“We are really excited to see this symbol of our school of 34 years come to life,” said IGS Director of Languages Rosalba Genua-Petrovic.
“The Global Learning Centre for the Teaching and Learning of Languages will be a glorious beacon for the teaching and learning of languages, with state-of-the-art technology in all of the flexible learning areas.”
Works in the Kerrie Murphy Building are due to commence in coming weeks. The new spaces will serve Preschool to Year 12 students during language lessons, while becoming a learning destination for the whole of the IGS community and beyond. Ms Genua-Petrovic is looking forward to welcoming language professionals from around the world to share their knowledge and insights with IGS in the Centre.
“The space could also be opened up to parents for exchange program meetings, community thought forums, seminars, presentations and potentially for parent polyglot language lessons,” Ms Genua-Petrovic said.
The Global Learning Centre will, as Ms Genua-Petrovic described, “be a learning hub” enjoyed by students each day, enhancing their connection with their education and the School.
“The distinctive Kerrie Murphy Building is part of the international identity of IGS,” BVN Principal Architect Phillip Rossington said. “It can represent the unique bilingual and multilingual learning opportunities IGS offers.”
How each floor will be defined
The first two levels will have six new teaching and learning classrooms, and six new learning spaces. The classrooms will have walls which can open up to allow the classrooms to become larger spaces for collaborative learning.
“The new learning spaces on these levels will be made up of an open learning area, pods for smaller groups, and learning nooks for individual student projects and where students can work closely work with our linguists in residence,” Ms Genua-Petrovic said.
“There will be limitless opportunities for students to engage in focused learning and collaborative discussions, alongside peer teaching and learning.”
On Level 2 there will be a moveable amphitheatre for informal learning and presentations.
“The furniture will be varied and aesthetically pleasing to create a comfortable, stimulating and welcoming environment to learn languages,” Ms Genua-Petrovic said. “A closed kitchenet will also be available for classes to experience cultural indulgences.”
The Languages staff are moving to the top floor where they will gain a seminar room for professional collaboration, banquette seating in addition to their work stations, an aesthetically pleasing environment and a new kitchen for a more comfortable working day.
“New work stations for staff will be on offer, plus smaller break out areas for collaborative work and planning,” Ms Genua-Petrovic said.
Dream, plan, build
It has been a process of great depth, and an active journey to reach the construction stages of the Global Learning Centre for Languages.
While the seeds of the project were sown in the Strategic Plan Into the World 2016-2020, in early 2017 languages staff met with BVN to brainstorm a cohesive vision for the Centre.
“At this initial meeting, we brainstormed what teaching and learning means to us, our aims and visions for our students, and the types of spaces we imagined would best facilitate these ideals,” Ms Genua-Petrovic said.
From there, BVN conducted various site visits to IGS, gaining a sense of how the current learning spaces are used, and observing language lessons and general use of the space.
A number of IGS staff members visited some of BVN’s local design projects, at Ascham School and Double Bay Library, and viewed BVN’s own office space, discovering a multitude of options for teaching and learning spaces.
“From these tours we were able to take away some fantastic ideas for stimulating student spaces, and ways of really maximising the available space we have on Levels 1 and 2, to offer an array of teaching and learning models, thereby catering better to the needs of the students and learning tasks.”
In addition to the Global Learning Centre, the ground floor of the Wright Building will be opened up to become The Imaginarium, which will be used for a range of activities. School Councillors Joe Degeling and Tamara Kezelman are moving into a professional counselling suite on the ground floor of the Reg St Leon Building, forming a new Student Care precinct alongside Student Reception.
This major project is expected to be completed within a year, with Level 1 Global Learning Centre classrooms and the Level 3 staffroom due for refurbishment as Stage 1 from June this year. Stage 2 will include the construction of Level 2 Global Learning Centre classrooms and the ground floor Imaginarium.
After so much dreaming and planning, excitement is building in the community now that work will shortly commence.
“The Global Learning Centre with its six new classrooms, six distinctive learning spaces, cooking facilities, flexible layout and new collaboration space for teachers unlocks the campus and paves the way for the roll out of the IGS Master Plan,” said IGS Principal Shauna Colnan.
“We can’t wait to see this beautiful building fully utilised late this year by our students as they continue their language learning from Preschool to Year 12.”