Competition Time!

Are you a daydreamer, doodler or designer? Do you have an amazing and creative imagination?

4D is getting a new look and we’re looking for someone who can design us a new logo. So we thought, who better to ask to design it than the people who use our spaces – YOU! We’re looking for a design that represents how your immersive space makes you feel and think! What we need the design to do:

  • Be original, interesting imaginative and creative
  • To include ‘4D’ somewhere
  • To sum up what you think a 4D room does
  • Be simple and to the point
  • Be easily transferrable onto computer – you may want to design it on the computer yourselves (in which case send us a file format such as jpg, bmp, png) or you may want to draw it with pen and paper – as long as it can be scanned in, we can use it!

Teachers you may want to set this as a piece of work for your class – why not step into your immersive space to set the challenge.

Once you’re happy send us your logo design to: hello@4dimmersive.com (and include your name, age and the name of your school) by 12th February 2016

There’s a prize for the best design – so, what are you waiting for?! We’re already looking forward to seeing what you come up with…

4D logo comp edit

Christmas Opening Hours 2015

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The 4D office will be closed from 21st December 2015 until 4th January 2016

If you need to get in contact, please use the office number as usual which will be directed to a member of the 4D team. Alternatively, send us an email and we’ll be in touch soon.

We’d like to wish you all a restful and enjoyable Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in 2016.

T: 0844 414 2595
E: hello@4dimmersive.com

Immerse your class in Evolution!

The beauty of having an immersive space at your fingertips is that you are able to transport your pupils back through time, space and location.  You can allow them to empathise with people and situations they may not ever come in to contact with in their daily lives. What’s more, you can uncover, discover and dig deep into topics which are difficult to understand on the surface.

Evolution is just one of those subject, and with it added to the National Curriculum in recent years teachers are finding various ways to introduce and explore the topic.

We often say to our schools who have immersive spaces to not forget that it is a learning environment as much as their regular classroom.  You can create fun activities with real impact within the spaces, not just as an introduction to a particular subject.   Another things we often say is to remember to not be afraid to play in the space, bring other things in and add to immersive experience with props and activities.

Here’s a lovely activity we found on the Innovate My School website that you could do within an immersive space or in the classroom:

‘Fossil samples are a fantastic starting point for teaching about evolution as they are a physical thing that students can explore. Of course, for an even more hands-on lesson, you could ask learners to make their own!

For this activity, you can either make the dough in advance or give children time to make their own, as long as you don’t mind an extra messy classroom!

  • Give small groups of children some fossil dough (you can find a brilliant recipe here).
  • Place a selection of everyday objects such as cutlery, building blocks, jewellery, paint brushes or animal models on an investigation table.
  • Get children to choose an object to make an imprint in their fossil dough. Encourage them to think carefully about how to make the impression so it isn’t too easy to guess.
  • Once all the groups have made their imprint, display the fossils somewhere to be examined.
  • Ask each group to take it in turns to guess what the fossils are.
  • Once all of the guesses have been recorded, each group can reveal what their fossil is. There are bound to be some surprises!

You can encourage children to talk about the fossils they made. Is it easy or difficult to identify what made the imprints? Did everyone have the same or different ideas about what made the imprints?

Have a discussion about how easy or difficult it is to identify what real fossils show. Draw attention to the things fossils can’t tell us, like what colour something was. Can the children think of any problems with making predictions about ancient plants and animals from fossil evidence? At this point children could examine some real fossils and talk about what animals or plants might have made them.’

With this in mind it is also possible to reach other aspects of the curriculum in a cross pollinating way – look at the shapes and patterns made by the imprints (Maths), create wrapping paper from prints made (Art and Design), explore the geographical areas that dinosaur bones have been found (Geography), discuss types of foods that might have been eaten in the stone age (History)…the list goes on.

We feel it is vital to get the most of your immersive space is to reiterate learning done within it back in the class room and vice versa. Create a learning journey that integrates all the tools your school offers to have better impact and measurable outcomes for all involved.

To see more of the article from Innovate My School click here

New Park and Northway Open Days!

