Norma Rose Point School is one of three elementary schools in Vancouver designed by Fielding to place students at the center of their own learning. The design responds to a global economy that demands fluency in the basics of literacy and numeracy, as well as mastery in the new basics, including independent learning, creative collaboration, and emerging technologies. Central to the design is a transition from a classroom-based organization to a learning community model, where teachers and specialists work in teams of three to five with student groupings of 90 – 125. Each learning community has at its heart a common area with natural light and views, a kitchenette, and ample space for gathering, presentations, independent, collaborative and technology-enhanced learning.
The design and the educational philosophy are seamlessly interconnected. Fielding created an environment that nurtures our core principles of individualized, community-centered, experiential and collaborative learning.”
As a result, students are now grouped according to an age range but not grade, and are encouraged to venture above their age level if a subject interests them. This flexibility creates a highly personalized learning experience for every student. The curriculum is strongly based upon hands-on project-based learning, and building amenities include a kitchen lab, greenhouse, garden terrace, music room with instruments, and maker labs. The spaces are flexible and connected with transparent garage doors that enable teachers to configure a variety of room sizes. Smaller group rooms are also acoustically separate, and dampening materials in the commons level sound even in these larger areas.