The Lilypad – Northshore’s Newest Classrooms Provide Space to Create and Expand Learning

‘Hop into learning!’ is Principal Mr Stuart Chisholm’s catchcry to the assembled Primary students eager to get into the new set of classrooms opened this week at Northshore.

Whatever your thoughts on Mr Chisholm’s title of ‘The Lilypad’ for the four new classrooms, no one can deny that the building process timeline, the wide-open learning spaces and the new opportunities being afforded to students due to this expansion are a step (or a hop!) in the right direction.

“We’ve added more than 150 students over the last twelve months at Northshore. It’s been amazing to see what is possible today as a result of quality construction, excellent planning and astute financial management,” said an excited Mr Chisholm.

The construction was completed in less than two months using the latest building techniques and now provides a home for Junior school classes and Middle School specialist subjects.

The building needs at Northshore are a significant priority for SCEA in the short term because the enrolment growth has been substantial, and there is a shortage of teaching spaces.  ‘The Lilypad’ buildings use transportable technology and allow SCEA to provide classrooms in shorter timeframes and at a reduced cost.  Two additional ‘Lilypad’ transportable buildings will be needed for the commencement of 2022 to accommodate future growth. 

All positive news, but what’s with the name?

“The name of the building comes from the idea of an in-between phase,” said Mr Chisholm. 

In an effort to convey this leap-frogging metaphor, Mr Chisholm gets down and imitates a frog jumping across a huge pond, much to the amusement of his junior school students who have now grown accustomed to their Principal’s zoomorphic antics on occasions such as this.

“Our Northshore community is growing, and this building allows us the breathing space until we embark upon our next major build.”

For an intermediate solution, the construction is of a very high standard. It reflects the advancements in building technology that SCEA has embraced in recent projects at Northshore as well as Mundaring Christian College.

“It’s a credit to the builders, the SCEA ICT staff and the teachers here at Northshore,” said Mr Chisholm, hopping happily around.

“Everyone has played a part in making this building into a fully-functional learning centre for Day 1 of the term. Hop to it, everyone!”

Any student who thought they could enjoy the spacious new classrooms without Mr Chisholm’s witty banter was out of luck this week, with plenty of ‘frog puns’ doing the rounds in the Northshore staffroom.

“The lessons are absolutely ribbiting!”

Eye-roll emoji.

“I loved teaching in these new classrooms SO much that I frog-got to dismiss the class!”

A tad droll.

“Toad-day is a very special day for us!”

 You get the idea.

Happy times at Northshore.

Currently, each SCEA school is undertaking ‘master planning’ with architects to guide future growth and development carefully and strategically across the group of schools (for more details, see the master planning article in this edition of SCEA News).

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