Galilee Catholic School Stage 3
Russell & Yelland Pty Ltd
Commendation: Category 5 Innovation
Cnr Quinliven Road and How Road ALDINGA BEACH, SA 5173 Australia
Russell & Yelland Pty Ltd
This project comprises four learning spaces plus a common shared space for upper primary students as further development of the Galilee Catholic School at Aldinga Beach, an outer southern suburb of Adelaide. The school, which commenced in 2007, is based on the Reggio Emilia approach to education.
Stage 3 of Galilee School comprises four learning spaces and a common shared space plus teacher and student amenities for senior primary students and is based on the Reggio Emilia approach to education. Due to budget restrictions, creating a shared space large enough to be purposeful was a challenge. A large all-weather outdoor space was designed to connect and be visible from the indoor space. The design provided a sense of space, allowing room for large groups and effective social interactions to facilitate community and belonging, which are part of the Reggio philosophy.
Design discussions centred on issues related to aesthetics, durability and noise with the use of lightweight structure and materials. The result has created a peaceful, calm shared space supporting and facilitating quite study, group work and the safe and effective movement of students within the space.
The eco-literacy focus has meant sustainable principles have been foremost in design – for example, all water from the site is collected for reuse either in tanks or in a major wetlands development on site. the key issues were:
- home spaces for each class
- shared space, even if smaller than in previous stages
- if smaller shared space, then larger outdoor verandah space
- small tutorial/activity room
- teacher documentation and collaboration areas
- display areas for documentation of activities
- similar learning environmental conditions to previous stages – fresh air, thermal comfort, balanced daylight, good acoustics, direct access to outdoors; L-shaped classrooms without teaching walls
- sustainable design including efficient heating and cooling, daylighting, rainwater capture and reuse, bush gardens and local provenance of plants
An aspect of the Reggio that the school hold as significant is ‘listening to the voice of the child’. Russell and Yelland took time to listen to the students as ‘clients’ during the design process. This was achieved through a number of visits where the architects provided opportunity for students to share thoughts through drawings and words. The students felt their ideas and future thinking was heard and it was empowering for the students to see an end product with a sense of them involved.