Friday, 29 July 2011

Week 13 progress report

Buildings progressed this week with the corrugated iron roof going onto some of the studios. The roof lines rise and fall along the perimeter of the building which provides an interesting architectural detail as well as providing a variety of light into the studios and adjoining areas.
We have continued this week to look at colours, furniture and fabric choices. Each time we visit furniture suppliers we come away with different ideas about what kinds of furniture we can provide for our students to give them optimal choice over their comfort while learning. Other design concepts which are ongoing are the uniform and the logo and we hope to have these finalised soon.
We have also made some enquiries into possible education outside the classroom options for our students, specifically looking at the option of school camps for future years. Camps are booked well in advance and most schools have an annual booking so timing and location of camp options may be limited but we are considering how, where and when we can provide this important learning experience for students at Hingaia Peninsula School.
Latest photos here:


Saturday, 23 July 2011

Week 12 progress report

This is either week 1 of the winter break or week 12 of the progress on Hingaia Peninsula School depending on how you view things.
We have been busy this week with more design work. On Monday we went to visit furniture showrooms and warehouses to have a look at some of the pieces we may use in the administration block and library. We are looking at both the shape and form of the furniture as well as the function of the pieces. Differing types of seating and tables will be used in different rooms to suit different functions, much the same as in the learning studios. We followed this with a trip to the architects to look at colours (again) and trial different colours in a variety of places through the use of the 3D models. We were able to discuss the reception desk designed for us, make some changes to doors and review laminate choices. Next we went to visit the uniform factory to look at sports shirts, different tops for the students and colours. The uniform will need to be decided on by the middle of August so that we can get stock prior to the end of the year for our new enrollments so we are anxious to have samples to review at our next board meeting.
The remainder of the week I was at the First Time Principals residential conference where we heard from a variety of speakers on assessment, leadership and vision. It was a good chance to meet up with FTPs from around the country and to reflect on the vision of our school. Every decision we are making on design, build, uniform, logo etc is informed by the vision to create a collaborative, creative environment for our 21st Century learners. Colours, symbols, furniture and spaces will all impact on the way that our students are able to access and engage in their learning, and every decision is made with the students and their learning at the forefront.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Week 11 progress report

This is the end of term two for most schools and the end of my first term at Hingaia Peninsula School. It has been a term full of learning, decision making, design, planning, discussion and research.
This week I have been investigating the creative commons copyright licences which we will look at using when we create and use learning resources, as well as developing the knowledge and capability of our learners to create and use creative works in the digital environment that comply with the creative commons licences.
On Wednesday we had our site visit and our architects brought the colour boards to the establishment board meeting. The samples of colour, paint, vertiface, linoleum, vinyl, stains, tiles and fabrics look fabulous together. There has been a lot of time and thought put into the best materials for the school and the way that the colours work together. As a green star school there are parameters which have to be worked within and only certain materials have been approved to be used within a green star building.
At the site visit it was great to see the progress being made on site with the windows in on studio 3. I have always loved the concept of the window seats in the studios and it was great to see them in place. The kids are going to love sitting there in the sun, looking out over the courtyard or the field, chatting or reading …
We have made more progress on the uniform this week. Thank you to all the students who made contact and gave us some feedback. We also asked the children of the board and the staff and brought all the elements together. The overarching theme was that the uniform should provide a choice of what to wear so that students have some sense of individuality. We know that parents want a school uniform that is high quality at a reasonable cost and that is easy to look after. With that in mind we are looking at a uniform with a choice of elements; skirts, shorts, trousers, cargo pants that can be worn according to student preference. We are using some of the colours we have used in draft school logos and trying to make our uniform different to local schools with established uniforms and school colours. We are also looking at sports uniforms which will save the school uniform from coming home covered in mud during the wet months! As parents we know that uniform costs come at an expensive time of the year so we are hoping to have samples and costs available in term 4 so that parents can buy the new uniform ahead of the Christmas season if they wish to.
We also had our first visit from the Education Review Office who will complete an audit check on the school in early term 4 to ensure the Ministry of Education that we are ready to open in February. It was lovely to meet the team and to have an informal chat about what we have been doing and our journey so far.
Our latest site photos show the progress on the buildings and the site. We now have the beginnings of the car park at the front of the site and with the cladding and windows in situ we get a real sense of space and light in the studios, even in the middle of a winter rain storm!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Some thoughts on learning spaces

A great little youtube movie from Professor Stephen Heppell explaining the need for us to create agile and collegial learning spaces for our children.

At Hingaia Peninsula we are working towards creative, agile, collaborative learning spaces - no egg boxes and no factory learning for us!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Week 10 progress report

An exciting week this week in terms of building - building our community, building our teams and building our buildings!
We received our first official enrolment today which was just fabulous. We have a few more enrolment packs out there and are getting enquiries daily from people who want to enrol their children. Some are in zone and some are out of zone so we have had a few disappointed parents unfortunately. It is great to have families on board, voluteering to help out, being consulted on uniform choices etc. We are looking forward to meeting more of our foundation students over the next few months.
Our new Associate Principals were both in Auckland this week and met each other for the first time. They will both be starting on 1 August and are in the process of being farewelled from their current schools. It was good to meet together and get to know each other a little before they start officially next term. We are looking forward to working with Cole and Hayley and will be introducing them online next term and in person at the next community meeting - 31 August, 7pm at Strathallan.
Our building progress this week has seen studio 3 have the windows installed. Having the windows in makes the buildings look like they are almost ready to inhabit. The school is really taking shape and we can now envisage what it will look like and get a real sense of the huge spaces we will have.
This week we have also finalised the AV and data plans, worked on colours (again!), explored furniture in space using the architects plans and furniture designs, and begun our uniform design process.

Latest site photos:

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

School uniforms

Ok, this one is for all the kids out there …
If you could choose anything you liked for a school uniform - what would it be?
Please ask your children, be they your own kids or your class. We do genuinely want to know what it is that kids like and don't like about their school uniforms and what they would choose if they had free rein over their wardrobe.
We are looking forward to the feedback!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Week 9 progress report

I can't believe it is week 9 already!
This week I have spent a lot of time with the architects finalising the finishes and data plans, and refining the colour scheme and cabinetry. The amount of detailed work that goes into the plans and drawings is amazing, it's been a really interesting experience to watch the process and to see the 3D drawings of our studios being developed. Our colour scheme is looking great, reflective of the peninsula with blues, greens and neutral tones. This colour scheme will also be incorporated into the school logo, uniform and furniture.
This photograph is one of a series taken by one of our board members and forms part of the inspiration for the colour choices - the colours of the peninsula are beautifully muted and calming as you can see:

I also attended a couple of days of the inaugural Nethui which was a blend of business, government, not-for-profit and education sectors coming together to discuss the potential benefits of the internet. I attended the education stream on Thursday which was run by Core Education and heard some interesting views, anecdotes and ideas which will help us to shape the use of the internet at HPS. It was great to network with other passionate educators from all sectors and share our learning.

Our enrolment scheme became official today and we now have enrolment packs ready for our future students. We have had one prospective parent in today to pick up their pack and we are looking forward to meeting more of you over the coming weeks.