Why is our new building different to our old building?

This is my first post to help bring to the Kelburn community in line with how things will look like in our school in 2018.

Our  new building is under construction on the old top court and once completed and we are all in there things will be both similar and different. This has been a long and considered process over a number of years. The most significant change in the new design is that the children won’t be in groups of 20 something and in one room with 1 teacher, like we experienced in our schooling. There is similarity however in that each group will have 3 spaces ( juniors 4 ) to learn in and there are other spaces to work in as well. While the footprint is the same, the utilisation of the space in the design is different. These design changes reflect the modernising of the education system that is influenced from the modernising of our society. While workplace design and activity has changed over time, school spaces have not. The modern designs reflects this change and are well researched, international, innovative and allow flexibility to learning spaces.


This blog, over time, will add to your knowledge about how we will do things in 2018. The crucial thing is simple – teachers will still teach, and children will still learn. Much of the modification comes from us having better knowledge about learning ( and the use of space), and how children learn given the tools that are available to us now.

Some things we know about our children’s learning –

  • they learn in different ways and have different strengths
  • they like to experience working with other teachers, not just their home room teacher.
  • they enjoy variety
  • they like to own their learning process, they like flexibility and choice
  • they like quiet spaces and social spaces
  • they like to learn from others and do things with others
  • crucially – they can learn anywhere, anytime and anyhow

At Kelburn our children are social, supportive learners…when I walk through the building today I see this in action now. I see huge support for each other… children do not learn alone. They know however, as individuals, they need to set learning goals and they must produce a collection or portfolio of learning across the year that shows growth, improvement and excellence that reflects our school vision –

Kelburn Normal students learn creatively and strive for excellence, preparing for lifelong learning  –  Te kura o te Kelburn kia auaha te ako a ngā ākonga me te whai i te iti kahurangi mō te akoranga tūroa.

Have a look at this short clip from Mark Osborne from CORE-Ed presenting a really useful background to the change of building design in NZ. It is 3 minutes long and sums things up in a nutshell. Click here to view 

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