Listening to our community- what's important to us?


Listening to our community – what’s important to us?

 

It’s your school and your contribution is vital!

 

Everyone’s input so far has helped us understand what’s important and what needs to be incorporated in our landscape master plan.

It’s plain to see how much we all care about our outdoor learning and playing spaces. It was great to see so many people – children, parents, grandparents, carers, neighbours, teachers and friends – taking the time to come and share their thoughts and ideas as well as ‘hot dotting’ other people’s comments, chatting with the designers, neighbours, teachers, working group and school councillors and finding out more about the planning process including Pick my Project.

L & L Design are now producing a design that responds to and reflects what the respondents have told the school and what the master plan aims to address.

 

It incorporates:

 

Values - what’s important, what do we all value in our shared outdoor space?

  • Sustainability – care for our school, care for our environment, light footprint, promoting a respect for the natural environment
  • Creative play – fostering natural creative play, adventure, sensory elements, climbing, building, making, immersion in the natural environment
  • Connection to nature – opportunity for children to connect to nature through play and build a love of and respect for the natural environment
  • Food production – vegetable gardens and composting areas and the way they are incorporated into the curriculum and used to each life skills
  • Art – art as part of the landscape and school culture, integrated into the landscape and life of the school
  • Places for all children – need mixes of active and passive play spaces which support children of all ages. Sports areas and equipment for the active kids, and quiet secluded nooks for the children who need space to withdraw
  • A learning landscape – a landscape for the teachers, with spaces which are an extension of the classroom and support the school curriculum
  • Making the most of what we have – spaces that are flexible, can be used to their best potential and for a range of activities
  • Practical – needs to be workable, able to be maintained, able to be built, able to be afforded


Issues - what are the main issues our master plan needs to address?

  • Configuration of sports courts and shade structures to support the Pick My Project funding
  • Use of tiles created for the tile wall
  • Toilets: School to assess the feasibility of upgrading the toilets in their current location; L&LD to assess the feasibility of creating a new toilet block elsewhere on site
  • Tomorrow’s leader’s for sustainability – garden plan to be incorporated in some way
  • Central asphalt space - needs to be reconfigured - some type of flexible stage and general openness is needed, but area needs more protection and more greenery to define the space and improve its functionality and remove the asphalt
  • Movement around the school – look at how children and parents move around the school, especially crossing the quad during lunch time (balls flying)
  • Improve school entrances, rationalise and relieve congestion – separate vehicles and pedestrians, control access during school hours and increase access for wheelchairs and people with prams (especially main office and from Northcote road)
  • Need to soften the school – more greenery, more shade, less asphalt and concrete, cool the school
  • Need more shade in the school generally, especially in the open areas
  • Need spaces to be multi-purpose: with such a small school area spaces need to fulfil a range of functions and be able to be used in a variety of ways
  • Make the most of the left over, linear spaces around the school’s edges – places that children naturally gravitate too but need to still allow supervision
  • Improve the sandpit – size and depth good,but loses too much sand over the surrounding paths. Also needs taps nearby for hand washing and water play
  • More places for creative play - climbing, adventure – focus on the whole child – hidey holes and places where children can withdraw
  • Need more sensory elements, water, rocks, greenery
  • Areas that can be manipulated (found object play, tables and chairs which can be moved etc.)
  • Safer sports surfaces with options for sports spread more across the school

 

Needs – our community expressed strong needs and desires across four elements

Preliminary review by the designers shows these elements are all practical and achievable.

Teaching

  • Outdoor classrooms
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Vegetable gardens
  • More outdoor storage
  • Animals
  • Sensory garden

Passive Play

  • Water play (possibly as a creek with mud play included)
  • More sitting areas outdoors – especially sheltered ones – fixed and flexible options
  • Quiet spaces, hiding spaces for children to withdraw to, preferably in natural areas
  • More natural, quiet spaces and much more greenery across the school – need to soften the “concrete jungle”
  • Increased tree planting and more shade generally across the school ground
  • Bamboo forest

Active Play

  • More climbing equipment
  • Running tracks (made or obstacle style)
  • More monkey bars (single gymnastic style ones are popular at a range of sizes)
  • Netball hoops
  • Cricket
  • Football goal posts

Practical

  • A flexible stage area for events
  • More bike and scooter racks
  • Upgrade of the PA system as it can’t be heard in all parts of the school
  • Provide wheelchair / pram access to front office
  • Welcoming entrance from Densham Road
  • Increased space for bins and recycling / compost

   

Wishes – some wonderful ideas emerged

 

Some great ideas emerged from all of our community. Our wishes come below our ‘needs’ in the plan as there was either less desire for them, or further work is needed to determine if they are practical and achievable.

Teaching elements

  • Outdoor reading area
  • Expand the vegetable growing areas (need to at least keep at the current level with veggies, fruit trees and compost)
  • Gardening area – garden shed and potting bench, mini hot-house

Passive Play Elements

  • Real Grass (very strong desire)
  • Conversation circles
  • Gardens for bugs and minibeasts
  • Tree house

Active Play Elements

  • Hit up wall
  • More hoops for multiple sports options
  • Permanent soccer goals
  • Giant chess board (strong demand, but they are rarely used)
  • Rock climbing wall to make the most of the vertical spaces
  • Zip line / flying fox (strong demand, may not be practical)

Practical elements

  • More mint taps
  • Water tanks for water storage
  • Winding organic paths – less straight lines