Community News

Yamba Public: A school for the 21st century

Jonathan Whale (school captain) The old Yamba Public School in Wooli Street was used for over a hundred years. The one in Angourie will still probably be operating in 2100! It is just as well it has been designed with an eye to the future. A feature of the new school is the low level of energy it requires. All the rooms have large windows to allow natural lighting all year and warm sunshine during the winter months. However, the broad eaves keep them in shade during the summer, and so we rarely need to use electricity for lighting, heating or cooling. Schools today are very environmentally conscious, and our attractive surroundings help us to be even more aware of the effect a pleasant learning environment has. Every day as I arrive at school I am impressed by the landscaping of the grounds and the hundreds of Australian native shrubs. When it comes time for play and sport, we have large grassed areas to play on, as well as the latest in playground equipment (by courtesy of Yamba Bowling Club). I just hope that, in the future, demountable classrooms to accommodate the growing population don’t occupy too much of our playing fields. At Yamba Public we do a lot of our learning by research projects and group work. This is where our new school is so good. It’s not just new, it’s not just attractive, it’s designed for these newer approaches to learning. Previous generations of students sat in classes where the teacher stood out the front and controlled the learning of the class. Our teachers help us to learn by discovering and doing. But in the old school, the rooms were designed for the older ‘talk and chalk’ methods. Our new rooms have alcoves for research work, quiet areas for reading, desks and chairs we can easily rearrange for group work or drama, and outside areas for art and craft. Last term we created our own bark paintings on paperbark we got ourselves from the melaleuca’s out the back. Source: Yamba Historical Society