Tour 8

Theme:    In & Out  - Learning Landscapes

Sites:        St Macartan’s Primary School; Woodleigh School

Designers:  Law Architects in collaboration with Sam Cox Landscapes

Educational experiences at St Macartan’s are based on ‘real life’ context and hands-on learning. The kitchen/garden program involves all students, teachers and parent volunteers, providing the medium for teaching life skills such as growing your own food, cooking together and sharing a meal with others. Much of the curriculum is distilled through exploration of the grounds, which are uniquely landscaped to support a myriad of engaging fun learning activities, while developing a sound understanding of environmental sciences and conservation. The design of the integrated indoor- outdoor learning environments truly support and enable teachers, students and the broader school community to work collaboratively with a sense of moral purpose.

At Woodleigh the ‘Homestead’ brings social learning spaces together with more traditional learning environments and provides enormous flexibility when it comes to setting up a variety of learning experiences. The challenge was to provide modern high tech learning spaces which blended into the natural environment and complemented the bush site.

This has been achieved through a mix of texture, surfaces and finishes incorporating timber, rammed earth, iron and natural light. Teaching and learning is dynamic and flexible as the environment responds iteratively to a vast combination of learning activities. Students are consistently invited into the natural world, capitalising on learning opportunities the entire time students are on site. Several measures have been incorporated into the design and installation of heating, cooling, and power systems which have resulted in reducing the project’s CO2 emissions by up to 58 per cent, a learning experience embraced by the whole school community as conservation and developing globally responsible citizens are core educational values at Woodleigh.


This page last updated: Wednesday 10 February 2016