West Wyalong High School
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: 30 Dumaresq St, West Wyalong
Level: Secondary School, Year 7 to Year 12
Enrolment: 307 students
What learning problem were you trying to solve?
- Encourage reading
- Develop collaborative learning skills
- Create a flexible learning environment
- Improve use of technology for learning
What were your constraints?
- The physical spaces were traditionally set out and utilised.
- Shifting mindsets of staff and students about how spaces can be used.
- Financial resources.
What did you do?
- Investigated other spaces including universities – we wanted to model it on an ‘adult’ learning space.
- Held student forums to gain input.
- Researched other schools.
- Teacher professional learning, including sharing ways of using the space.
- Set aside funds over two years – total cost of $8,000 (not including computers, these came from T4L allocation over time).
- The space created is flexible and caters for private study, small group study, whole class activities, individual and whole class reading spaces, mobile IWB, 20 desktop computers, 6 tablets/e-readers, seating that allows laptops and tablets to be charged, high benches as well as mobile lounge style furniture, and collaborative desk spaces.
What have you learnt so far?
- Increased use of space – class bookings have increased fivefold.
- Increased student borrowing – particularly fiction.
- Increased interactions between year groups – with up to four different learning groups at any one time for example; Year 7 reading, Year 11 group study, Year 12 private study, Year 10 Science class.
- Modeling of learning behaviours when older students mix with younger students.
- Staff also use the space to meet and discuss teaching and learning ideas.
- Flexibility is the key.