By Khiara Elliott
Top education is now at our doorstep with Haileybury’s fifth campus opened on King St.
The 10-storey school welcomed 234 students aged from junior school to year nine through its doors on January 31.
Principal Derek Scott has been in charge of all Haileybury’s campuses for nine years.
He started researching the CBD five years ago and found that between 2006 and 2011 there was a significant growth in children aged 1 to 14 living here, but no growth in available education facilities.
“Melbourne is a great world city and it’s a great education city, but it has been lacking school-level education facilities within the CBD, so we’re incredibly excited to bring this to fruition,” he said.
The school caters for children aged three and four at Haileybury’s Early Learning Centre that was established on campus last year, all the way through to year 12. The first graduating class will complete their studies in 2020.
Darren Carnell Architects transformed the previous NAB call centre into a state-of-the-art learning facility.
Haileybury’s classrooms face the front of the building and include floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Flagstaff Gardens and the city skyline, however Mr Scott says there’s more to it than just a nice view.
“We want the curriculum here to reflect the fact that we’re a part of this great city,” he said. “The children’s curriculum will be tying them in with the art galleries and the museums and the libraries and all of the city’s facilities.”
“I think there’s a great connection between living in a vibrant and dynamic world city and having a curriculum that gives real life meaning to the things they’ll be studying at the same time.”
Some may wonder if Melbourne’s first vertical school is lacking in outdoor space, but Haileybury has several terrace playgrounds throughout its 10 levels complete with climbing equipment, plenty of shade and even a garden where the junior students can tend to their own strawberries.
The rooftop is also being developed into another outdoor recreation area, and Haileybury’s first floor already has 1000sqm dedicated to physical education, including an indoor running track.
Haileybury is also implementing its “parallel education” model at its King St campus. From ELC to year four, classes will be co-education. But from year five to year 12, classes are split into single genders.
“The model is particularly effective for designing learning programs that are specific for boys and girls as they move through their teenage years,” Mr Scott said.
“It’s contributed to the really exceptional academic results that we have right across all the schools. Haileybury is one of the top performing schools academically in the country. It’s just a really successful program.”