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Friday 22 January, 2016
by Cathie Bell
When Richmond View School decided to reclaim two storerooms as classroom space, they asked their pupils to design what the rooms would look like.
When the children arrive back at school next month, they will find a map room and a Hobbit hole.
Principal Dave Pauling says the competition had a good response from students, many who discovered a new interest in design.
Riley Foote won one room, turning a former cloakroom into a small group space with video conferencing, a small table and chairs and couch, and a large map to decorate the wall.
Bethany West won the other, turning the former storeroom space into a Hobbit hole, with comfortable chairs, mock fire and exposed wooden beams, and appropriate Hobbit décor to make a quiet space for students to retreat to.
Dave said the competition gave the students great ownership of the new spaces.
Research was quite clear the school environment had a big impact on the work the kids did, he says.
“If kids aren’t happy and safe or engaged and interested, you’ve lost 80 per cent of your ability to learn.”
Richmond View School is starting off the year well with Government permission to lift its roll cap from 120 to 145 students.
Dave said that would give the school “some relief” from its waiting list, but that wouldn’t last long.
“A couple of our classes are already full.”
The school’s application to run a middle school for year 9 and 10 students was turned down.
Dave said the school would consult with its community before deciding whether to apply again.
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