Hale School has long held a reputation for excellence, but the Junior School redevelopment has set a new standard, being recognised as one of the best, if not the best primary school in the nation and perhaps even the world.
Opened late last year, the new Hale Junior School has already won three major awards: a 2018 Learning Environments WA Chapter Award; the 2019 WA Architect Award for Education; and the People’s Choice Award in the 2019 Shaw Contract Design Awards, a global award.
The new design and expansion have also allowed for the addition of Pre-Primary for the very first time, with two classes of excited young boys welcomed this year. The youngest boys at the School have their own secure playground incorporating nature play elements, bike paths and other free-play equipment.
The new single-storey buildings in the Junior School radiate around a central grassed and play area, surrounded by natural bushland, giving the Junior School a ‘village’ feel, separate but connected to the rest of the school. Highlights of the design include separate buildings for Junior, Middle and Upper Primary; classrooms with flexible walls and furniture; and a large common area in each building. The sustainable design promotes cross-air ventilation, natural lighting, and connection to the outdoors.
Head of Junior School, Alex Cameron, said the design was based on the staff’s own vision and experience on best-practice teaching and learning specifically for boys, and where they believe education will go in the future.
“We always came back to the one focus, the heart and purpose of what we were trying to achieve: What is best for our boys?” Mr Cameron said. “How can we design and develop an environment that will help all boys achieve their personal best and prepare them for the years ahead, as they find their frontier. It really is a utopia for boys to learn.”