John Henry Primary School is a new government primary school established in 2017 with Foundation to Grade 6 classes. Located on Henry Road, Pakenham, it is an exciting social infrastructure hub for the rapidly growing community. The school will open with 37 staff members, including a Principal, two Assistant Principals, a Business Manager, two Office Administration staff, six Education Support Officers, a Community Engagement Officer, 25 Classroom and Specialist Teachers and most importantly many local students. JHPS will offer students the highest quality academic, social and emotional education and offer specialist subjects for all year levels including, Science, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Physical Education.

JHPS Design and Educational Practise

JHPS has been designed to support a contemporary pedagogical approach and to foster the development of a strong community. It provides an environment that encourages students to engage with and take ownership of their learning. The design provides learning communities to enable the creation of a variety of different learning settings that focus on the experience of a student whilst learning. There are spaces for hands on learning, informal spaces for reflection and contemplation, small semi-intimate spaces for small group learning, centralised spaces for presentations and group gatherings, formal learning spaces for direct focused instruction, and outdoor learning spaces that allow students to engage with the natural environment.
JHPS has been designed as a leading school which utilises adaptable learning spaces to educate children for an exciting future. These adaptable learning spaces assist children to collaborate and learn in group settings, yet are easily adapted to suit quiet, independent learning when the situation demands.

The learning spaces;
• Have been designed to be communal spaces which can be configured in a number of ways for specific learning experiences. This means they will provide opportunities for people to work together in collaborative and exciting ways. 
• Are used for specific learning tasks and activities. 
• Are configured to suit learning styles and help generate engaging and exciting learning opportunities.

Through these innovative designs we are able to tailor the learning to suit the students and the learning outcomes. If we need a quiet space, then we will have spaces to accommodate quiet work. If we need collaborative group discussion, we will have customised spaces to allow this interaction. The design allows teachers to use the space more effectively than a traditional classroom, meaning students have access to support more readily.
Students are grouped in a variety of ways that take advantage of both indoor and outdoor learning environments. The spaces enable students to work in a variety of areas enabling them to move around, work at tables, on the floor, in small group settings, as well as standing. Our new learning spaces empower students to understand themselves as learners so they can apply different learning techniques depending on the task and outcome.
21st Century learning is underpinned by teaching methods and spaces that are engaging and motivational. At JHPS our spaces compliment current and evolving pedagogies and provide creative and energised learners and teachers. Our spaces enable social and collaborative learning, integrated curriculum delivery, mix of teacher-directed and student-directed teaching and learning, independent learning, project work, direct instruction, innovative and creating thinking, relationship building, and problem-solving skills.
Well designed modular furniture will be used along with mobile technologies to enhance adaptability and functionality in both permanent and future portable buildings (brand new customised portables to fit in with our school). Furniture can be moved around to create boundaries and configured for specific learning activities.

Provision for a future government secondary college exists on land adjacent to the John Henry Primary School school site. The Henry Family and Children’s Centre is also in operation adjacent to the school site. This facility is an integrated hub comprising of a kindergarten, early childhood education, multi-use community rooms and maternal health services. The master planning of JHPS has ensured a smooth transition between the Henry Family and Children’s Centre, JHPS and future secondary school site.

 

Establishing the new John Henry Primary School

The new JHPS presented an exciting opportunity for the School Leadership Team to exercise a significant influence on the creation of a contemporary school, connected to the community and provide an imprint on the future effectiveness of learning outcomes of the students.

The School Leadership Team of JHPS has ensured prior to opening that copious amounts of time has been spent in;

  • Developing a clear and concise vision and educational rationales.
  • Developing a vision for learning and designing a framework for pedagogical approaches which maximise the opportunities presented by the inclusive and contemporary learning spaces.
  • Designing a school curriculum and organisational structures that will support achievement of the school’s vision and values.
  • Developing an understanding of the design intent of the new school facilities.
  • Appointing high quality employees and providing appropriate support for staff who are inspired to work collaboratively with the Principal, their colleagues and community to refine and implement the school’s vision once in operation.
  • Proactively engage with the local community to develop processes and systems which set the foundations for the new school to become a community hub that links families and children to services and support, provides learning opportunities and builds a vibrant supportive community;
  • Developing a strategic approach to the professional learning of staff and the ongoing development of the school’s culture as it grows.
  • Creating opportunities to meet with enrolled families and students, organising a comprehensive 9-week transition program to allow all citizens of JHPS to build relationships with one an other and be given important information to allow transition to the new school in 2017 to be as efficient as possible.
  • Ensuring the school will be fully operational from day 1 2017.

About the JHPS Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project

The John Henry Primary School is one of 15 government schools being delivered across some of Victoria’s fastest growing metropolitan and regional communities in 2017 and 2018 through the New Schools PPP Project.

In line with Government’s education agenda, the Project seeks to:

  • Provide improved access to and greater choice of quality school services in growing communities by delivering new school facilities that are exemplary with respect to design and quality. This includes providing flexible, evidence-based learning environments and enhancing the educational opportunities available for all students, regardless of learning needs.
  • Facilitate community use of school infrastructure and the co-location of additional community facilities and services wherever possible.
  • Improve maintenance of school facilities and grounds and free up time for teachers and principals to focus on improving student outcomes.
  • Deliver the Project within the specified timeframe and in a manner that maximises value for money to the State, including through designing environmentally and ecologically sustainable facilities that reduce whole of life costs.

Learning Communities Victoria (LCV) has been appointed by Government as the successful consortium to finance, design, construct and maintain the new schools to high contractual standards over 25 years. LCV brings together significant educational design and PPP expertise, including Amber as sponsors, ClarkeHopkinsClarke as architects, Watpac as builders, Spotless as facilities manager and YMCA and CERES as community partners.

The facilities of JHPS have been designed to:

  • Provide contemporary Learning Communities that facilitate a learning and learner-centred approach and enhance the educational opportunities for all students, regardless of learning needs, through a diverse and flexible range of learning settings.
  • Support collaborative learning and teaching for professionals.
  • Support a sense of community and belonging within the school and within the wider community.
  • Promote and support enhanced inclusion, access and choice for all learners.
  • Be aesthetically pleasing, welcoming and support the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of the students and staff.

Maximising community amenity of school facilities is a priority for Government. Consistent with this, the school stadium and other multi-purpose spaces will be utilised by the YMCA to deliver a range of community and recreational programs after hours, including Out of School Hours Care and vacation care. A Community Development Officer will also be provided by YMCA at each school to promote and coordinate community use of the school facilities.

Under the PPP model, LCV will be responsible for maintenance of the facilities to high standards for 25 years, meaning Principals and teachers will be relieved from the day-to-day maintenance of school facilities and grounds to focus on student learning. An on-site maintenance officer will also be provided by LCV to work collaboratively with the school to manage and maintain the facilities to high contractual standards.