ALTERNATIVE education will be on offer at the Armidale Future School.
Or, Armidale Regional High School, Armidale Secondary College or Anaiwan High School – whatever we choose to call it.
Seven months after the $65 million announcement, the design concept is 20 per cent complete.
Project liaison officer Kris Croft said a new look isn’t the only thing that will change.
“We’ve been investigating future focused pedagogy for years,” Ms Croft said.
It’s not about the teacher standing out the front and giving a lesson, it’s about the students having more ownership about what they learn and how they learn it.Kris Croft
“It’s not about the teacher standing out the front and giving a lesson, it’s about the students having more ownership about what they learn and how they learn it.”
Collaborating across faculties means students could see history and English lessons taught together.
Modern classrooms will allow for year groups to work together.
New technology will change the way lessons are taught.
Sydney-based architects NBRS have created a preliminary design concept.
The shape of the school is a semi-circle, with neighbourhoods for certain classes encircling a quadrangle.
The original central school building will remain, with no concrete plans yet for the purpose-built theatre.
The Den and agricultural learning area will stay put.
New uniform designs are underway and expressions of interest for a logo lodged with local companies.
Ms Croft said the school will be modern, but suited to the Armidale environment.
“When you have a build of this magnitude there’s so much that has to happen behind the scenes to get to this point,” Ms Croft said. “If you want to do something differently you need a different space – that’s what’s limiting us at the moment.”
Armidale Future School will hold drop-in sessions for the community.
Parents have shared concerns that bullying may increase as a result of having one public school option.
But, data from a Ballina and Southern Cross High Schools amalgamation showed it's not the case.
“In bigger schools kids have less issues being ostracised and victimised,” Ms Croft said.
“With more students you’re more likely to find a friend.
“Research showed in 2016, 200 negative incidents were recorded in Year 7 for Ballina High School.
“Once amalgamated, there were 23 in the first term.”
Armidale High School will be demolished early next year.
The drop-in sessions are an opportunity for parents to share their concerns, ask questions or give an opinion.
The sessions are open to the community also.
Architects from NBRS will be on hand to discuss the early design concept.
The Armidale Future School will hold drop-in sessions on February 6, 2pm to 7pm at Armidale High School and February 7, 2pm to 7pm at Duval High School.