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Outdoor Learning Space

Outdoor Learning Space Concept     

Project Overview:

A whole school inclusive learning space plan. To be completed in 3 stages.
The intent is to create a range of outdoor spaces across the school that are multi-purpose, facilitate all types of learning as well as being able to accommodate social gatherings. Some of the spaces need to be non weather dependant.
The space/s need to be flexible in how they can be arranged (aside from what is proposed for the MangowakSanctuary), and able to accommodate “traditional” learning configurations as well as “non-traditional” and wide social gatherings.
The space/s need to accommodate a classroom size at minimum and the whole school at maximum.   

Area 1 –  Mangowak Sanctuary – 

Create an informal gathering Place. The vision for the project sits alongside the Wadawurrung purpose for Gathering, to bring together people at a place that celebrates community, culture and identity, enhancing, inclusion, motivation, education and cultural acknowledgement, while giving a sense of belonging and ownership. 

The proposal includes laying of bluestone offcut paving to allow for year-round use. Bench seating allows the area can be used for learning, social gatherings and meetings for staff, students and families. 

Area 2 – Rain Garden Classroom

A more formal outdoor learning space to accommodate all curriculum areas.  The area is sheltered from the prevailing wind and is covered by an existing pergola which can be roofed. The area proposed would offer 2 distinct areas with different seating/table configurations and be capable of accommodating two full learning communities. 

The proposal includes surfacing the area to allow for the installation of appropriate seating, roofing the existing pergola, the relocation of the vegetable garden to accommodate the Stephine Alexander Kitchen Garden Program and landscaping to blend into the existing rain garden and surrounding area. 

Area 3 – Eco Kitchen – 

The Eco Kitchen is used for community gatherings, such as the school fair, the lantern parade and Chai Café, as well as learning. The area allows for the whole school community to gather while offering a clear view of the playground and oval to monitor children. 

The proposal includes resurfacing the area. Install replacement seating suitable for both students to work at and for social gatherings. Landscape and relocate some of the vegetable garden. Place bench seating around edges of paved area. 


Key Decisions


Mangowak Sanctuary
  • Create a designated seated area where students, staff, parents and carers can gather for learning, meetings and to enjoy our beautiful sanctuary.
  • Ensure the area can be used all year round.
  • Create an accessible pathway to allow access for all.
  • Work with ANGAIR to identify a suitable area within the sanctuary.  
  • Sensitive to the sanctuary’s ecology
  • Design the area to minimize impact on the sanctuary.
  • Surface must allow for water permeability and runoff.
  • Must be inclusive and easily accessible.
  • Low maintenance and durable. 
Rain Garden Classroom
  • Create a more formal, covered outdoor learning space to accommodate all curriculum areas along with our kitchen garden and cooking program.
  • Existing structure can be roofed.
  • Install a suitable area surface to accommodate tables and seating.
  • Able to accommodate two to three learning communities at a time.
  • Area is sheltered from the prevailing wind and weather.
  • Access to proposed vegetable garden relocation. In support of Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.
  • Connected to and with view looking out to the Mangowak Sanctuary.
  • Water, electricity and sewerage all easily accessible. 
  • Extend landscaping to blend with existing raingarden. 
  • Low maintenance and durable.
  • Able to accommodate all curriculum areas. 
  • Including easily accessible to art room and supplies.
  • Must comply with building standards, BAL rating, OH&S and inclusive school’s requirement.
  • Prevailing weather 
Eco Kitchen
  • Improvement works to surface.
  • Eliminate existing tripping hazards.
  • Enlarge the area to accommodate the community during events such as the fair and lantern parade. 
  • Move part of the vegetable garden to a more ideal location to maximise sun exposure.
  • Leave part so students have access during break times and visually appealing to visitors.
  • Tables and bench seating to accommodate up to approx. 30 persons.
  • Strategic bench seating around perimeter.
  • Access to water and electricity
  • Low maintenance and durable.
  • OH&S considerations for playground area.
  • Must comply with building standards, BAL rating and inclusive schools’ requirements.
  • Prevailing weather.
  • Shading of Vegetable garden and chicken coop.
  • Banksia tree next to eco-kitchen.
  • No sewerage.