Primary School students at Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast will soon be learning in their new Wonderarium – a place which aims to excite students’ curiosity through literature, artifacts, works of art and provocations.
The $1.3 million state-of-the-art facility will open mid-2021 as part of the five-year Flinders Masterplan.
The Masterplan will see a suite of new agile, contemporary learning spaces constructed for the College’s 1,300 students from Prep to Year 12.
The Wonderarium is located alongside the College’s new Years 5 and 6 Precinct, to open in January 2021, also as part of the Flinders Masterplan.
The Wonderarium is wholly funded by the Flinders Foundation, which aims to connect, engage and support the College for the long-term benefit of its students.
Foundation Chair Mr John Gannon said the project was an exciting addition to the quality facilities on offer at the College.
“Flinders has a reputation for providing the highest quality education to its students, and the Flinders Foundation is committed to supporting and enabling this mission,” John said.
“The Foundation is delighted to fund the Wonderarium as an innovative and aspirational facility that will help to boost student engagement and outcomes now and into the future.”
Flinders Head of Primary, Mrs Trudi Edwards acknowledged the Foundation’s generous philanthropic contribution to the College with the Wonderarium project.
“The new Wonderarium will provide a sense of wonder, connection and inspiration, welcoming students, staff and parents to explore their creativity in an environment of books and adventure,” Trudi said.
“It is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Flinders Foundation,” she said.
“At Flinders, we design innovative and aspirational facilities such as the Wonderarium because we recognise that to teach well, we must ensure that creativity and innovation are always present.
“As a Primary School, we have an incredibly important role to provide contexts, environments and a culture that enables and inspires our students to enliven their curiosity, creativity and critical thinking.
“Although excellent teaching requires organisation and routines, it should never be inflexible.
“While our Wonderarium will teem with beautiful literature, it invites students to explore more than just books.
“It also seeks to engage creative and critical thinking and experiences.”
The Wonderarium will feature ever changing and evolving physical and electronic displays, art works and items of interest to draw students into new ways of seeing, perceiving, understanding and engaging with their world.
Outdoors, the facility will feature landscaped sensory gardens with seating pods for quiet reflection and collaborative work, and decked learning areas.
As an example of the facility’s potential, ‘Wonder Lessons’ will be led by the Flinders Head of Information, Literature and Resources.
Lessons will be purposefully curated to draw on children’s natural curiosity. What is courage? How did football start? Why do humans like music? What is empathy? What would happen to earth if all the insects disappeared?
Students will soon learn that the Wonderarium is a place to engage ‘the heart’ as much as the head.