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Can we build it? Oamaru North School principal Peter Roundhill checks out the plans for the redevelopment of the school. PHOTO: SHANNON GILLIES

Oamaru North’s six active classrooms are set to be reduced to three massive “inclusive spaces”, and principal Peter Roundhill is excited about the much-anticipated development.

The project was expected to cost nearly $1 million as the school reshaped to become energy-efficient and the rooms were built to reflect a more collaborative approach to learning.

Mr Roundhill said the school was just waiting on council consent, and he expected work would begin in late September and finish in April.

As well as the classroom changes, a deck will be built alongside the rooms, and each space will have sliding door entrances.

On the other side of the classes, the school’s long corridor will be wiped out and the space absorbed into the new rooms.

With the building changes, Mr Roundhill expected pupils to have greater access to collaborative teaching and learning.

Teachers would be able to easily focus on a particular group of pupils as others worked independently, while supported by other teachers supervising pupils, he said.

Teaching had shifted from being enclosed in small spaces with one teacher, he said. It was now focused on creating independent pupils with a focus on technology learning, he said.

He said both pupils and teachers were looking forward to the transformation.

“It’s been a long time since our school has had internal work.

“It’s a big change for our school.”

The school’s roses, some of them 50-60 years old, had been transferred to other parts of the school grounds to make way for construction work following advice from a local rose group.