Designing a classroom, just how they like it

Q. If you’ve been given $10,000 to design your own classroom interior in a heritage-listed building, what’s the first thing you do?

A. Survey the teaching staff, of course.

“We then collated responses and created a mood board,” said Madeleine Garrett, Year 10.

Twenty-eight Year 9 and 10 TAS and Visual Arts students at St Clare’s College Waverley were tasked with the responsibility of designing their own learning space and they started in Term III this year.

To make it even more valuable to them, it was programmed into their curriculum as an Authentic Learning assessment task.

“The room was a bit of a mess, so we made a plan and put it for the school and we said we’d like to help out,” said Josie Robertson, Year 10.

“It was an uninspiring room,” added Madeleine Garrett, also in Year 10.

The girls have come in just under budget but the furniture still needs to be purchased.

So, to finish the task, the girls have organised a school-wide fundraiser a “Design and Accessories Market” along with a “Four Corners of the World Food Fair”.

Students chose tiered seating and writable desks (students can draw straight onto them) with felt covering the walls to display designs. They’ve also had a custom-design cupboards installed with brightly coloured interiors.

They’ll be 12 sewing machines in the same space with LED lighting above.

“Class sizes at St Clare’s for TAS and Visual Arts are big, so we have to make spaces multifunctional,” said their Teacher Lauren Batman.

“The desks have inflections so students can work on them in different ways,” said Ms Batman.

“We also had to take into consideration younger years,” said Madeleine.

Students each have to submit a portfolio of work that details their design, selection and commissioning process.

Five other rooms at the school are being renovated, but this is the only one that’s student-driven.

Ms Batman said this was the girls’ first collaborative project as a group.

She said encouraging the girls to make contact with people in the industry gave them valuable experience.

“We learned a lot,” said Hana Numazawa with a smile.

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