When they come to school, students in Victoria, Australia visit a place that changes and adapts to their own style of learning. They use buildings and classrooms that are designed to create an experience rather than simply house a day-to-day activity. We take students out of the classroom into the wider world and bring the wider community back into our schools.
Students at the centre
Our vision for school design begins with our students. The physical environment has an impact on the way people learn. High-quality teaching and learning must be matched with spaces that make our students willing and enthusiastic learners through high-quality design.
An experience as well as a place
Adventurous, fresh and modern design gives our students a feeling that learning is open, exciting and full of possibility. Spaces change and grow as students and groups use them in their own personal style. Informal learning happens as people connect socially and work together outside formal lessons.
Flexible spaces to support different styles
Good design is flexible. We need a rich variety of spaces in our schools because students learn in different ways and need to do a range of activities in education. Our school designs encourage work that:
- is individual
- is team-based
- is reflective
- is creative
- incorporates technology
- is hands-on.
Not just ‘chalk and talk’
Our teachers link their lessons into the space where they’re teaching as well as the individual needs of their students. Well-designed spaces make it easier for people to work together in small or large groups.
Learning outside the boundaries
Students better absorb skills when they’re using all their senses and connecting to their immediate environment. Our students don’t just learn inside the walls of the classroom. Lessons happen both indoors and outdoors. All sorts of activities take place in flexible outdoor spaces that connect students to the natural environment and to their communities.
Reaching out with modern equipment
Technology brings the world into our classrooms and gives our students the chance to reach out across the world. Laptops, interactive whiteboards, digital cameras and smart phones are all part of our modern learning environments. Messaging and Voice over Internet (VOIP) tools such as Skype allow our students to connect to students on the other side of the world easily.
Thinking to the future
When we design and redesign our schools we’re always looking many years into the future. Ecologically sustainable school design prepares and empowers our students to assume responsibility for creating and enjoying a sustainable future.
Learning from excellent examples
The Victorian Government is investing in a range of infrastructure projects to provide our local and international students with state of the art facilities and equipment.
For more information, see: Victorian School Building Authority.