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?

  1. Investigated other spaces including universities – we wanted to model it on an ‘adult’ learning space.
  2. Held student forums to gain input.
  3. Researched other schools.
  4. Teacher professional learning, including sharing ways of using the space.
  5. Set aside funds over two years – total cost of $8,000 (not including computers, these came from T4L allocation over time).
  6. 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.
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