Sunday, October 20, 2019


I was delighted to receive an email last week advising that I had been nominated and have won, a SLANZA Principal’s Award 2019. The recipient of the SLANZA Principals’ Award is for a Principal who has enabled the successful development of their school library to support student learning and who has promoted the importance of excellent school libraries to the wider community. I have received this award for the advancement and improvement of the library at Freemans Bay School, and also for continued support of SLANZA Auckland.

Libraries have always had a key role in building, researching and sharing knowledge at a local, regional  and international level. Like classroom environments they also have had to change. Some educators are rethinking if they are relevant in schools today.

It is my belief that the roles of libraries in our schools and local communities has to be redefined. However, I still am of the opinion that the library should be a central resource hub in a school. It still has a role to play in education facilities and our modern world.

Books are important. They are wonderful to explore and useful for developing critical thinking. Libraries provide a place where learners can collaborate around books, explore them and discuss with others. I believe that libraries as learning spaces are needed more than ever. The school library as a resource hub is an essential part of the school environment where our learners can be engaged, enriched and empowered with another place to make virtual and real connections with learning.

This week the Board property committee and senior leadership team met with  Ministry of Education officials here in Auckland  to start on the procurement of the next building stage. This is exciting news and will help us to ensure that we have learning spaces for future roll growth. 

We continue to cater to a lot of visitors to see our amazing learning spaces and how we teach and learn at Freemans Bay School. We have been published in a new book now available on Amazon called Planning Learning Spaces. Its a great resource for anyone designing new learning spaces. Murray Hudson and Terry White have brought together educationalists and innovative school architects to inspire the design of more intelligent learning spaces.  It is a useful and practical resource.

Over the year we have visits from educators from New Zealand, Australia, Korea and Japan, UK, Scandinavia, Malaysia, India, Bali and USA.  We are very happy to share our expertise with others to inspire and innovate more relevant future focused learning environments to engage, empower and enrich learners. To book a visit - just go through the visitors tab on the website here.

 We are also very proud to have been shortlisted in the World Architecture Fair in Amsterdam in December of Education Facility and colour scheme. Watch this spot!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Learner Led Design

Freemans Bay School is recognised as a Microsoft Showcase School and is a Global Schools Alliance founding member. Late last year we made a video to support our application to continue being a  Microsoft Showcase SchoolThis short video clip shows the development of our school build and how the learner led design is reflected in both pedagogy and learning spaces. Our learner led design has a lens on digital technology, ELearning and developing a future focused curriculum. 

We also had an article published in Learning Spaces magazine. This magazine is published by Association of Learning Spaces and pulls together the views of designers, educators, architects and those interested in promoting modern curriculum through spaces and pedagogy.  The magazine is well worth subscribing to. The article, also shows our thinking around the learner led design at Freemans Bay School,