NSW Chapter 2021 Events Launch-ABC of Learning Environments.

Published: Wednesday 3 March 2021

The NSW Chapter of Learning Environments is looking forward to reconnecting with our members and associates after a somewhat challenging 2020. We believe we have planned a series of events that will engage and excite our members. Each event is designed to address contemporary challenges for educators, designers, supplies, contractors, and systems administrators.

Our theme, Back to Basics-ABC of Learning Environments aims to strip back what is important to us in our work. We aim to explore the agile, blended nature of our spaces and learning frameworks while being mindful of culture and environments.

We launch our events in March with our first event at William Clarke Christian College for a site visit to their new STEAM precinct. Designing STEAM programs, and the spaces to support them, is certainly one that needs much consultation and planning to meet the challenges of this ever-changing area of study. Spaces need to be agile and include technology that can evolve as needs change, to ensure these learning environments meet the requirements of emerging learning needs and technologies.

We are planning several other site visits, including but not limited to re-exploring Northern Beaches Christian College, Jordon Springs Primary School and Rouse Hill Childcare. Each site provides us with incredibly unique experiences. At NBCC, we will explore the evolution of learning and the life span of spaces. NBCC was one of the early adaptors of agile spaces and connected learning under the leadership of Stephen Harris and are currently entering a new phase of building design and learning.

Jordon Springs is a significant growth area in Western Sydney and this new school has utilized DFMA technology to rapidly meet the emerging needs of this community. We are interested in exploring this further through the lens of construction disruption, learning and design.

Rouse Hill Childcare won the LEA NSW Chapter award for their outdoor learning spaces designed by Urban Landscapes. The spaces as designed align beautifully with the Early Years Learning Framework while addressing a challenging landscape. The desire of learning facilities to “bring the outside in” or to utilize biophilic design, is proven to be beneficial to learning on a number of levels. Rouse Hill Childcare Centre provides a great space for learning through play, mindfulness and creativity.

We have in the past experienced great interest in out Debates and Q and A forums. This year we will facilitate a conversation between educators, systems operators, parents, students, and architects around what worked in 2020 and how it will inform attitudes, process, design and frameworks into the future. Much is to be celebrated and maintained after “surviving the period of remote learning”.

And finally, we will be hosting the RDO this year and have started planning a great program focused around the Central City of Parramatta, and we look forward to showcasing this rapidly growing and changing part of Sydney.

We look forward to seeing you at our events.

Felicity Lewis

Chair, LE NSW

Image: William Clarke Christian College - STEAM Precinct Brett Broadman Photography.