New school of thought

Stirling Times - - News - Laura Pond

THE fu­ture of ed­u­ca­tion is here and it is in Wem­b­ley Downs.

Hale School of­fi­cially opened its $16 mil­lion ju­nior school re­de­vel­op­ment on Fri­day and it is in stark con­trast to the pri­mary schools most peo­ple would re­mem­ber at­tend­ing.

There are sep­a­rate build­ings for pre-pri­mary to Year 2 stu­dents, years 3 to 4 and years 5 to 6, which cen­tre around a grassed area and play­ground, to cre­ate a vil­lage feel.

Ju­nior school head Alex Cameron said it was de­signed to of­fer modern, flex­i­ble spa­ces.

Each build­ing has a large com­mon area to ac­com­mo­date whole-year groups, class­rooms with glass slid­ing doors to al­low for easy trans­for­ma­tion, a va­ri­ety of fur­ni­ture, walls and desks that can be writ­ten on, plenty of nat­u­ral light and each class­room opens on to a court­yard.

“I’ve had a num­ber of par­ents tell me it’s a very calm learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment,” Mr Cameron said.

“It pro­vides col­lab­o­ra­tion, flex­i­bil­ity and a sense of calm.”

Mr Cameron said the na­ture play­ground, an ex­ten­sion of ex­ist­ing sur­round­ing bush­land, was an­other high­light of the ju­nior school.

“We let them climb trees, dig holes, build cub­bies. Some of the cre­ative play we’ve seen there has been amaz­ing,” he said.

He said the re­de­vel­op­ment en­abled the school to cater for an ad­di­tional 120 stu­dents, in­clud­ing pre-pri­mary for the first time in 2019 and ex­tra classes in years 1 and 4.

“We now of­fer flex­i­ble build­ings that will pro­vide teach­ers with learn­ing spa­ces that are re­spon­sive to the boys’ needs, the cur­ricu­lum, and the con­tem­po­rary and in­no­va­tive prac­tices of the time, not just the present but for the next 20 years and be­yond,” he said.

“One col­league re­cently de­scribed it as ‘a utopia for boys to learn’.”

Take a vir­tual tour of the school at­mu­ni­

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d488278

Year 6 Hale school stu­dents Lu­cas Arnold, Thomas Carter and Zach Grant get some fresh air as they do their school work out­doors.

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