Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Building

At last we have opened our new building!

The design of this two story classroom block is dedicated for flexible learning. The classrooms do not have sink benches in them or teacher desks. All the classroom spaces are dedicated learning spaces. The "Art Space" and "Teacher Admin" are seperate areas in the shared atrium - leaving the classrooms for teaching and learning.

The classrooms are wired for e-learning - with wireless throughout the building. Each classroom has a soundfield sound system, a Two Touch interactive board, and a cupboard to lock the netbooks with power for charging. An amplifier is also in this lockable cupboard which enables sound to go from laptops or other devices - to the speakers recessed in the ceilings. There is also hdmi ports for video and mixed media presentations.

There is a large shared atrium space for the students and teachers to utilise for a variety of activities such as assemblies, dance, drama, music or breakout groups. This will also have a drop down screen and data projector and a dedicated sound system set up as well as the hdmi port.

The building design gives teachers and students a lot of flexibility in the way it can be used for teaching and learning. For example teachers can team teach to larger groups of students and then use the classroom spaces for breakout activities.

There is a lot of glass doors and windows and you can see into five classrooms at once when you walk into the Atrium space.

Each floor has a teacher work area where there is a dedicated area for teachers workstation with shelving and cupboards. These areas also have a set of Lundia shelves for resources. Each floor also has a withdrawal area for teams to utilise for small group or individual work.

We have only been in the building for two weeks but it has lots of possiblities for flexible ways of teaching and learning.

This building was funded by the Ministry of Education. We were able build a new building because we had an old , 1970s open space teaching block that was subsiding. The school site is an old landfill site and this building did not have the foundations to mitigate subsidence. This block was demolished over Easter and we now need to demolish the concrete pad it was built on and turn this area into a courtyard.

This building work will totally change what our school looks like and provide a modern first class teaching environment for our students and teachers!

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