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“One of the reasons we got the room is because few of our children go to museums or galleries and there are many who don't have opportunities to leave the local area. With this space they can experience all sorts of things they wouldn't necessarily experience”

Miss Hughes
Assistant Principal

The product

The Hardware – The 5x5-metre immersive classroom at Hunningley has a three-walled display powered by six ViewSonic projectors and an Igloo Immersive Media Player (IMP). The visual experience is enriched by further sensory controls including surround sound, a vibrating floor and scent machines, all controlled by Aurora’s command delivery application.

The Software  Hunningley’s immersive classroom uses Igloo Core Engine (ICE), the operating system for immersive rooms, which makes it easy for partners like Aurora to build immersive rooms and education clients like Hunningley to use and benefit from them.  

Staff at Hunningley control the space using two in-room devices, meaning teachers never have to leave the classroom to operate the immersive space. A wall-mounted, detachable iPad is used for everday control via the ICE Control Panel app and the Canvas User Interface. And a separate monitor and keyboard is used to access the ICE Desktop User Interface for advanced functionality.

The Content  One of the big advantages of ICE is the flexibility of the software, which is designed to display almost any type of immersive or traditional content on any display – including 360° video and specialist VR learning content. Hunningley teachers have been making use of Igloo’s native integrations for YouTube 360°, Google Streetview and Google Arts and Culture which give them access to vast amounts of curriculum relevant content, freely available on the web.

The result

When you walk into Hunningley's immersive classroom, it’s immediately obvious it's a cross-curricular space. The ICE homescreen is full of ready-to-use content, divided up by subjects and year groups, from nursery all the way up to Year 6. 

And because ICE is so easy to use, and there is so much relevant teaching content available online, teachers have found incorporating immersive learning into their curriculum incredibly straightforward.

Here are just some of the ways teachers are using the immersive classroom to bring their teaching to life: 

  • Inspiring creativity in English literature – Hunningley teachers told us the immersive classroom is brilliant for generating ideas and creative language. Year-6 students, for example, used an immersive forest environment to inspire writing when studying Macbeth.
  • Communicating complex ideas in geography  Whether it’s a virtual trip to an erupting volcano or wind farm, Hunningley teachers have found that adding an immersive element to a topic can give students a much better spatial understanding of core concepts.
  • Visiting museums  Hunningley students have been using the Igloo to explore some of the thousands of digitised museums and galleries available through tools such as Google Arts and Culture.
  • Bringing history to life with 360° video – YouTube 360 is full of great history content and students have been learning about Vikings using immersive content made by National Geographic.
  • Preparing pupils for secondary school – Changing schools can be challenging for students, and Hunningley have been helping students with the transition by taking them on virtual tour of their new route to school using Google StreetView.
  • And loads more – Hunningley told us the immersive room had been used to show content on the Egyptians, Rio de Janeiro, castles, fairytales, earthquakes, aquariums, art galleries, places of worship, the Alps, the Portuguese coast.

Hunningley has found that the immersive classroom is having a huge impact on student learning outcomes. It improves student writing, makes it easier to communicate spatial concepts that are quite hard to understand, and keeps students engaged and curious about the wider world.

And Ofsted were also wowed by the immersive classroom. Inspectors observed a Year 3 lesson centered around a volcano eruption and were really impressed with how the technology not only enriched the curriculum but also enhanced the children’s learning.

Going forward

Hunningley are continuing to find innovative ways of integrating the immersive classroom into their teaching and have been looking at creating their own content using 360° cameras and exploring other specialist VR learning tools.

They are also working with their Special Educational Needs Coordinator to devise a programme of calming content which can help students with unique learning and behavioural needs.   

And Hunningley plans to open its doors to other local schools so they can also benefit from the immersive classroom.


"The immersive room has brought a sense of awe and wonder to the children. It's a space they love learning in and I think it's just brought quite a difficult curriculum to life” 

“The children love it. As soon as we say the lesson is in the immersive classroom. There's cheers and you can see the impact it has on pupil outcomes. The quality of writing is so much better and it broadens their understanding of concepts that are quite hard to understand”

“During our last Ofsted inspection, they observed a year 3 lesson on volcanoes and the feedback was really positive. They could see how the classroom enhanced the curriculum, the impact that it had on the children and how it improved their learning”