Connecting the Community: Picton High School

Picton High School’s major redevelopment focuses on a dramatic improvement of the school’s pedagogical model of teaching and learning. The previous traditional teacher-centred classroom model has shifted to a student-centred hub model through the inclusion of dedicated stage-related learning hubs and inter disciplinary activity-focused learning communities.

A common message of disconnectedness, disengagement and alienation was heard during the initial visioning and objectives workshops. Disengagement through learning domains culminated in the disconnected and segregated collection of individual buildings.

“At the early stage in the process, it became quite clear that the project should focus on connection, interaction and engagement as a central framework for the redevelopment of the learning and social environment at the high school, which supports the proposed shift toward a holistically connected student centred, activity- based learning community”. – Shane Wood | Education Sector Leader & Project Principal

BLP’s redesign emphasises student and teacher interaction. Through spatial planning and transparency, an engaging and collaborative environment, both horizontaly and vertically across the campus, encourages and strengthens efficiency, improves interdisciplinary activities and supports positive educational results.

The design responds to the needs of students changing as they move through year levels – academically, practically, and socially. The new learning environment will support stage-related learning approaches via distinct middle and senior neighbourhoods.

Outdoor learning opportunities are incorporated at all levels of the building with a main student quadrangle and partially covered under croft at the lower level to create the central student ‘hub’ of the campus. The proposed development focuses on the ‘whole of campus’ as a learning opportunity across all internal and external environments.

The Picton High School environment offers a range of learning hubs to support an increase in project-based education and the ‘real world’ application of knowledge. 

Community and Beyond School Hours

Picton High School is located a few kilometres south of the town centre. The school benefits its neighbouring community by fostering connectivity and diversity as the population increases and expected residential growth occurs in the local area.

The design incorporates the opportunity for shared use of facilities with the broader community. The public forecourt encourages access for the community onto the campus with a separate, secure line into the school.This enables facilities designed around the forecourt to be accessible to groups outside of school hours without compromising security for the rest of the campus.

From the forecourt and secure carpark, the community can access multi-function facilities in the Fitness and Performing Arts building for a variety of activities, including meetings, formal gatherings, dance and drama, as well as access to the multipurpose hall for larger events.

The library can also be accessed from the public forecourt as part of an extended hours program to allow public use of library facilities including technology, meeting rooms, interview spaces, small seminars, and general research opportunities.

At BLP we design for collective wellbeing. We create environments, beyond the structures of traditional education facilities, that encourage collaborative and inclusive learning.

Our design thinking focuses on the life-long learning process and how we create spaces that facilitate, encompass, and celebrate holistic education.

Picton High Schools’ new school building has opened its doors to teachers, students, and the community.

Connecting the Community: Picton High SchoolAdelaide Bell