The open classroom design became popular in the United States in the early 1970s, when Beattie Elementary was built. The idea of the design was that students would be in a “larger” classroom with several teachers working with them. Classrooms were not separated by walls and closed off by doors. As a result, movement occurred across class areas by both students and teachers, with everyone working collaboratively.
Today, Beattie Elementary staff, parents and students have embraced the open classroom layout as something that is positive and unique and the open design defines our school and the type of learning that occurs here. It provides for a degree of student movement, team-teaching, and cooperative learning that is not possible in a school with a traditional classroom design. Despite being open and with few physical boundaries separating one classroom from the next, each room has clearly defined learning areas and students are focused on what is occurring in their class. The learning environment is calm and focused, with high expectations communicated each day.