education.govt.nz

Murupara Area School moves into the 21st century

Issue: Volume 95, Number 1

Posted: 25 January 2016
Reference #: 1H9cyh

The start of term 4, 2015 saw teachers and students at the Bay of Plenty school return to enjoy their brand-new facilities, which include innovative learning environments and administration areas.

Principal Angela Sharples says the returning students have fitted into their new space really well and are now focused on their learning.

“Having this new space is hugely transformational,” she says. “It is a new way of fostering collaborative teaching and learning.”

Head of the Ministry’s Education Infrastructure Service, Kim Shannon, says having flexible learning spaces in schools allows a variety of teaching and learning practices.

“Teachers can open up the space to join classes together to teach collaboratively, or they can create smaller areas for small groups or one-on-one learning,” she says.

“More importantly, we know kids learn better if they’re comfortable, so we make sure their learning spaces are the right temperature and have good lighting, ventilation and acoustics.”

As the school is located within an exotic forest plantation, a modern ventilation system will keep springtime pollen at bay, and sheltered outdoor spaces will keep the school community protected year round.

The building which houses the new learning spaces and administration area is called Murupara, Angela says. Murupara is a protective taniwha which is very important to local iwi Ngāti Manawa.

The next part of the upgrade, which is expected to finish in mid-April 2016, will include specialist teaching spaces, a new early childhood education centre and a gymnasium.
Murupara Area School was established at the start of 2013 and is located on the site of the old Murupara Primary School. Construction on the redevelopment began in September 2014. It caters for students from year 1 through to 13 and currently has 339 students.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 9:58 am, 25 January 2016

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