Saint Mary's Catholic College students Bella Dowell and Claire Taylor with school officer Leisa Walker.
Saint Mary's Catholic College students Bella Dowell and Claire Taylor with school officer Leisa Walker. Contributed

How this school is transforming its learning spaces

RENOVATIONS and revitalisation will soon come to Saint Mary's Catholic College with the aim to promote contemporary learning spaces.

Principal Angela Myles believes the school is in need of some revitalisation.

"We've been funded by a Brisbane Catholic Education grant to revitalise some of our classrooms towards the end of this year. We'll be able to do some updating work, starting with the basics of a good paint job and fresh carpet,” she said.

These select classes will also receive new furniture that will improve the learning space.

"We plan to buy flexible furniture to create classrooms that are a bit more engaging and meet the needs of students in a more contemporary learning environment,” Mrs Myles said.

"Students will have some options about their seating and it'll provide better access for working collaboratively in groups, so there's a less traditional workspace.”

These contemporary learning environments are being designed by the students themselves, so the teachers will know what works most effectively.

"Our Year 6 classrooms are one of the first to explore it. They went through a project of looking at what the benefits of contemporary learning actually are, and how flexible furnishing worked to help them engage with their learning differently,” Mrs Myles said.

"The students used their old furniture to play around and set up a contemporary workspace that they think would work best, and they were operating with that for a number of months. Now that the new furniture is about to arrive, they're excited and ready to put it into use.

"The children have absolutely owned this project, and we're excited to get on board with them.”

The Year 6 classes aren't the only ones able to trial this new class type.

"We're also going to be redoing some of our classes in the secondary, and we'll be bringing in some more flexible furniture for flexible classrooms there, too,” Mrs Myles said.

"That's the one that will be the trial basis. Different teachers will come in and learn how to teach in the new space, and then they'll demonstrate their techniques and strategies to other teachers who might experience the contemporary classrooms next.”

South Burnett

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