooms that are too small to fit in the whole class. They often serve as storage facilities or junk rooms. Instead, they can be used for educational purposes.
How did they do it in other schools? Download USING EXTRA SPACES AND BASEMENTS and get inspired by the school in Sopot (Poland).
Not all basement areas can be used for educational purposes due to safety regulations. You should take a close look at the requirements concerning school space (the rooms should have a determined height and have good air circulation).
If it turns out that a given room can be adapted for your purposes, make sure the equipment is of good quality. The materials must be reliable (sofas, seats and the carpet have to last long), safe (make sure paints and carpeting is free of allergens and other noxious substances). School employees and parents can help paint the space. Children can take care of the decorations. It is a good idea to put a board or a textile up on one of the walls for the students to hang images, paintings and other adornments.
If we want to have an open school, we must also think about the particular context it is set in. Let’s step outside for a moment and imagine the school not only as a place to study, but also as a place which can tell a story and become a community centre. In such a case, the physical space of the school should allude to regional features. Is there a place like that in your school?
Download A SCHOOL THAT REMEMBERS and find out how to create it.
Take a walk around your school and find some spaces in which you can talk about the history of your region. It is worth looking for historical tropes and analyse them in depth together with the students. How would you fill in this space? Who will you invite to cooperate?