Friday, 27 May 2011

Week 4 progress report

This week has seen us investigating sound systems, furniture, hand dryers, road layout, and library designs. All of this alongside developing ideas around how technology will be integrated into our pedagogy at Hingaia Peninsula.
I visited colleagues at a couple of schools this week and was inspired by what is happening in their schools and affirmed by them  that our physical and pedagogical design is going to be amazing for our children.
The work onsite has been ongoing despite the heavy rain with the roof beams beginning to go in and the framing for the administration block onsite.
Here are the latest photos:

Friday, 20 May 2011

Learning Communities - why design them?

The concept of children working in a learning community is one which embraces the use of learning modalities, caters to multiple intelligences and meets the needs of the 21C learner.
The world is different to the way it was when we were children, schools need to be different too - not just physically, but in the way we approach learning. At Hingaia Peninsula we are lucky that we have the opportunity to have a custom designed school which will enhance the learning for our 21C learners. This video shows some of the concepts evident in our design.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Task furniture in education

This YouTube link explains why we need to carefully consider the types of furniture we are providing our school age children. This is an aspect of the design that we are currently researching and discussing with educational furniture companies, architects, our colleagues in schools and, of course, some school age children to get their opinions on what works and does not work for them!

Zone consultation closed

Many thanks to the members of our community who have taken the opportunity to contact us regarding the proposed zone. The consultation process is now closed and all recommendations have been forwarded to the Ministry of Education. We anticipate having our zone confirmed by the beginning of term 3 and will ensure that our community are aware of the zone via our web presence as well as on paper at the office.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Official site visit

Today we had our first official site visit with the architects, MoE and builders. It was amazing to see the progress on site and get a chance to walk inside the learning studios.
The transition from plans to slabs to frames is fabulous to watch and the perspective of size changes with each stage. From a novice perspective, the dimensions of the plans are difficult to gauge, then the slabs go down and they look really small but once the frames are up and you get a chance to walk around inside the space looks huge!
We are extremely lucky to have such a well designed learning space for our future children. The design encompasses everything we currently know about how to create the very best learning spaces for our children and the visit today affirmed for me that we are creating the most amazing 21st C learning environment for the Hingaia Peninsula community. I am very excited about the journey ahead as we develop these spaces as a community with our future students!

Latest site photos:

Monday, 16 May 2011


Today we eventually got online at the office - yay!!
What a difference it made to my productivity not having to wait to tether to the iphone or watch pages load for a few minutes each time. Makes me wonder how I managed in the days of dial up or pre-www days?
I was able to reply to emails, arrange appointments, check for information, work on the google docs - all simultaneously, so much less frustrating than last week!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Children's Manifesto (UK)

The Guardian (UK) has asked children what kind of school they would like. 
Read their list here
At Hingaia Peninsula School we are aiming to create a collaborative, adaptive, creative learning environment for your children, this list is a reminder of what children today value in their learning and gives us as educators, parents and Boards of Trustees food for thought.

Week 2 progress report

At the beginning of the week I met with our architecture team to discuss the cabinetry in the learning studios, administration block and library. Discussions around storage, space and function were ongoing throughout the week with items added to some rooms and taken from others. I spent some time visiting libraries and administration blocks in other schools to look at form and function, bringing ideas and photographs back to the architects to discuss what might work best for our school. 

While thinking about cabinetry and interior design we have looked into the size of fridge/freezers, discussed hand dryers and paper towels, changed sink locations and investigated water solutions so if you have seen me out shopping for whiteware you know why! 

While ongoing research into the use of colour and the impact on learning is informing choices we are making about the interior of the buildings it is also informing our initial thoughts about uniforms and logos. 

This week I have also made contact with various facilitators who will assist us with library set up and computer systems and will meet with them over the coming months.

Other progress this week: the frames are up on the learning studios, the phone line has been connected and we are now online at the office - yay!!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Our new office

A huge thank you to Distinction Furniture for lending us the tables, chairs, screens and whiteboards to get started in our temporary office at 128 Hingaia Road, situated just behind the playground.

Week 1 progress report

I officially started as principal for Hingaia Peninsula School on Monday 2 May. I have been fortunate to have been involved since I was appointed in November through establishment board meetings, visiting new schools, liaising with MoE and the architects etc. My aim is to maintain this blog for our growing community by posting a weekly progress report as well as photo updates, interesting links and thoughts on our learning vision. Your comments are welcomed either publicly on this blog or via email to
So, week 1 'officially on the job' consisted mostly of setting up the temporary office; furniture, phones, copiers etc and creating an online presence for the school. The links at the top of the page connect to our facebook, wiki and website pages - 4 ways to stay in touch with what is happening at Hingaia Peninsula. Our phone numbers are not verified as yet but will be posted as soon as we have them.
One of our most important roles at this stage is the shortlisting for our APs, who will hopefully start in August. We have had a very strong field of applicants. The establishment board are currently reviewing cv's and contacting referees and we are looking forward to meeting the candidates over the next couple of weeks.
Our architect has asked us to start thinking about colours and finishes for the inside of the learning studios so I have been researching the psychology of colour on learning which has been a real eye opener. The idea is to link the colour palette we use to the learning styles and needs of our children, more info on that in a later post.
Remember to follow, like or bookmark your preferred way of keeping up to date or contact us via email or in person at the office. We are looking forward to meeting our new community.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Our temporary office

We have a temporary office in a wing of the CCS building at 128 Hingaia Road. We look forward to seeing our community popping in over the coming months to see our progress and ask any questions.

And the walls are up!

The framing on one of the learning studios is up and the buildings are beginning to take shape despite the rain over the past weeks. It's great to see the progress the guys have made on site!