Spaces for Learning|
This set of Quicktime VR panoramas of various notable College Learning Spaces is presented to help illustrate how buildings have been designed to facilitate new styles of learning. Click the image to launch a QTVR window/tab (Quicktime is required).
The Middle School Building
click to view QTVR
The Middle School Building was designed to support the development and implementation of the Years 7-9 Learning Community through a transformed pedagogical model. The pedagogy aims to support powerful learning and deep understanding through inquiry.
The building disturbs a traditional model of schools and learning spaces and will allow teachers and students to be liberated from past practices and organisational structures by:
- Encouraging generative thinking
- Removing teachers from the isolation of practice in traditional "box-like" classrooms
- Encouraging innovative practice
- Facilitating flexibility in timetabling, student grouping and curriculum time allocation
- Making feasible different models of assessment
- Promoting rich and varied learning experiences
- Allowing for collaboration and sharing.
click to view QTVR
Key design features of the building include:
- Flexible learning spaces allowing for smaller classrooms through to larger flexible breakout areas and the ability for teachers to team teach in multi-disciplinary teams
- An ICT and digitally rich environment with access to digital whiteboards, presentation walls, mobile computers, wireless technology and multimedia peripherals
- Multi-disciplinary teams of teachers being located in staffrooms central to the community of learners they take responsibility for.
- Students have access to the range of resources they require for multi-disciplinary inquiry learning
- Learning spaces prominently displaying the 'learning to learn' tools and strategies explicitly taught across the College
- Location of student lockers within the building.
click to view QTVR
The Visual Arts Centre has been transformed from its previous life as library space. The aim was to create an open learning environment that integrated the rich use of technology into the Arts program but still facilitated the teaching of the wide range of Art subjects.
A main feature of the building is a large, open Media area that allows two media classes to be timetabled concurrently enabling teachers flexibility in the way they interact with students and design learning programs.
Students across the College are also able to access this media space when they require access to multimedia tools rather than being 'locked out' of using resources due to the restrictive timetabling of classes. This large space also provides ability to group students for a range of other learning activities that occur across the school.
Some features of this area and the other Art spaces include:
- Routine access to digital whiteboards
- Capability to view movies across the computer network
- A large presentation wall for student demonstration of their digital movies, photography and animations
- Outside learning spaces
- Video editing suite
- Flat screen display enabling continuous display of student digital work
- A central and transparent staffroom allowing students to work with resources under passive supervision
- Large wall spaces for the display of student art work
- Ability for students working in multiple art forms to move from room to room as required.
Science and Technology Centre
click to view QTVR
The Science and Technology Centre aimed to redesign a learning facility to embrace learning in the 21st Century. The aim was to remove corridors and have classrooms located around multi-purpose open foyers. These open spaces provide ready access for students to technology at any time that the school is open. They provide spaces for students to be able to work collaboratively and for teachers to be able to conference with their students. Teachers also utilise these areas as "spill-out" areas whereby they are able to have students leave the classroom to participate in a range of learning tasks beyond the boundaries of a traditional classroom.
The extensive glass throughout allows for passive teacher supervision and removes the isolation of traditional classrooms. Opening the line of sight provides transparency and sharing of the innovative pedagogy occurring within the school and supports the informal professional learning in the College as teachers observe the range and type of learning taking place. It further creates a sense of openness for students within a classroom.
There is a central staffroom that has been designed to promote the sharing of practice amongst teachers. A number of eLearning pods are embedded within the learning environment and provide teachers and students with routine access to technology when required.
The technology facilities are built around a central design laboratory that provides access to computer aided design programs and technology simulation software.
Digital whiteboards are strategically located throughout the building.
The Centre also houses a Lecture Theatre for 180 students. This provides an environment where students are able to share their learning through performances of understanding and the development of higher order thinking skills in the creation of multimedia objects, stories and presentations.
see also the School Design article for a DEECD-produced video on our innovative building and classroom designs.
Published: 23 Mar 2009
Updated: 14 Oct 2012
Article contact: Ms A Gilbert
Filed under: Facilities Learning