The primary school will begin under a lease agreement with the school site at 6 Rainy Hill Rd, Cockatoo, while we shop for our permanent home of between 45 – 70 acres, in the area around Seville.
Committed to enabling cultural creativity in our students and community, our permanent property will facilitate our passion to create a high-tech / high-eco educational experiences, giving creatives the space, opportunity and resources to pursue a wide range of experiential education opportunities. The property will offer about 25 acres of cleared land to support the development of buildings, gardens, the food farm, and animal farm including our equine therapy, and 25 acres of wilderness to support our water rehabilitation and conservation work.
The property needs to offer if possible:
• a position on or near Warburton Highway, within a few kilometres
• safe access via a sealed road
• mains water
• paddocks and sheds for animals, and
• significant wilderness and water rehabilitation conservation zones.
We aim to be Australia’s first metro off-grid school!
Our values of:
- re-cycled and up-cycled
- hand-made, and
inform our choice of materials, toys and furnishings, and will be incorporated into the buildings and overall development of our property.
The school is developing a brand new concept… to educate children in a circle!
The intention of the circle is to:
- promote inclusion and equality
- provide the children with a feeling of being embraced, and to
- promote a sense of well-being.
SoCE’s educational programs including primary and secondary school, Farm Preschool and The Tribe, will offer home-group classrooms set up as collaborative studio environments while providing the members of the space with individual work spaces.
Stage 1 of the development is the front building to welcome people including a reception area, open kitchen and dining, and two classrooms in its wings. As classrooms and studios are built in the circle during stage 2, these class groups will move into the circle leaving these two wings for school presentations, exhibitions, gatherings, and our equally unique professional development in creative education.
This building will be made from natural materials such as straw-bale and rendered in a lime wash, creating an earthly, off-white aesthetic of an exhibition space. Its flat roof will slope up from the front, and will be grassed.
In stage 2, we will step into a courtyard that leads out onto the school in the circle… in the centre a large grassed gathering area including a playground, outdoor kitchen, and fire pit with a walkway around it, and the buildings around the walkway. Buildings will be created one by one as we grow, each one uniquely designed by the children who will be using them. What an experience!
Our facilities will grow with our need for them and our capacity to build them.
Facilities will include:
• home-group studio-styled classrooms
• fine art studios
• science and technology labs
• multi-media library
• performing arts space and gallery
• gardens including ceremonial
• the food farm
• animal therapy zones
• sporting fields
• conservation zones, and
• kitchen with school café for meals and whole school meetings.
The studio classrooms may consist of a communal table and seating, room dividers for brainstorming and project design, a communal lounge, large mounted screen and easy food preparation facilities. Individual studio stations may incorporate each student’s own desk with bookshelves, lockable storage, and boards for student’s planning, editing and collating. The Internet may be available to every studio station and each student from middle primary may use a laptop or some other portable, personal computer.
We’d love to see the property grow in light of the children’s projects. Our big dream is to build a creative, sustainable, socially-entrepreneurial village, born of the programs of the school and generating income for the school.