The Future of Learning at Clongowes
The Bellarmine Learning Centre opened in May 2019 as a study and homework area for the younger boys in the College, Elements (First Year) and Rudiments (Second Year). The vision behind the development of the Centre is to provide a space that is both flexible and functional to accommodate the different learning styles of our students.
The Bellarmine Centre is a bold statement that reflects the Clongowes philosophy on the future of learning and acknowledges that the needs of students in this era are very different from those of the past. The world has undoubtedly changed, technology gives us all access to information instantly, and the challenge for our young people is to discover how to use that information creatively in addition to working collaboratively. The Centre is worlds away from our former study area in its design and philosophy due to its forward-thinking approach to teaching and learning.
Positive Learning Experiences
The Centre caters for the different types of learners; the kinaesthetic/physical, the interpersonal/social, the visual/spatial and the academic/reader. Learning by doing is accommodated through the provision of a computer room, a piano practice room and an ‘art’ room.
The Bellarmine Centre is a warm, bright and comfortable area that offers a suite of possibilities for students that include:
- Flexible, open seating on large tables
- Study pod seating with overhead lockers for students who need a fixed place
- Collaborative pods for project work
- Learning Support Centre
- Computer Lab
- A ‘messy’ art room
- Music practice area
- Social spaces surrounding the study area
- A model/peer–observation classroom intended to promote professional collaboration among teachers
It is an exciting time for educators and students alike and testimony to the attractiveness of the Bellarmine Centre is that shortly after the doors opened in early May 2019, seats were not only filled, by Elements and Rudiments students, but also older students who enjoyed the light-filled, fluid spaces. It has long been the ambition of Clongowes that study spaces would be occupied according to the nature of the learning rather than the age of the learner, and to see this change happen organically is a wonderful development.
The transformation of the former Third Line Study to the Bellarmine Centre was made possible by the Clongowes Foundation which led the fundraising efforts. We are grateful for their work and the generosity of the donors who understood the significance of the Centre for the school.