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A Future Fit School – Clyde Primary 

Bringing a primary school into the 21st century while respecting its long-standing heritage created an exciting opportunity for transformation. With disjointed relocatable classrooms and a lack of flexible learning spaces, Clyde Primary School now has high-quality permanent buildings and a focus on STEM-based inquiry learning. Today, the school is a local landmark that is engaging and inspiring for future generations to flourish.


The life and spirit of our schools evolve over time, creating legacy places that become intrinsic to our local communities. On the outskirts of Melbourne’s southeast, Clyde Primary School has been doing just that for over 100 years, beginning as a small school first petitioned by residents in 1910 and growing into a successful landmark shaping young minds.


However, with the area’s fast-changing demographics and population, the campus risked falling behind – physically and pedagogically. The school suffered from cramped administrative areas, a lack of appropriate flexible learning environments for collaborative or small-group learning, and ongoing site issues. For example, the 15 relocatable classrooms scattered around the campus meant students and staff often felt isolated from each other, and unable to work together effectively.


Tectura was engaged to bring the buildings into the 21st century. The design response centred on extensive master planning by expanding the general and specialist learning spaces and supporting collaborative work with modern technology and a significant STEM focus. It was a whole school transformation, but one that also respected the site and local context by celebrating its ‘village’ and neighbourhood feel.


The project delivers:


  • Administration & Specialist learning building - Staff planning spaces, entrance foyer, staff amenities and new learning community - 4x classrooms, wet area and breakout spaces as well as specialist spaces – Art Room and STEM room.


  • New Learning community building – 4x classrooms, staff planning, amenities and dedicated STEM space – centralised breakout spaces and wet area.


  • New Gymnasium - Raised stage, music space, competition grade netball/basketball court, storage space canteen and change room amenities.


  • Extension and refurbishment - Refurbishment of one historical building into a library space, learning community - 4x classrooms with accompanying wet area and STEM space, staff planning and calm corners.


The architectural response was to remove the relocatable school buildings and replace them anew, as a series of buildings or ‘pavilions’, which not only break up the mass on site but also create a ‘village’ feel in line with the historical context. This sense of place is also expressed using the school’s highlight colour as a blue ribbon or tiled thread across the façade to connect all the buildings.


The new buildings have a strong link to the outdoors. Covered walkways and external paving help to unify the site and enable hybrid indoor-outdoor learning, while the school’s new sports amenities offer more engaging physical educational learning experiences. For example, the school now has a ‘heart’ comprising a big space with seating and large basketball courts in the middle of the site, for informal gathering. The surrounding landscape design is expressed as moments that also create a ‘place’ and identity, including a nature play area at the front eastern end of the site, landscaping, a down ball and vegetable garden to the centre east of the site, and different play equipment for all ages.


Inside, a major focus is on STEM learning. This is aligned with the school’s objective to re-engage students with maths and science, and a broader aim to help turn around Australia’s falling national science curriculum and widen the talent pipeline by addressing the science and tech skills shortage. With wet areas or access to water in the general learning areas, students have easy access to more informal STEM-based inquiry learning.


Blue highlights are applied throughout the interior too, adding a smart and considered design plus a sense of calm to the learning environments for diverse learners. The classrooms are arranged into year-level clusters for multi-modal use, with sliding doors, operable walls, external access and flexible furniture to cater for a range of teaching and learning needs. 


Together, these upgrades will position Clyde Primary School as an exceptional place to learn, engage and for future generations to excel.






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