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Surrey Hills Primary School was established in 1886.

Surrey Hills Primary School provides a seamless educational journey that values and addresses each individual student and their role in their immediate and global communities. The school has entered a new and innovative stage in its history since it was established in 1886.  The school redevelopment included rebuilding of the Learning Zones, refurbishment of the original school building and new Stadium and Performing Arts precinct has provided open and flexible learning spaces for all students. The Community Precinct provides a full size netball/basketball stadium, Performing Arts Studio with indoor/outdoor stage, Multi-purpose Room, consulting rooms, community meeting space and a commercial kitchen.  Passive play areas together with sports and high activity areas are complemented by the new Prep – 2 and 3 -6 playgrounds and a soon to be installed sound and relaxation garden.

The majority of the students at Surrey Hills Primary School are from the immediate locality which covers Municipal Council areas of both the City of Boroondara and the City of Whitehorse.  Students exiting in Year 6 attend both government and private secondary schools in the area.

Our school has an excellent reputation for its commitment to quality education.  The building of the Learning Zones has enabled the implementation of new and best practice approaches to education.  The school has highly motivated, professional and caring staff who put the needs of the students first, planning and implementing teaching and learning programs which develop initiative, co-operation, independence and excellence.  A strong focus is on individualised learning, Inquiry Learning, academic rigor and the embedding of ICT in daily classroom activities.  Learning activities and instruction are provided through differentiated levels enabling the students to work at their optimum point of learning.  Ongoing student assessment throughout the year informs the construction of the learning groups, planning for teachers and development of Individual Learning Plans for all students which are discussed with parents during interviews and included in semester reports.

The school recognises that students have different learning styles, talents and interests and provides specialist programs from Foundation to Year 6 in Physical and Sport Education, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Mandarin.  Instrumental Music program (including strings), Choir, Mini Singers, Dance Groups, Student Council, camps and excursion and special interest and activity days further extend learning opportunities.  Each day extra curricular lunch time clubs are available to students across a wide interest span from gardening, craft, body balance through to circuit training, construction and choir.  An Out of hours Care program is conducted on site.  Effective communication between teachers and parents is facilitated via the school website, a weekly newsletter, informal and formal meetings, information meetings, student reports incorporating Learning Journals, Individual Learning Plans for all students and school assemblies.

Surrey Hills Primary School is committed to maximising the educational opportunities for all students with weekly professional development for staff playing a vital role in this.  Striving for continuous improvement and living each day according to our shared values is the challenge we have set ourselves.  Surrey Hills Primary School is a school which promotes integrity and life-long learning for all and the attainment of excellence.

21st Century Learning Environments @ Surrey Hills Primary School

As Principal, my vision for our 21st century learning environments is that education begins with the learning needs of every child.  It is with this vision that our building design recognises that student learning outcomes are strongly influenced by their learning environments.  In submitting our ‘Building Futures’ brief to the architect, following extensive national and international research, our conceptual framework had to:

  • Promote individualised learning and development

  • Create settings for innovative teaching ~ flexible learning spaces

  • Incorporate new technology

  • Be environmentally sustainable

The organization of a school has a significant influence on its capacity to deliver a contemporary education program and organizational factors are key considerations.  They include the size and flexibility of students’ groupings; the way in which students and teachers work together; teachers’ professional relationships and professional learning arrangements; the breadth, depth and flexibility of curriculum choices and pathway opportunities.

The physical spaces in our design complement the teaching and learning required for a modern curriculum.  The Principles of Learning and Teaching (PoLT) that underpins both the Aus VELS and the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) and e5 have significant implications for our school design and learning spaces, thus linking curriculum, design and pedagogy.

Our design places a strong emphasis on child development through flexible spaces which are capable of supporting different learning styles, thus creating an empowering and student focused inquiry learning environment.  For example, promoting self-motivation as well as collaboration and project work requires learning spaces that encourages individual and team work as children learn in different ways.

Our learning zones – the physical spaces have been designed to enable flexibility in teaching and learning, shifting from the notion that students are passive recipients of their knowledge, to encouraging students to be active constructors of their knowledge.  It is a multi-disciplinary approach where students learn concepts as an integrated whole instead of a fragmented part.  The interdisciplinary context enables students to make the connections which create authentic learning so that they can apply them to the world around them.  The educational experiences for all students become increasingly active, interdisciplinary and collaborative as the integrated environment provides learning environments that enhances and supports the way students learn.  The physical environment must align with the pedagogical changes in creating learning environments for the 21st century which is centred on creating opportunities for students that meets both curriculum and personal needs.

As a community of learners with a strong sense of heritage and pride we envelop the school ethos that is ‘Proud of our past, dedicated to the future’ as we believe our learning environments play a significant role in improving the interdisciplinary,  physical, personal, social and pedagogical approaches throughout the stages of learning.  At Surrey Hills Primary School we recognise the importance of interdisciplinary learning and are continually looking to enhance and develop our resources and learning environments.  We have developed working protocols and guiding principles by which we operate as a school community of teachers, students, support staff and volunteers in our Learning Zones.  We continue the journey of discovery in our 21st century learning environment.