The students in Year 3 and 4 at Oranga School have now moved into their newly refurbished two Hub modern learning environment. It was previously a standard series of 6 single cell classrooms.

An early morning blessing was held the week before the school moved in, and was led by two Māori elders from the local Ōrākei Marae.

Seba Dilaimi, one of the six teachers who is moving into the space, takes us through an interesting project that the two hubs carried out before they arrived in the space.

“So, as we came into the space, we shared the journey with the children. Everytime that we, as teachers, came in to see progress, we would go back and show the children photos of how the space was progressing and where it was at. We spoke to them a lot about the space and then in the last week, before we moved in, we did a project with the children where they drew a map to scale. Every meter was 10 centimetres and then they measured and scaled down the furniture as well that we had in the classroom. They then made the furniture silhouettes out of cardboard, and placed them on the map with much discussion.
When we (the teachers) came into the new space to set up the furniture on Thursday afternoon, we literally had a photo of their plan and we placed the furniture where they had decided it should go. It was really good for us as the children had noticed on the plan that say in this room, you can only put this amount of furniture in there and we’re like, “oh, that’s really interesting.” So, they were able to came up with things that we wouldn’t have seen as teachers, which was really good and it proved to be a really worthwhile process.”

I also asked Seba how the move itself went and what her first impressions of the space were:

“We moved in within a day and a half and had great support on the first day from Parents and Staff moving the big stuff. The next morning, we brought the kids across and every child carried something over so they were able to be part of the process. It was so great and when they came in on Monday, and it was like, they’d always been here.

My first impressions of the space were that is lovely and big with lots of breakout spaces. It really is going to be perfect for our kids. Teaching that can be done in the new space that they couldn’t do before. We love the small ‘Maker Spaces’ which are in such a central area, it’s just so easy for the children and the teachers to find everything that they need, they’re not having to walk all the way from one side of the space to the other. The children and staff are loving the space.

Each Hub has 61 children and three teachers at the moment. Seba says that they haven’t named the Hubs as yet, they are planning that exercise once the kids settle into the space, and they hope to use it as an inquiry process as to what names are appropriate and why.

There are a range of spaces that connect and compliment the learning activities taking place in the year groups. Individual nooks and Makerspaces allow students to choose different learning zones. The makerspaces can be opened or closed to make the connection between the main learning space.

As I said at the beginning of the post, the Year 3 and 4 students and teachers are up and running in their new space and it will be great to follow them as they get comfortable with the new learning environment.

For those who have read the week 13 blog post, you will be aware that Oranga School has another new space, ‘The New Build’, due to open at the end of next month. This one has been built from scratch and is going to be a five-teacher equivalent classroom for year groups 1 and 2. We look forward to bringing you that exciting addition to the school in our next blog post from Oranga School.

Written by: Doug Crutch (NZ Facilitator)

Bhavini Pandya Gratnells Learning Rooms Leader and Lead Project Facilitator
Bhavini Pandya