Finigan School of Distance Education
Finigan School of Distance Education—located in Queanbeyan—provides state-of-the-art facilities for approximately 120 teaching and support staff serving 1000 students.
The school has purpose-designed spaces to facilitate distance education as well as in-person ‘mini-schools’. A range of highly flexible information-technology-rich teaching spaces allow lessons to be recorded and delivered both remotely and in-person. These include interactive booths, special program rooms for science, applied studies and the arts, a kitchen for food technology, a performance space of terraced seating within the double height foyer, and a spacious covered outdoor learning space opening onto a shaded courtyard/garden. Digital facilities include twenty web lesson studios, a satellite lesson studio and two video production studios.
While the delivery of curricula embraces modern digital technologies, these are balanced with the use of hands-on activity kits and ‘hard copy’ media. This is a complex operation undertaken by a dedicated registry team. The building is configured to deliver a seamless registry operation with efficient delivery and dispatch to carriers, distribution and collection from teachers, and a rigorous maintenance of records.
Collaboration is fostered through a variety of spaces such as open plan areas, enclosed meeting rooms and flexible learning areas that are all enabled with tele-conferencing and digital communications.
A broad high-level louvered canopy shades the northern building façade and courtyard from summer sun, extending the time the court can be used for mini-school activities and by the staff as an outdoor meeting place in the warmer months.
DesignInc Sydney worked closely with Robert Thorpe Architects to design this unique education environment for the distance education community.