International research has found that 75% of the fastest growing occupations require STEAM skills and knowledge. With Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) identified by the Department of Education as learning for the future, St Columba Anglican School’s Executive Team have reshaped the learning environment to ensure these activities become key priorities. With this in mind, the evolving educational landscape presents us with the challenge of how best to provide the infrastructure necessary to support the strategic directions of the pedagogical curriculums being delivered within our school.
Whilst there is a wide range of curriculum resources available to help shape our core business to deliver our key priorities, St Columba Anglican School (SCAS) needs to be able to provide the platform and infrastructure necessary to deliver these programs to the highest quality we are able to deliver.
With the growth that the school has seen in the last few years alone (current 2019 student cohort of 1,160) our existing facilities are at capacity. Although the newly completed Performing Arts Centre has alleviated some of this pressure by providing a purpose built space designed specifically to cater for our performing arts programs, we need to shift our focus to providing appropriate space to develop our STEAM disciplines.
With this in mind, the School is in the process of planning a Sustainability and Environment Centre (SEC). This new building will deliver the necessary new learning spaces in a variety of open and closed areas, to facilitate the delivery and embedding of the Kindergarten to Year 12 curriculum which covers all aspects of the environment and science.
The SEC project will encompass the following:
- Covered Outdoor Amphitheatre
- On the ground floor of the Centre: Rainwater tank, storage, office space and multipurpose learning areas
- On the first floor: Multipurpose learning spaces with operable walls, outdoor kitchen and learning area, breakout spaces, wet areas
- Herb and kitchen garden
- Indigenous garden
- Covered walkways between existing infrastructure
This new Centre will enable the delivery of a wide array of subjects for students in Kindergarten to Year 12. The creation of areas without the traditional science benches, but instead with benches of a K-12 flexible size and height, modular furnishings, a dedicated home for Marine Science, and the ability to open up the areas for “super classes” will ensure the longevity of this new facility. The materials for the building will be sourced from alternative sustainable green building products wherever possible.
The Centre is a two-storey building comprised of a combination of General Learning Areas and other use areas. The building is designed to transition down the slope enclosing the south end of the quadrangle and incorporating the amphitheatre elements adjacent the ground floor of the building.
The School is already well into the planning stages for this exciting new Centre, and it is envisaged that building work will commence in January 2020, with completion expected in November 2020.
This new Centre is an example of how the generous donations received into the Building Fund from our parents and community provides continued support to enable the School to develop and build excellent educational facilities. For more information on the Building Fund, see the link here.
Business Manager, St Columba Anglican School