Thriving in our new-look Education Support space
What’s up? The new look Ed Support! At the heart of your education.
After a very long time, the Education Support area was finally renovated over the summer holiday period and transformed into a bright and modern teaching space. What was once a cramped and fairly noisy open teaching area has been masterfully designed to create four separate teaching areas, a visiting specialist/meeting area and a storage room.
The four different teaching areas were designed to be intimate teaching spaces for small boutique groups of boys, who get the most out of learning in smaller and quieter environments. Each room has a unique colour scheme of tables and chairs, and the ‘Think Tank’ is quite distinctive, with an overall Scotch colour theme. Here selected boys have the opportunity to work with like-minded peers in enrichment programmes provided by Mrs Dinah Waldie.
Traditional seating for students has been replaced with the latest ergonomic Hokki stools, which are designed to encourage promotion of core strength in the upper body and increase attention and alertness. Each teaching space also includes a teacher’s desk and work space with overhead shelving and under-desk filing cabinet.
The storage room has two sets of compactors; however these compactors slide in front of each other rather than next to each other. This has allowed for much more storage than the traditional compactors: no more getting squashed in a compactor system! The space also allows for the laptop trolley to be stored and plugged into power.
The specialist/meeting room provides a separate space for our visiting occupational therapists and speech pathologists, where they can deliver their therapy programmes to our students. The room is discrete and private, but with plenty of open windows for light and safety. The room also has its own TV screen (donated by the Bennett family), which is used at lunchtimes for the PlayStation when Games Club is operating. Finally, the room also houses our iPad sets, printer and additional filing and cupboards for staff resources.
The architect was able to incorporate all of the existing large windows in each area to maximise natural light. All rooms are compliant for wheelchair access. Between the rooms sound batt insulation was installed to reduce noise, and there are pin boards over many of the wall surfaces, which further reduce noise. Of course, this is particularly important for boys who often have auditory processing difficulties.
The new air conditioners in each teaching space are super quiet and do not interfere with the listening conditions.
State-of-the-art AV screens with touch screen technology have further enhanced the Ed Support teaching spaces. They are on brackets that adjust vertically to cater for all heights from Prep to Year 6. Mini Macs are attached to the screens, with Bluetooth keyboards providing teachers with access to the screen from wherever they are in the room.
After feverishly moving into the rooms in the first few days of the new school year, the staff added their own displays and personal touches to create the ultimate learning environments for both consolidation and enrichment students. The joy on the boys’ faces is evidence of how much the new space means to them (and the teachers!).
CHERYL HARRISON DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION SUPPORT