On 1st October, students and staff at The Holgate Academy were joined by industry and community partners for the official launch of the new Accelerated Learning Room.

Holgate is one of a handful of schools to incorporate accelerated learning into its teaching approach and to provide dedicated space and facilities specifically for this purpose, aimed at supporting students who find the transition from primary to secondary education challenging.

Whilst not a new concept within education, few schools have fully embraced accelerated learning and implemented it within the classroom setting.

The new Accelerated Learning Room has been designed to motivate and focus students’ minds by using simple cues like colour, positive ‘can-do’ mottos and images, plus soft break-out areas aimed at helping students nurture the analytical and creative sides of their brains to learn in a relaxed environment. The space is intended to supplement and complement the specialist teaching methods used to help advance young learners and raise attainment levels.

Transition leader at Holgate, Henry Diamond explained: “We’re using accelerated learning approaches both to support students with specialist learning needs or high anxiety, and for those pupils who join us from primary schools and need a little extra learning support with things like reading and maintaining attention and focus.  We aim to get them up to speed so that they can join their peers in the year group and attend timetabled lessons as soon as possible.  It’s all about giving these students the best start that we can as they embark on secondary education.”

Support for the creation of the room came by way of in-kind donations from local businesses, with J Tomlinson completing the building and painting works, and IKEA Nottingham providing the décor and furniture.

Antony Newton, regeneration director at J Tomlinson, commented: “We were delighted to be involved in the creation of the new Accelerated Learning Room at The Holgate Academy. We have had the pleasure of working with the academy on their careers days and were keen to do more. The completed room looks fantastic and we are so pleased that it’s already having a positive impact on young learners.”

Barbara Harrison, store manager at IKEA Nottingham said: “It has been fantastic to support the academy with a project which makes such a big difference to these children. IKEA gets involved in lots of community initiatives and each store tries to help out however it can in the local area. It was lovely to see the completed room and to hear from the students themselves.”

The first cohort of 14 students began using the new room at the start of this academic year and took part in today’s official opening by greeting guests and thanking industry partners for their support in providing this specialist space for them to enjoy.