A recent school initiative is to include a PBL (project based learning) each term. Last term, we allowed the students to create a prototype of a vehicle suitable for the Antarctic landscape. This term we are continuing on the building theme, as boys absolutely loved the previous activity. We don’t have a maker space as such, however, we are converting our art room and science lab to foster this activity. This term, as part of our Australian Identity unit, our students will be required to design a room, wall, foyer reflecting the Austalian Identity based on their knowledge and research throughout the term.
As I read through the readings I find my mind wandering off….
My first thoughts ….
I have been fortunate to be inside the office of 3P learning the home of Mathletics and Spelladrom. When inside the office you realise that the environment created allows for creativity, collaboration and creation. whilst in their meeting room I felt like I was in a fish bowl. The room is all glass, you were anole to write on any wall with whiteboard marker. Everyone within the office could look in. The furniture within was flexible. I happened to be in there for a course, so for that activity the chairs were set up like a lecture theatre. when returning from a break, the furniture had been rearranged for break out group sessions. As I peered out through the glass, I saw people brainstorming on a blackboard painted wall. Despite the furniture being fixed in other parts of the office, hubs had been created for an array of activities.
An additional thought…..
My previous school of employment.
During my time at the school a new building was built, and let me tell you, moving an entire school is a huge job. The actual building itself won numerous architectural awards. However, the architect was not a teacher. In my opinion the building had an array of issues. Firstly, teachers need resources to aid their teaching. These classrooms most certainly had insufficient storage space. Additionally, the classrooms were deep and the acoustics were dreadful, the teachers voice would be lost. The glass created glare and therefore the interactive whiteboard became useless.
A I strolled through the grounds at school and took myself back to my initial day at the school. Boy, was I lost! The school has several different entry points. That in itself would be confusing for anyone.
Walking along I noticed that I met with a map of the school indicating significant buildings within the school grounds. I certainly felt that this map needed to be a little clearer. Firstly, the map did not indicate my position. Secondly, I noticed that was turning my head to get my bearings.
As I continued my walk, I noticed a number of signs to assist navigation throughout the building. The grounds also have numerous grounds men who I would have asked if necessary.
Following on from here, I observed the use of space. The school is remarkable. There are a number of heritage listed buildings on the site mixed with modern structures. The grounds are well kept, the gardens are divine and a view overlooking the harbour. Keeping all of this in mind the space has been well used creating an inviting environment that is workable educational environment.
An afternoon tea was kindly organised by Margo, who is also a student in this subject. The gathering was held at the recently developed Graythwaite site at the Shore School in Sydney. Over afternoon tea we explored the design process that took place in restoring this heritage listed property.
The project manager identified a myriad of challenges that they faced throughout the process. The biggest challenge throughout the process was achieving a workable space whilst maintaining the finesse of such a historic building. To fulfill such challenges a range of teams were employed, from architects to space consultants. During the initial stages of the development, a team researched the history of the building and developed a timeline of alterations made to the site over time. For further details, please view www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/files/…334b…/23_Graythwaite.pdf .
Once construction was underway, the plans were changed several times for different reasons. The school’s intention was to ensure the building was restored as close to original as possible. When the school acquired the site, the building was dilapidated and in desperate need of TLC. The council then restricted the school’s attempts to preserve the building until given approval.During this time the building continued to deteriorate. Once given the ok, they discovered a number of structural problems that needed to be addressed prior to reconstructing. This included rotten floors, rising damp etc. As more light was shed on issues within the building more research was undertaken, and how the internet has changed our ability to source information. As an example, the floors in the entrance needed to be replaced so too did the tiles. A tile was lifted from the floor having the company name which continues to manufacture tiles in the UK.
It’s worth looking at the following websites to an insight into the development.
It is admirable how the designers have created an inviting workable space, pieced together contemporary elements within such a historic building. Fascinating!