Belmont Primary School Modernisation
ClarkeHopkinsClarke collaborated with Belmont Primary School to transform the existing cellular classrooms into flexible learning areas that support the school’s evolving pedagogy. The new learning environments allow students to be grouped according to need, encourage collaborative and cooperative learning, and enable individual personalised learning while maintaining the school’s heritage character.
51 Mt Pleasant Road Belmont, Victoria 3216 Australia
Established in 1856, Belmont Primary School is one of the oldest schools in the region. The school’s existing facilities consisted of traditional, cellular classrooms which were unable to support the school’s pedagogy. It was important to achieve the desired pedagogical outcomes while respecting and maintaining the school’s heritage character.
The refurbished and new facilities provide flexible learning areas that allow students to be grouped according to need, encourage students to learn collaboratively and cooperatively, and enable individual personalised learning when required. The project provides interconnected learning areas that incorporate construction platforms and tiered seating, feature withdrawal areas that respect the building’s heritage character and provide opportunities for role play and student development, and foster staff development through collaborative teaching, mentoring and shared expertise.
A key focus of the Belmont Primary School modernisation was to provide facilities that encourage community support and can be shared with community groups. The new entry creates a vibrant and welcoming interface with the street and the easily accessible Multi-Purpose Room provides facilities for use by After School Care and community groups. Outdoor learning spaces were incorporated to provide improved indoor/outdoor connectivity as well as opportunities to engage with the community and intimate internal spaces welcome parental involvement in learning activities.
The Belmont Primary School modernisation focused on enhancing the inherent characteristics of the heritage building and developing new vibrant learning spaces that provide healthy learning environments and ensure minimal environmental impacts. The inherent challenges of poor orientation and ventilation associated with the existing building were addressed with the incorporation of pergolas as sun shading devices, the conversion of traditional classrooms into interconnected learning areas allowing passive ventilation, and the addition of thermal chimneys in keeping with the heritage building’s character that enhance natural light and ventilation.
The project provides learning areas that encourage collaborative student learning, enable staff development, respect the School’s heritage character, and feature natural light and ventilation. The modernisation project provides flexible facilities that will enable Belmont Primary School’s pedagogy to continue to develop and evolve into the future.