We were recently invited to the openings of two new schools in Liverpool – Newpark Primary and Northway Primary both of which have had a 4D immersive space designed into the new builds. Lauren from our team went to have a look around the new schools and to speak with some of the teachers who have been using immersive approaches to learning in really creative ways.

 

New Park Primary School

After the wonderful assembly put on by New Park School to celebrate the opening, I was lucky enough to see the 4D room in action as there was a lesson taking place whilst I was there. Year 6 were continuing their learning from the day before about WW1, using the immersive space to brainstorm their ideas of how soldiers may have felt during the war whilst being surrounded by images of soldiers in the trenches and war time propaganda. Some great vocabulary was being verbalised and written down by all the class.  Some of the children shared their ideas with me…

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What’s great about lessons in a 4D space, where there are no tables and chairs, no boundaries to learning – collaborative work feels more accessible and pupils who may not ordinarily express their thoughts and ideas, start to uncover them and share with others more openly.  Teachers often tell us that there is a marked improvement in written work and recall of information back in the classroom after being fully immersed in a topic inside a 4D space.

I got talking to the teacher  Ian Willis, who said that he had already loved using the space for a number of activities and topics since its installation.  I discussed possible ways of extending the lessons by bringing objects and materials into the class; suggesting the use of material to project the ocean scenes onto while pupils lay beneath, giving the effect of being underwater.  Or that right then and there, he could even take the projections off and plunge the class into darkness to simply be immersed in the sounds of gun fire and bombs.

He loved the idea, so for the final 5 minutes of the lesson, this is what he did, asking Year 6 to just imagine how it might feel to be in the trenches and not being able to see in front of you. When the lights came back on the looks on these 9 and 10 year olds just showed how effective this was.  Lessons like this become memorable due to them involving all of the senses, immersing the class to create tangible feelings and empathic responses but within the safety of the school environment.

After the lesson I got chatting to a few of the other teachers:

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As you can see, New Park are really using their space to great effect by adding their own content and creating their own lessons based on children’s literature – ‘The Gruffalo’, the ‘Tiger Who Came to Tea’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.  The 4D software really comes into its own when you begin to add your own content so you can really customise your experiences and take ownership of your topics.

Year 2 teacher, Emma, told me about using ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ as a starting point for discussing a variety of topics:

  • Location – taking the pupils to all the locations of the children in the book who find a Golden Ticket.
  • When Charlie finds a coin on the ground, a discussion with her class with the question, ‘What would you do if you found the coin?’, ‘Would you keep it?’, ‘Would you give it away?’, ‘Would you spend it?’
  • This led onto the question of ‘What sweets would you buy in the sweet shop in the book?’ Asking the class to think about the amount things might cost, weigh and quantities of things.
  • And from that she discussed ‘Where does chocolate come from?’  – going right back to the source of the cocoa beans in Africa to teach the class about fair trade – which in turn changed the pupil’s answers to the original questions of money and choices!

Excellent learning journey!

 

Northway Primary School

On entering the school I was greeted by pupils throughout the corridor – ‘Welcome to Northway’, ‘Welcome to our new school’, ‘Thank you for coming!’ leading all the way to the school hall which was filled with parents, governors, former pupils, the Mayor, the building firm Morgan Sindall and many other people who had helped create the new school and the community around it.

A timelapse of the new build was shown at the front while we listened to the piano being played beautifully by a Year 6 pupil. Soon after the rest of Year 6 joined to sing a song about the school and the Head expressed his thanks for everyone who was there.   To everyone’s surprise, the whole school then ‘flash mobbed’ us with their rendition of ‘If I had a hammer!’

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Head teacher, Mr Anderson, spoke about how he felt that the community around Northway had been really supportive and summed it up with expressing that the whole process had been. ‘Flexible, Fun and Fantastic!’ also noting how they’d worked closely with New Park Primary to share and develop the ideas for each school, which having been to both was really evident.  It was a joy to see how a larger community was being formed by the two individual schools connecting together and sharing the process with not only school staff and parents – but the wider area too.

