Ingleburn Public School Discovery Centre

25 August 2015

Private Members’ Statement

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG (Macquarie Fields) [12.30 p.m.]: From Spiderman to SpongeBob, pirates to princesses Elsa and Anna, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Tinkerbell and wizards to Wonder Woman, these magical characters were everywhere. Where is this magical place at which more than 500 young kids and many adults, all dressed in their favourite book characters, came together for a day filled with sounds of laughter and rounds of clapping? It is Ingleburn Public School, where students, teachers and parents came together to celebrate the opening of the school's new innovative learning Discovery Centre. I am told also that amongst the many other Marvel superhero characters was the boys' school captain, who some would say, in Sir Humphrey Appleby's words, courageously "dressed up as a blue butterfly". I get the feeling that in about 15 years’ time his closest family and friends will remind him of that moment with much friendly banter.

Reading, writing and arithmetic are foundations of an education system but they have to take place in a learning environment which engages its students, provides enjoyment in how they learn and encourages participation and interaction amongst teachers, parents, students and the wider school community. That is leadership and innovation in education the Ingleburn Public School way. Officially launched on Monday 24 August, Ingleburn Public School's new Discovery Centre shows how innovation is the key to better learning. This journey began 12 months ago, with the school taking the initial innovative step to transform the traditional library building into a new open learning centre. The innovative team had the task of delivering the inspiring and unique learning space that is fast becoming a hub of learning. The aptly named Discovery Centre houses a maker room, a reading jungle and a research retreat, as well as breakout study spaces, comfortable reading nooks, a tiered learning space and an inviting entrance.

The innovative use of space allows students to learn in an environment where they are continually doing practical exercises, using the latest technology and engaging with other students. The new Discovery Centre provides an inviting, creative and interactive space for students to engage in self-led learning. This has made learning more fun and more students are enjoying school activities and in the process learning new skills and gaining knowledge for the future. This type of learning environment is also having a positive impact on students who were previously proving difficult to engage but who are now very much enjoying learning amongst their classmates and from their dedicated teachers. One of the walls of the Discovery Centre is adorned with quotes by Walt Disney. That is fitting, given that one could easily mistake this new learning centre for something straight out of Disneyland, with its bright and engaging design and endless possibilities for the imagination. One of Walt's quotes on the wall states:

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.

Perhaps it should add, "and an innovative Discovery Centre to help ignite the passion". When we look back on our schooling years, it is not the mark we got on our reading and maths test that we remember but days like Ingleburn Public School's new Discovery Centre opening— days when the schoolyard was turned into a mixture of Disneyland and Marvel mania and countless many more days of learning in a fun and enjoyable environment with endless practical exercises and engaging skills activities. Ingleburn Public School is certainly living up to its slogan as an "innovative and collaborative learning environment that empowers students to become 21st century global citizens". I am confident that the students at this public school will be a testament to the power of innovation and lifelong learning as it dictates their future career paths.

In addition to this event, I was invited to attend the school's recent NAIDOC Week celebrations. The students sang the national anthem in traditional Indigenous language. As the local member I was proud to see our younger students honouring our Indigenous history and culture. All of this could not have been achieved without the leadership, dedication and commitment of the principal, Graeme Green, and his fellow teachers. They are the ones who painted the steps and walls and decorated the Discovery Centre, and they are the ones who have made it their priority to make sure that their kids at Ingleburn Public School learn in an innovative and fun school environment. I wish the school many more happy learning days to come and look forward to sharing in its educational success.