Tour 15

Theme:   Community & School- Connecting Beyond the School Gates

Sites:      Our Lady of the Southern Cross Primary School; Manor Lakes College & Special Development School

Designers:   Baldasso Cortese, Brand Architects

Today's pedagogies focus on learning with and through others in a community of learners. Learning is about engagement; students do not see their teachers as ‘the holders of knowledge to be imparted’ but as the conduit that opens up possibilities for learning through a connected world. The spaces at Our Lady of the Southern Cross Primary School have been designed to capture partnerships in learning, which are fostered with community groups, experts in the student’s field of inquiry and service agencies. The learning environments are dynamic, challenging, all-encompassing and link to real life experiences. New technologies, processes and ideas are explored in spaces that allow these experiences to unfold.

Manor Lakes P-12 College extends on the notion of “It takes a village to raise a child”. The child was first placed at the centre of the learning process, then the design developed to reflect the pedagogical brief including situating the Special Development School (SDS) at the heart of the project.

The primary and secondary schools concentrically wrap around the SDS like a sibling protecting the youngest and most vulnerable. The integration of mixed ability students into all-encompassing facilities has far reaching benefits. While the school enrolment and the site are huge, there is an intimacy in the scale of the buildings and spaces, which ties it to its suburban environment and contributes to a strong sense of community and inclusion.

The school shares its site with a council library/community hub and sports facilities, further enhancing its pivotal role in this developing neighbourhood. An example of architects and educators from mainstream and specialist settings, along with local government, working together to interpret a positive way forward for a rapidly growing community of people who are to be included in lifelong learning facilities.


This page last updated: Sunday 14 February 2016