Cleveland District State High School Year 7 Building

Published: Sunday 14 April 2013

The first CEFPI Qld. event for 2013 was held on 19 March 2013 at Cleveland District SHS, with the focus being the new Year 7 facility.

Cleveland District SHS is one of only two State secondary schools piloting the transfer of Year 7 to secondary in 2013. This will occur for the majority of secondary schools in the State in 2015.

This was an exciting opportunity to view the facilities in operation and to hear from school leaders and teachers the rhetoric behind the design.

The facility was documented by Project services and constructed by QBuild.

Over 50 educators, architects and school facility personnel met at Cleveland District State High School to view one of the first Year 7 facilities to be built on a State secondary school site. The three storey building included 16 GLA's, 3 Flexible Learning Areas, Suites for Dance, Film and Media, Biomechanics, project Development Areas and Staff accommodation.

After a heart welcome of attendees by the Executive Principal of the school, Paul Bancroft, the afternoon commenced with a role reversal, with attendees becoming the students as groups were formed with each being led by Year 7 students on a tour of the new facility.

Students proved entertaining and informative guides. As users of the spaces they were able to describe how the spaces were used, the flexibility of spaces and highlight features they liked and those that were not so well received. Teachers within the spaces were also able to provide their input on the performance of this modern facility, while observations were also made of how spaces were operating.

After convening back at school's Language Centre attendees were treated to a series of short presentations, commencing with the Deputy Principal, Grant Mitchell, highlighting how the school made significant input into the design in order to ensure, from an educational perspective, a flexible and interactive learning environment was developed. This was followed by Chris Jones, the Senior Project Coordinator of the Department of Education, Training & Employment's (DETE) Flying Start program giving a warts and all description of the issues that had to be resolved in order to achieve the outstanding result from a procurement and construction perspective, initially commencing with the relocation of facilities upon which the new facility was to be built.

As similar facilities will be provided across Queensland, with the number of each type of space the main variable based on individual school need, those architects were particularly interested to learn of the procurement methods and issues that needed to be resolved.

The integration of IT throughout the facility was of particular interest to many of the educators. The IT capability and how this is applied to teaching and learning in the Year 7 facility was ably described by the school's Head of IT, Shane Mason. This served to highlight the diversity of teaching and learning strategies that teachers were employing within the school to ensure each student was provided with individualised learning experiences.

The afternoon concluded with refreshments and informal discussion and by comments received was an outstanding success.

Queensland Chapter would like to thank ABET Laminati for sponsorhing this event.