Holy Cross College Ryde has come up with a new way to learn and it’s focused on freedom to move, gather knowledge and collaborate – and mimicking the students’ future work environment.
“It’s an unnatural environment to have children in one cell with a teacher,” said Principal Adam Taylor.
With that in mind the college has just opened a multipurpose series of open plan classrooms, cleverly incorporating the existing building exteriors – but with a dramatically contrasting interior.
There’re optional glass walls, a potential large assembly area, moveable bookcases, doorless year coordinator’s offices, optional privacy glass on parent teacher meeting rooms – and the school’s library.
There’s also bookable media space with a lounge.
The space is also remarkably quiet – even with many classes running simultaneously.
“Students quickly learn they have to respect the learning of others,” said Mr Taylor.
“In terms of cost effectiveness from design through to completion it was turned around in two years,” he said.
A new form of plastic glazing – Danpalon – used for the upper walls is heat resistant and light enhancing. The space is not air-conditioned, instead there are massive ceiling fans.
There’s mobile technology and white board tables for explicit learning and as well as purple and orange foot stools for individual learning.
“We visited dozens and dozens of schools and tried to design something that picked up on the best of the best,” said Assistant Principal Mark Compton.