SA Chapter 2011 AGM & School Tour

Published: Tuesday 27 September 2011

On 7 September 2011 the SA Chapter held its AGM at which an ongoing committee was elected, past events reviewed and future events outlined.

Prior to the AGM about 45 attendees toured Blair Athol North, a centre for children from 0 - 7, one of the recently built PPP schools. 

The event was sponsored by Pinnacle Education consortium which built the six super schools under PPP arrangements.

Blair Athol North School is a child centred, technology rich, 21st century learning environment which provides a "one stop shop” for care, education and health services for children from birth to year 7.

Following extensive consultation with the school community the new school was formed from the closure of three existing schools and their consolidation on the one site. It opened in 2011 with approximately 300 students but has capacity for 415 R–7 students, 35 preschool/session & 45 childcare places.

Features of the school include a 21st C learning environment with a Reggio Emilia influence. It has a colourful interior with flexible learning areas, learning streets, da Vinci rooms, casual furniture, natural light and natural ventilation, good indoor/outdoor relationships and kitchen gardens to complement the curriculum and learning experiences for the children who come from a wide range of backgrounds and a centre where 40 languages are spoken.

The Principal, Lee Sansom, and a number of staff attended a Reggio Emilia conference and developed guiding principles for the educational requirements including group sizes, team teaching, ownership of space, development of curriculum, social inclusion and community involvement.

The school aims to foster inquiry, creativity, curiosity, initiative and risk taking by all learners. It breaks down the barriers between adults and children by having learning advisers (teachers) working with learners who include adults and children. The children are encouraged to share their knowledge and expertise and to demonstrate this through the tv studio and radio station which link to the broader community.