Vasse Primary School, WA
Located two and half hours south of Perth, Vasse Primary School is tucked away in a beautiful town that is world renowned for its surf. Surrounded by nature and a strong community, it possesses a vibe that can be rarely felt in the schools of capital cities.
The Principal, Sinan Kerimovski is very well-respected and has dedicated his recent professional years to developing a modern learning environment. Focusing on pedagogy, he has surrounded himself with open-minded and progressive teachers that are willing to take the time in changing the “old ways” of teaching. His desire to connect the 3 arms of educational success (teachers, student & community) was paramount in his expectations of the school, classrooms, and teachers.
With such high expectations, we needed to take time to understand Sinan, but more importantly understand his vision and how he plans to execute it. He explained the challenges that he faces, the transition from conventional classrooms to a more collaborative and “free flowing” space. We quickly understood that Vasse Primary was to become a flagship and set the standard to what a flexible classroom was to be in WA.
We focused on redefining the space, rather than substituting old pieces for newer versions. The need for flexibility went beyond the aesthetic of the product but how the product can facilitate the different pedagogical style – transitioning from watering hole to campfire, to sandpit needs to be effortless and done by the students themselves. Additionally, we designed the space to connect to the natural community, utilising earth tones and giving it a more natural look.
Designing these spaces, we focused on our 60 second rule, that a classroom should be able to be refigured by the students themselves, within 60 seconds. This allowed the teachers to truly express their progressive teaching style and truly uphold the pedagogical expectations of Sinan and his executive team. Reducing the barriers of weight, we have found that the student actively take part in creating a safe learning environment for themselves, positively growing towards student agency.