Allowing the young users of Aleda Patterson to “just be kids” was the driving force behind the design of the new K-3 school. Unique in its structure as a school for kindergarten to grade 3 students only, special focus was given to create a FUN and inspiring space in which four to eight year old children could thrive in. The namesake of the school, Aleda Patterson, was a teacher who was instrumental in starting community agencies in Edmonton that supported mental health, families, and young children. The school reflects these values with the focus being on the early childhood years where learning is situated within a play and nature-based environment.
The design of Aleda Patterson School is based upon the principles of 21st Century Learning Environments by using creative and flexible spaces that support adaptive teaching and learning. Movement is emphasized with flexible furniture, fun nooks and openings, and a transparent curvilinear wall that playfully guides the children through the space. Expansive natural light, bright and open spaces, an abundance of rich wood tones, and tree-like visuals all ground the design and create an immersive natural feeling. With its vibrant colours and interesting shapes the school acts not only as a space for learning but as part of the learning experience itself. All aspects of the school design culminate in a space in which it is a pleasure to learn, work, play, eat, and collaborate. An environment which successfully fosters 21st century skills and helps to build confidence, creativity, and resilience in the young students who will grow to be our future innovators.