Arts and Senior Block, Mandurah Catholic College
Coodanup Drive Mandurah, Western Australia 6210 Australia
The design of this two storey building has a core idea of delivering a range of scales and types of learning settings for students in upper secondary to engage with.
Many configurations of classrooms, alcoves and shared spaces have been provided to achieve a stimulating learning environment.
Broderick Architects were commissioned by Mandurah Catholic College to address the current shortage of approximately 16 classrooms and offices in the Secondary School.
A series of workshops with the architects were held over a period of approximately four months from September to January 2011. The workshops were attended by the entire Secondary School leadership team as well as College Board members, students and specialist teachers including the art and media departments that are located in the building.
Discussions at these sessions resulted in a set of key ideas for the architects to consider; which formed the basis of the education brief. 21st Century Education: Digital Curriculum
Mandurah Catholic College has moved to a laptop programme where students charge their laptop/iPad or similar up at home and bring it with them for the school day.
It was noted that working digitally has a soothing effect on students and this leads teachers to have increased confidence to have students work in groups on different tasks.
This leads to different approaches to learning environments:
- Differentiated spaces in a classroom and throughout the building
- Mobile / dynamic teacher: not behind a desk
- Multi-directional: Facing teacher/Facing away
- Mobile tables, trapezoid tables
- Wireless classrooms using laptops or iPads
Learning Environments should:
- Provide a range of spaces for different interactions
- Be quick and simple to reconfigure for different activities and groups using mobile furniture and sliding or operable walls
- Be connected to usable outdoor spaces
- Use natural materials
- Provide social spaces for students to use during breaks - wireless access, comfortable seating, informal staff supervision
- Provide opportunities for exhibition and presentation of students work.
Looking back at the completed building; it is pleasing to see that almost all of the key ideas have been realised by the architects.
Students are enjoying this adult environment that provides them with a dynamic learning environment where they can collaborate in various ways and make most effective use of technology.
Teachers are also impressed with this stimulating learning environment that encourages them to teach in innovative ways.
This page last updated: Thursday 3 April 2014
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