After an icebreaking dinner the previous night, we met with the director of the communes schools for a long day ahead. At San Pio, the first destination, the director briefed the five of us on his ideas on schools and his system. This followed by a tour of the school, showing us his ideas for child autonomy and ‘body and mind’ system. It did not take us long to see the real difference in organization between both Monte and San Pio – San Pio taking the win. Not only did the level of organization ignite a smile on our face, but the altitude of thinking behind the use of space. It became apparent that this was a vocal point to make San Pio an exciting place to learn. We took many ideas away from the school, such as the times table staircase, laboratories, free spaces and coloured walls for concentration etc.
Once the tour of San Pio was completed, we went on to the school of San Filippo, an historic school with exciting architecture. This school, under the control of the Director has successfully introduced a contemporary learning atmosphere within the precious context of ancient buildings. History is a force of identity for the school, with the Director taking great pride in reading aloud the architecture. A vertical garden employed within a courtyard as a response to the lack of green space in this inner-city school.
Piadinas for lunch and back to the ranch for some late night presentation preparation.