On Sunday 11 February 2018, NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, officially opened PLC Sydney’s new Junior School, Hamilton and Gateway Building.
The innovative Gateway Project incorporates the Hamilton precinct (new classrooms and large breakout spaces for Years 3 – 6); specialist Science and Technology Innovation Labs; Invertebrate House, Turtle Pond; food gardens; native (non-stinging) bee hotel, nature walkway and playground; as well as a new reception and administration centre for the Presbyterian Ladies’ College.
When initially rethinking the new Junior School, PLC Sydney was very keen to tap into recent trends, with more and more research highlighting the connection between school design, physical learning spaces and their positive impact of learning spaces on teachers' pedagogy, student engagement and therefore student learning outcomes in a technology-rich school setting. Issues of environmental sustainability, the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to enhance learning and the development of industry partnerships, were also ideas the College wished to explore.
PLC Sydney has establishing links with Taronga Zoo with a view to providing rehabilitation and breeding programs for vulnerable native species into the future. Part of the new development includes animal holding/breeding facilities for a selection of appropriate species, such as various praying mantises, the giant water spider, various grasshoppers and crickets, the Giant Rainforest Snail and the Long-Neck Turtle; with a view of inspiring our younger students with an interest in Science and wildlife conservation.
PLC Sydney has recently been recognised by Cambridge University as one of the world's one hundred most innovative schools. Integrating Science and Technology and embedding these programs into meaningful, real world experiences for our Junior School students, has been a focus of our curriculum and specialist teachers for many years now. Our teaching approach, learning programs and facilities such as the invertebrate house and turtle pond are part of the reason for this inclusion.
The College would like to recognise the generous support of the PLC Sydney Foundation, Parents and Friends’ Association, Junior School Auxiliary and Ex-Students’ Union, who made the new development possible.