Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

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Facility of the week

Albany Senior High School, Albany, Auckland, New Zealand

Albany Senior High School is New Zealand’s first purpose-built state school for upper secondary education. The project featured here is the temporary school that provided accommodation while a permanent senior high school was being planned and built on a nearby site. Although this building was only a one-year stopgap, it provided the school with a facility that allowed it to deliver its educational vision and embodied its ethos and values. Central to the school’s vision was the idea of student-centred learning that could be supported and delivered by interdisciplinary teaching teams. Learning and teaching should be public activities and not be shut away in closed spaces. Teachers should be learners too, and this should be visible to the students. Teachers should be able to work in front of other members of staff, supported by, and accountable to, their colleagues. The two learning commons in the temporary school run along the length of a wide and open central concourse (or “learning street”). This core teaching space is supplemented by specially equipped rooms for science, art, technology and music. Each learning commons has space for seven or eight teachers, and can support a variety of pedagogical approaches. Furniture can be easily moved around. It is a technology-rich environment, with many workstations and wireless access for students’ laptops. All the main features of the temporary facility have been incorporated in the new permanent school, which opened in 2010. Accommodating 1500 students, this school has been built around 10 learning commons developed from the template established and tested in the temporary school.
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About this database

The OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched the “Database of Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investment” on 29 September 2011. It seeks to inform the planning, design, construction, management and evaluation of educational spaces, combining resources for strategic investment in educational infrastructure, with exemplary school and university facilities from all over the world.

Drawing on the output of a joint CELE/European Investment Bank project on “Strategic Investment Planning for Educational Infrastructure” and more than 60 exemplary schools and universities featured in CELE’s flagship publication, “Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011”, this database is a unique international resource for educators, designers, policymakers and researchers alike.

Users of the database are encouraged to add their own resource material, or submit new completed university or school projects for publication on the database. OECD and EIB welcome your input to our project!

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The OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) presents the top 6 school and university buildings in ”Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011”.

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