CREC: A Unique Learning Environment


During the past few weeks, members of the CREC team have been variously working to support local authorities and individual schools as they look to welcome more children back, safely and supportively, over the coming weeks and months. 

At the same time, we are refining our plans to make sure our learning environment at CREC is ready for our MA and SCITT groups in the Autumn.

Those who have studied at CREC will know the importance we put on the learning environment and ensuring that it is a warm, nurturing, welcoming environment that encourages dialogue and reflection. In the same way that early years practitioners will use their environment to support and scaffold their children’s learning experiences, we do too; be that small intimate spaces for conversations or quiet reflection, or larger open spaces for dialogue around tables.

Our spaces, like our course content, are constructed to break down the notion of an all-knowing teacher imparting wisdom on passive students; all of our students bring experience and knowledge of their own which helps to shape their learning and that of others, carefully nurtured and supported by the course facilitator.

We also know the importance of the little things that reassure people and make people feel secure and able to share and listen. Whether it’s the availability of tea and biscuits, or the comfy sofas, cushions, and candles, we deliberately use our spaces to make you feel at home.

Whilst we know we need to make some changes to be COVID-19 compliant and keep our staff and students safe, we are confident that, so long as we remain in a social-distancing phase, we will have face-to-face training sessions at CREC in the Autumn.

Our small cohort sizes and large training rooms mean, even with 2-metre rules, we can accommodate everyone safely and make sure that our students feel connected to each other and us throughout their learning journey. This face-to-face contact builds relationships and networks which increase the value of a course way beyond the academic qualification at the end.

We do, however, recognise the increased value and flexibility that online learning can provide, particularly when used to support our face-to-face activity, and much time and energy has gone into making this a coherent part of our programmes.

So, to reassure our current and prospective students, CREC will be back ‘physically’ for the new term and will look as close to normal as guidance allows.

We have missed our Learning Community so much since lockdown and no amount of Zoom, Teams or Big Blue Button can replace that connection we have with you when you join us at CREC – we can’t wait to see you all again soon!


The CREC Team

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