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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.

Primary School • Breakout

The Scots College Preparatory School, Dolls Point

Acquiring a heritage building in the heart of the inner-south region, The Scots College made their decision to create a new and modern learning environment, within this wonderful site. Bringing to life this old building to the standard that is Scots, was a difficult task but one that was elegantly achieved.

This initial project required 3 unique rooms transformed into functional classrooms conducive to their style of teaching, and a library / common space. Needing to incorporate modern teaching pedagogy whilst maintaining a certain level of explicit teaching, Scots drew on their decades of experience, developing an environment that pushes The Scots College into the future, whilst building on the pedigree that is a Scots Boy.

Partnering closely with Rod Stoddart (Head of the Brighton Preparatory School) and his team, Beparta created a space that facilitated their needs through several design phases and consultation to truly understand their needs. Rod had no desire to acquire products that were trendy, but instead insisted on us learning from each teacher what was most important for them.

Managing the unique classrooms with collaborative and flexible pieces was a balancing act achieved with the help of the teachers. Choosing pieces that match the overall pedagogy of The Scots College, and the functional practices of Rod and his team. Each space was created to provide a breakout space unique to the shape of the classroom, with plentiful learning options for the children to decide on where and how they want to work. Whether that is a standing table, a multipiece or solid-state collaborative piece, or individual desks.

Additionally, their seating solutions match the needs of the children whilst complimenting the newly renovated space- ranging from conventional plastic chairs, high backless stools, to multi-purpose ottomans. These pieces were carefully selected by the teachers with the guidance of our specialised Space Consultant to ensure it benefited all parties.

The Scots College Preparatory School in Dolls Point has now grown in its enrolments and is designing further fit-for-purpose spaces. A simple cookie cutter approach and catalogue purchase has never been considered by Rod. As a result, he has created a space, and a school, that not only facilitates his practices and pedagogy, but one that is flexible in growth.

Primary School • Breakout

St Luke’s Catholic College

A masterful creation by the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, this school has been the brainchild of Greg Whitby (Executive Director, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta) and is led by Greg Miller (Principal Leader). Both extremely progressive and forward thinking in the way they expect education to be. This was a brand-new build that started with only 3 connecting double rooms to now an entire school that actively engages in modern teaching practices within their new learning environments.

When designing a brand-new build, you are blessed with a blank canvas, which also challenges you to create your best work. We did not gamble on the effectiveness of each collection and how it was to benefit each classroom. Instead, we took our time to understand the Diocese’s vision and what their plans were for Catholic education in the Parramatta area. This was difficult initially as the Diocese was thinking well in advance, far beyond the current few years but this style of thinking eventually helped us in creating pieces that would be adaptive.

We balanced the need for today, with the progress of tomorrow to achieve what is necessary for the future. Introducing collaborative pieces for both solid-state and break-away collaborative collections to encourage movement within the classroom, whilst having the ability to explicitly teach. Maintaining engagement was achieved through Greg Miller’s vision for teaching and pedagogy, encouraging students to partake in all activities, leading to a decision for durable writeable surface and easily repositionable furniture.

Building on this foundation and the understanding of future expectations, we needed to create spaces that would interconnect, should the school expand and wish to join disparate collections together – the ability is always there. The emphasis was on transferability, and we engaged yet again with Greg Whitby’s insights on what he expected classrooms to have – depth in a classroom, multiple heights were a must. This facilitates managing not only height differences but also students’ engagement at crucial times of the day.

St Luke’s has become the standard in modern learning practices and spaces, drawing immense attention from public and private schools throughout Sydney and across Australia. Leaders from all over have taken the time to visit St Luke’s to understand the process, and outcomes for such a forward-thinking school.

Secondary School • Breakout

Bondi Primary School

When you think of Bondi you think of Australia’s most iconic beach and the glamour of the Eastern Suburbs. But schooling is important in Bondi, as everywhere. Beparta was engaged to uplift and bring Bondi Public School’s library to a modern standard. As sometimes happens in schools, the library spaces had been neglected over the years, as funding had gone towards technology and maintenance, whilst refurbishment and modern learning environment took a back seat.

This inspiring project was driven by Michal Maslanka, Teacher Librarian, as he wanted a space to encourage children to use the library and provide a beneficial environment for teachers to teach their classes. Limited by the shape, a narrow long area, Michal consulted with Beparta’s Space Consultants to understand his options but importantly to share what he wanted to achieve within the space. It was imperative for us to know how far he wanted to take this space, including reconsidering the number of books and existing tables, and wanting more floor space – these were some of the things we need to understand before our design process.

Michal is extremely progressive and has a willingness to push the boundaries to achieving student agency, wanting to provide a variety of learning options within the space. Introducing flip, high, and solid-state collaborative floor tables within the space, whilst incorporating our writeable surfaces. This library empowers students to take control of their learning environments, reconfiguring surfaces and utilising our light-weight ottomans to create unique seating solutions. This space has become an enabler within the school for teachers and students to engage in a collaborative environment.

Primary School • Breakout
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