Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus inCubator

This case study showcases how this school has embraced and embedded future-focused learning and teaching practice. Four key questions are addressed to demonstrate how they identified problems and constraints, overcome specific challenges and their learnings from this journey.

Location: Balmain Rd, Leichhardt

Level: Secondary School, Year 7 to Year 10

Enrolment: 945 students

What learning problem were you trying to solve?

Redesign a classroom space into a flexible learning zone.

Considerations included:

  • a range of seating options
  • writable surfaces
  • technology enabled
  • adhere to a strict budget
  • student driven
  • aesthetically pleasing
  • repurpose furniture / equipment where possible.

What were your constraints?

  • Budget – we were limited to a $1,500 budget. This precluded us from changing carpet and blinds.
  • Time – we had a couple of weeks to complete the room at the end of Term 4.
  • Labour – we utilised students and our GA.

What did you do?

Phase 1 – short session with a team of keen students to brainstorm our requirements.

Phase 2 – over a half day we created mood boards that reflected students’ choices in colour and design. We then looked at the budget and sourced equipment and furniture and décor in order to work through our budget.

Phase 3 – short session prior to final meeting, teacher went through student submissions to put together an achievable list, presented this to students. Ordering completed.

Phase 4 – two days; students out of class (end of Term 4) to put the room together.

What have you learnt so far?

  • Purchase quality and durable furniture for longevity.
  • Writable surfaces are very successful. Write on desks as well as our big ticket item ‘idea’ paint on the wall.
  • Decals brighten the space quite affordably.
  • Students feel empowered by the process.
  • Students enjoy rearranging the room and having a choice of seating.
  • Lessons structure/style needs to change in these rooms for them to work successfully.
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