Leading Sunshine Coast independent school Matthew Flinders Anglican College will invest more than $20 million in the next five years as part of its greater Master Plan to provide new agile, contemporary learning spaces for its 1300 students from Prep to Year 12.
Commencing in 2019 with the aim for completion by 2024, Flinders will construct five new College buildings, including a Year 7 building and a Design Precinct in the Secondary School, and a Years 5-6 Centre as well as creative learning spaces in the Primary School.
Principal Stuart Meade said Flinders had a 15-year Master Plan for the future that would ensure the College continued to strive for excellence and provide high quality, functional, expertly designed facilities to support effective teaching and learning.
“Matthew Flinders Anglican College was founded in 1990 and has proudly grown to become one of the leading academic schools in Australia within 30 years,” Stuart said.
“Our goal is to continue to build upon our College’s reputation for academic excellence whilst maintaining a clear focus on the wellbeing and potential of each child,” he said.
“To achieve this goal, it is vital that we provide flexible and versatile learning spaces, equipped with modern technology, that enable our students to learn 21st century skills like creativity, collaboration and innovation.
“The traditional style of classroom with fixed tables and seats facing to the front is outdated because it restricts students as passive learners and consumers of information.
“In contrast, the new style of agile classroom is designed with movable furniture and walls, and equipped with intuitive digital technology to encourage students and teachers to move, interact and collaborate as they engage in different pedagogical styles and work on different tasks.
“The beauty of agile learning spaces is that students understand the flexibility of the space requires from them a more active and engaged approach to interactive, personalised and hands-on learning.
“Our experience with students in these modern classrooms is that they step up to the challenge and develop a new mindset where they are active and ready to spontaneously engage in group work, team building, problem solving and other ‘flipped’ learning activities.
“The design rationale is that an agile learning environment has the ability to turn a static space into a dynamic space, and to encourage all learners to be creators rather than consumers.
“In terms of aesthetics in design, the new Flinders buildings will be light-filled, aspirational and modern spaces that will be a pleasure to teach and learn in.
“As we plan for the future, we are determined to ensure that Flinders continues to grow as a learning community with a focus on providing excellence in education for learning and life.”
Principal Stuart Meade noted that Flinders parents, students and teachers will be kept informed and up-to-date with all construction works on the 22-hectare College campus.
The College campus has not experienced building works since the Flinders Aquatic Centre was refurbished in 2016 and reopened in March 2017.
“We are aware this next five-year stage of building works will intermittently disrupt the peaceful campus we enjoy daily,” Stuart said.
“However, we will ensure that all measures are taken to manage and minimise the disruption to campus life, and ask that our College community appreciates that we must upgrade our facilities to continue to provide high quality education for our current and future students.”