ON Friday, St Benedict’s Primary School opened seven new classrooms and has added new playgrounds and a second kindergarten.
The Applecross school has experienced dramatic transformation in the past 18 months despite its space constraints, with seven new classrooms built to cater for the growing school population.
Principal Darren McDonald said infill in Applecross, Mount Pleasant, Como and Ardross meant more young families were moving into the area.
In 2012, the Catholic Education Office allowed the school to go double stream, meaning each year level would have a second class created.
Works began in 2014 to build a second storey of classrooms.
New playgrounds were also created at the school using old and new equipment, including donated logs that once held up the Fremantle Pier.
The two kindergarten buildings lay on two different levels, so the school removed the dividing fence and put in a slide and climbing wall to integrate the site. Last Wednesday, students could be seen barefoot in the water in the school’s nature play areas during their lunch break and Mr McDonald said the school wanted to offer play pods with steering wheels and other paraphernalia to inspire creative play – all in keeping with the school’s focus on learning through intentional play.
The seven new classrooms feature modern learning tools including touchscreen Electroboards, iPads for each student, and children are even allowed to rock on their chair in class – providing it is one of the specially designed Hokki stools with a curved base to boost circulation and build core strength.
Like the chairs, table heights also vary both in height and shape within the classroom to encourage movement in a bid to improve learning.
The new classrooms have been in use since the start of the school year but were officially opened on September 7.