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A wooden plaque was presented by the youngest pupil, James, (4 and 8 months) and the oldest former pupil, Dorothy (82) and her family, to officially open the school.

We were then invited outside to watch the placement of a time capsule containing letters and items from the school to be opened in 2025!

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I was given a tour of the whole school by one of the Year 3 teachers, got to see their 4D space and chat to a few of the teachers…

Hannah from Year 3 told me all about how she’s used the room to set up a market: bringing in items, money, weighing scales and setting up tills to immerse the pupils in a bespoke maths lesson.

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Year 3 had also used 4D Cave to explore the stone age.  The whole class had got dressed up as stone age people, lined up outside the room before heading in to draw cave paintings using paper on the floor.

Year 1 had actually created full sized trees to add to the space to create a 3D forest within the  4D Forest theme and by the looks of things have also recently travelling to Africa for their new topic!

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Thank you to everyone from New Park and Northway Primary Schools for inviting us to their open days, we had a blast!

It’s been great to see New Park and Northway putting the tools of projection, light and sound to create really beautiful and creative lessons to engage their pupils in immersive learning journeys.  Through using their spaces frequently the learning experiences created go beyond the four walls of a normal classroom allowing the pupils to be transported back in time or to another place in the world creating memorable lessons for future reference.

 

Let’s celebrate YOUR space…

If you’d like your immersive space to be featured don’t forget you can use the hashtag #4Dexchange to share your own lesson ideas on our twitter or facebook and you can email Lauren at lauren@4Dimmersive.com to tell her all about your space!  We’d love to celebrate your immersive experiences with

4D Exchange – South East

At the end of September we travelled down to London to facilitate our first ever South East 4D exchange at East Croydon School.

We welcomed teachers from East Croydon, Thomas Day and Thomas Knyvett, thank you for all those who attended and to East Croydon for hosting.

Once everyone was refreshed with tea and biscuits the exchange got underway.

See our Prezi below for a roundup of all the ideas and some tips and tricks from us too!

If you’re interested in attending our next 4D exchange in Spring and/or if you would like to be a host for 4D exchange contact Lauren at lauren@4Dimmersive.com

Don’t forget, you can exchange ideas with the 4D network by using the hashtag #4dexchange – we will always retweet and celebrate your immersive approaches on our social media streams.

4D Exchange – resources to explore and share

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4D exchange is our regular networking event where practitioners come to share new lesson ideas, immersive content and best practice.

Our April event was held in Liverpool and we had an enthusiastic and passionate group of staff join us to explain how immersive learning has impacted a huge variety of lessons.

From WW1 to Mr Tumble, we explored lots of ideas and also discussed how staff roles can play a huge impact in implementing immersive learning. Finally we looked at how to carry on these engaging experiences when back in a traditional classroom.

Many thanks to all those who attended and Kensington Primary for being our host for the afternoon.

Explore lots of great ideas in our Prezi below:

Our next 4D exchange will be announced very soon. If you’re a London based practitioner, you’ll want to keep checking back and also keep the end of June free in your diary!

If you’d like to host a 4D exchange or find out more about our range of training programmes, get in touch with the 4D team here.

Immersive experiences in healthcare – open event

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This April come and explore the 4D immersive space at Lime Hub in Liverpool. The recently renovated centre is a health and well-being hub for up to 150 people with learning and physical disabilities.

The immersive environment is used for therapy sessions for people with additional needs as well as the wider community including those living with dementia. The flexibility of the space ensures each immersive experience can be tailor made for each individual to provide a truly person centred approach.

Our open afternoon is a chance to see the immersive space, the wider hub and also meet the 4D creative team to hear how we create immersive experiences for all ages and abilities.

Date: 23rd April 2015
Times: 1.30pm – 3pm or 3.30pm – 5pm (two open drop in slots to choose from)
Location: The Lime, Upper Baker Street, Liverpool, L6 1NB

Learn more about Lime Hub at this Guardian link and then register to attend below.

Dementia Champions in your school.

