Where You Sit Matters: Learning with Agency 

Where and how you sit in a classroom matters.  Whether you are in the front near the whiteboard, in the back of the class, on a wiggly stool, or sitting on the rug in a circle, furniture within and beyond the classroom plays an active role in a student’s learning, thus representing ‘third teacher’ in a kind. While many people might take school furniture for granted, at ISP, we know it’s a very important part of learning and student agency.

Thanks to the generous donations of our community through the ISP FUND and in anticipation of the upcoming campus redesign based on the “Campus Roadmap,” we have the chance to experience the impact of new agile ‘furniture pathfinder’ solutions.

A recent shipment in August 2023 brought a variety of new furniture options to campus, including:

  • Nook Spaces for students to brainstorm and research before moving into prototyping and producing;
  • Flexible Learning Zones with furniture for group or solo work, portable whiteboards that facilitate collaboration, presentations, make learning visible, and that can be repositioned for visual particion, facilitating information sharing, or simply brainstorming new ideas; 
  • Agile Classrooms with mobile chairs paired with mobile tables that are easy to arrange and rearrange to meet the needs of a vast array of learning experiences, support small group collaborations, presentations, or larger gatherings, thus giving students choice to find a comfortable place to work and to learn.

Fostering Agency and Curiosity

The introduction of versatile furnishings, catering to a range of activities, elevates learning spaces and better addresses the diverse needs of our students. Offering a variety of furniture options empowers students to actively shape their learning experiences, providing choices for both individual and group work. This not only enhances student engagement and agency but also fosters self-awareness, contributing to a more dynamic and personalized educational environment.

Embracing Adaptability with Purposeful Furniture Choices

Flexible seating arrangements inspire collaboration and facilitate group work. The ability to create dynamic groupings builds community and inclusion, breaking down barriers and fostering a more interconnected and supportive academic environment. Students and teachers have not only enjoyed our newly curated spaces but have also witnessed the positive impact on their learning experiences.

These thoughtfully selected furnishings serve not only an immediate trial purpose but also pave the way for a more dynamic and forward-thinking learning environment.

Middle School Agile Classroom (before and after)
Elementary Learning Suite (before and after)
Upper School Learning Zone (before and after)
Theatre Foyar: Middle & Upper School Social Hub (before and after)


Your generosity and involvement in the life of ISP make us the great school that we are today. 

Please consider making a gift to ISP Fund in 2023/24.