Creating learning environments for collaboration

Monday, 20th May 2019

Fifty members of the Melbourne High School community gathered to celebrate the opening of our most recently renovated classroom. Representing the 80 volunteers and 1296 donors who helped raise $491,627 for new classrooms last year, there was an incredible sense of achievement in the room.

Event guests had the opportunity to visit old, under construction and new classrooms and hear about why the renovation was more than just new carpet, paint and upgraded technology. In his speech, Principal Jeremy Ludowyke advised that the school’s most valuable educational resource is not, as often assumed, its teachers but the student cohort who challenge and support each other to succeed. He went onto explain that the classrooms are designed to optimise this learning opportunity by moving away from the traditional teacher focussed classroom layout. Through flexible furnishings, the integration of technology and, a surprise to many first-time visitors, no fixed desk for the teachers, students can more easily work in teams.

Jeremy outlined how the new classrooms are designed to facilitate collaboration, in-step with the contemporary commercial offices and tertiary institutions of today. He shared the school’s vision for moving towards a teaching and learning framework more closely aligned with the university system and how the classrooms capacity to accommodate both individual and team-based learning was a key step towards this vision. The next key step is the establishment of the Centre for Higher Education at 669 Chapel St. This project received $$ state government funding in the 2018 Budget and discussions are currently underway with Monash and Melbourne University about program delivery.

A highlight of the event on Monday night was the unveiling of the first of four donor boards recognising the community’s extraordinary contribution to the classroom renovations. With government funding only providing basic facility maintenance, MHS was privileged to draw on our committed community network to fundraise for our future. Through generous donations, the school is well on the way to reaching its target of renovating 50 classrooms by 2027. According to Jeremy the biggest hurdle this year in working to this target is not limited funds but logistics. The school does not have enough space to allow for more than one classroom being taken off the schedule at a time. With careful planning 5 – 6 classrooms will be renovated this year.

Thanks to all those who attended and a special thanks to all those who donated and showed their investment in the future of MHS.

To donate to the Classrooms of a New Century Campaign click here