20 July, 2021


The capacity of the College is core to our ability to efficiently and flexibly resource our learning objectives.

GOAL: Sustainable thinking practice and facility development.

The College’s commitment to sustainable thinking and facility development can be best summed up in the ‘Vision Statement’ provided to the architects for the Elphin Learning Studio development and Helix Stage 2. It reads:

Scotch Oakburn College’s facilities are the physical manifestation of our educational philosophy of providing a holistic education to prepare our students for their future. Essential to this philosophy is the development of facilities that incorporate sustainable practices at the core of their design, in addition to them being flexible, technology-rich and inspiring, creating spaces that effortlessly cater for the full spectrum of learning environments, from the transdisciplinary to disciplinary.

In so doing, every student will experience the contemporary, future-focused learning environment required to achieve to their potential.

This overarching statement is a common thread in the development of our facilities and ensures that all of the College’s facilities reinforce our commitment to sustainable practices.
Two developments are currently being planned.

In June 2017 the College officially opened Helix, our Centre for Science and Mathematics. ‘Helix Stage 2’ (not the development’s final name), will redevelop the canteen and adjacent learning studios that are currently used primarily for LOTE and Humanities.

The Design Brief for this development was delivered to architects in early April with the following eight key design and pedagogical elements:

  • Flexibility for trans-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and project-based learning,
  • Standing work-stations,
  • Increased potential and opportunity for integrated projects,
  • Flexible spaces – smaller, larger, open, collaborative, closed,
  • IT rich spaces, multi-media, green screen, X- Lab,
  • Students’ ‘own’ space… sense of ownership and belonging,
  • Surfaces for the display of student work and teaching resources, traditional cabinet/wall display and technological visual manner such as a large TV.

Four new classrooms on the Elphin Campus will be the hub of the new learning centre that will be home to a whole year level. It will be designed to blend into the indoor-outdoor learning environment of the Junior School with minimal loss of current outdoor space.

Learning spaces will be designed to inspire students in their learning, enhance learning outcomes and to enable the most effective evidence-based pedagogy to support this learning. The flexible layout will promote communication and collaboration whilst supporting learners who need strategies to help them focus.

The building will invite and enable an environmental learning focus, with natural construction materials prominent inside and outside, students actively engaging in measurement and monitoring of energy and water use, a living wall as part of the passive heating and cooling system, and sustainable urban farming spaces within the immediate precinct. Student knowledge, skills and mindsets for living and leading in a world of ever-prominent environmental needs – before and beyond 2035 – will be learning priorities in this leading-edge initiative.

The creation of these facilities, that incorporates the key elements described, encapsulates the learning ethos of the College and will ensure the delivery of a set of 21st Century learning spaces that meet the needs of our students, now and into the future.