Inspired learning environments for Geelong College Junior School

Children have already demonstrated a connection to the new environment.

The new Geelong College Early Learning opened its doors at the beginning of the school year. The innovative architecture creates a canvas for their Reggio Emilia inspired approach to learning.

The indoor learning spaces are connected and designed to offer children choices of spaces and materials to investigate and play. Floor to ceiling windows flood the rooms with natural light creating a natural flow between indoor and outdoor learning environments.

The new large multipurpose area, named ‘Yaluk’ (Waddawurrung for river) is a purpose built space where music, cooking, yoga, and outside school hours care find their home.

The outdoor area is nature-based, featuring a running creek with pumps for water play, natural play equipment, a re-purposed mud kitchen, indigenous plants and a variety of spaces for outdoor learning and performances.

Director of Early Learning at the College, Ros Molyneux says: “The children have already demonstrated a connection to our wonderful new environment. Having observed the building at firsthand, they have a deep understanding of the importance to our school of the new buildings. Our children learn languages, paint, create, draw, cook, read stories and play within their specialised space. Visits to the ovals, gym, library and Enviro garden enhance their learning.”

The Junior School project was designed by Old Collegian and renowned architect John Wardle and will be a true centre for 21st Century Learning. The buildings are designed to be the learning environment, or the third teacher, as identified in the Reggio Emilia approach to education.

The single-storey Early Learning gives way to the two-storey Prep to Year 3 spaces at Campbell House, creating a visual learning journey in the junior years. The school offers seamless opportunities for indoor outdoor learning, with teaching and learning spaces designed around of the piazzas of Reggio Emilia, Italy, reflecting this approach to learning through the environment, curriculum and pedagogy.

Head of the Junior School Sondra Wood says: “Flexible indoor learning spaces will feature open areas and cosy nooks to inspire connections between classes and provide opportunities for children to learn in flexible ways. We are excited to write the next chapter in the proud history of our school. We welcome new families to be a part of our story.”

To experience the wonderful new spaces please join Geelong College on Open morning.