About Us‎ > ‎

Our Environment

The layout and design of the School is based around harmony with the rural environment. Planning and construction of the environmentally sustainable buildings includes taking advantage of passive solar principles to ensure low energy consumption and low maintenance.

Construction of the first building at the Barringo Road, New Gisborne site began in 2004. The school community designed and owner-built the first set of classrooms - a 5 star, energy efficient school building.

Many of the older students were involved in design discussions and the children visited the building site during the various stages of construction. They now see and feel the benefits of passive solar design.

Each building contains three classrooms with a central shared space at its axis, as well as toilets and storage. The interior of each building is customized to suit the age of the students using the building.

Classrooms are oriented to the north to maximize winter sun and natural light. An energy efficient building material called Timbercrete is used to provide thermal mass. Double glazing and comfort-plus glass combine to provide effective window insulation. Placement and design of windows allows for effective cross ventilation which ensures that the classrooms remain cool in summer without the need for airconditioning. Winter heating is provided by under floor slab heating. Hot water is provided by solar hot water systems.

Taking the lead with water conservation the School has reduced dependency on the community water resources. Large water tanks collect rain water for use in toilets and grounds. The school dam stores excess storm water from the carpark catchment area to irrigate the playing field. The School manages its organic waste on site through Worm Farm treatment plants.

The School occupies ten acres of land with picturesque views to Mt. Macedon. It is close to the Gisborne Railway Station, a Calder Freeway exit and provides on-site parking for cars and buses.

The Multi-purpose Hall serves as an auditorium with a stage and sound system, a dining hall with commercial kitchen and a wet weather play area. Other facilities include a Parent’s Room, two gated play areas for under 5’s, library, table tennis table, basketball court and a sports oval.

Windbreaks of native trees have been planted to surround much of the school and will serve as an extension of the local wildlife corridors. As many different ecosystems as possible are being incorporated into the school grounds development. Environmental and sustainable principles are at the heart of the design and construction of the school learning landscape, and these principles are embedded in the curriculum. This allows many learning opportunities for students such as indigenous culture, ecology, biology, environment, science and history.

Our indigenous landscape includes: Temperate Rainforest, Wetlands and Wildlife Corridor. Care is taken to select a range of Australian native plants, including local indigenous species, when planting in the various areas. Development of the wetlands has begun.