New school of thought
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 at www.communitynews.com.au.
Year 6 Hale school students Lucas Arnold, Thomas Carter and Zach Grant get some fresh air as they do their school work outdoors.