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At 4D we are always looking for new ways to support and understand the wider communities that we work with. Although our main focus has been within education for many years, in the last 18 months we’ve been working closely with Mersey Care NHS Trust creating immersive spaces for people living with dementia. The spaces are being used to encourage communication, inspire memories and create a sense of well being through person centred immersive experiences.

So, with that in mind 4D Group are developing ways of bringing the two worlds of education and healthcare together as part of an intergenerational project.

‘Educating children and young people about dementia is an essential aspect of creating dementia-friendly communities. Children and young people will increasingly come into contact with dementia through friends, family, neighbours or the media as the population ages and many may take on caring responsibilities at some stage in their lives.’ The Alzheimer’s Society

After the whole 4D team were trained to be Dementia Friends at the end of 2014, our training coordinator Inés and content developer Lauren went one step further to become Dementia Champions. The aim being for both to be able to spread the word even further to our schools and help develop dementia friendly communities.

If you’d like us to come to your school to run an immersive dementia friends event, please get in touch. The events are free and will give your pupils information on people living with dementia as approved by The Alzheimer’s Society. Just get in touch here and we can make a plan.

Explore some images of our immersive spaces and then read on for Lauren’s account of her day’s training to become a Dementia Champion:

 

The day was split into two sections – the first, a general introduction to Dementia Friends with a Dementia Friends Information Session given by Becky, the course leader. The second part of the day was focussed on presentation skills, planning and what it means to be a Dementia Champion.

When we arrived we were within a group of about 30 people, people from all different walks of life and different reasons for attending the session. It was really interesting to hear why people wanted to become Dementia Champions. The group ranged from a neuroscientist who has studied dementia for years to an African support worker who wanted to dispel myths within the African community that dementia doesn’t even exist and also included nurses working closely with people living with dementia, as well as individuals who have been affected by dementia on a personal level.

The day started with looking at typical Dementia Friends Session – this is what we were being trained to present and what we could bring to your school. The whole aim of the session is to understand the five key messages:

  • Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
  • It is caused by diseases of the brain
  • It’s not just about memory loss
  • It’s possible to live well with dementia
  • There is more the person than the dementia

Throughout the sessions, which last only about an hour, you participate, are asked questions and most of all, you have fun!   Overall though, you come out with a much better understanding of people who are living with dementia and people who are caring for those people.

The next session looked at the Dementia Friends Workshop in more detail and allowed us to ask questions. We were pleased to find that The Alzheimer’s Society have created resources especially for young people and a variety of different exercises to help make the concepts easier to grasp.  Becky also confirmed that the sessions have worked really well in schools with pupils really gaining knowledge, understanding and readily becoming Dementia Friends.

The second half of the day looked at presentation skills and how to arrange your own sessions. It’s all well and good knowing the workshop but if you can’t inspire and engage people, the information is not going to be shared.  Lots of practice and feedback later, I’m very pleased to confirm we passed and are now officially Dementia Champions ready and able to deliver this wonderful information to the public, businesses, your school staff or your pupils!

If you’re interested in finding out more about Dementia Friends or our Intergenerational project for schools or if you’d like to have a Dementia Friends Information Session in your school delivered by Inés or Lauren please get in touch.

Dementia Festival of Ideas 2015

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Last week our team visited Belfast to share our immersive approaches to dementia care at the Dementia Festival Of Ideas. We took part in an Ideas Lab which aimed to highlight and join together forward thinking companies who are generating new approaches for people living with dementia.

It was great to see the expanse of work being carried out with people living with dementia by artists and creative practitioners from across the world, and to understand how practices adapted to whether those people were within a care or community setting. We particularly loved the idea of creating semi-public gallery spaces within care homes to help develop dementia friendly communities, a project by Florence-based Architect Virginia Serrani. What was most inspiring was people’s commitment to developing creative experiences that were made with people living with dementia, rather than presented to them, a testament to the ways in which creative practice can empower people to regain ownership of their life.

At 4D we have been working with MerseyCare NHS trust to create person centred immersive spaces to improve communication and inspire memories.  To find out more, explore this presentation below which we shared with the panel of experts at the Festival Of Ideas.  If you’d like to visit an immersive space, please just get in touch with the 4D team who will be happy to help.