The Learning Environment

Alfriston College opened in January 2004 with a vision to meet the diverse needs of 21st century learners. The school has been purpose-designed to meet the needs of today's and tomorrow's learners.
A key feature of the wh?nau building is their flexibility. Classrooms and learning spaces have 'operable' walls (walls that move) allowing the size of learning spaces to change to accommodate the learning tasks and activities being undertaken. All rooms have immediate access to ICT and computers. All learning spaces are equipped with data projectors. Classrooms are bright and designed to use as much natural light as possible. Furniture is designed and used to enhance co-operative learning opportunities and to cater to different learning styles.
Our Environment

Specialised Facilities

The school has many specialised learning facilities, including:
  • Theatre - complete with gantry, sound booth and retractable seating
  • Dance studio
  • Drama studio
  • Design studio
  • Hospitality suites
  • Barrista facilities
  • Wharenui
  • Weights and exercise suite
  • Gymnasium
  • High tech music laboratories
  • Music practice rooms
  • Multi material workshops
  • Sit down cafeteria
  • Photographic processing laboratory
  • Independent learning centre
  • Computer pods and labs
  • Full size astro-turf
  • Outdoor volleyball courts
Our Environment

The Learning Park

Approximately 25% of learning in a school happens outside the classroom. Students learn about justice and equity from the values demonstrated everyday. They also learn important skills about how organisations operate and make decisions. With this in mind, Alfriston College was designed with the vision of the school as a theme park, where the theme is learning. The following examples illustrate some of the ways which Alfriston College school buildings and grounds have been used as tools for learning:
  • Environment quality and sustainability are explored through such features as a wetland eco-system to collect rainwater and monitor CO2 levels in classrooms.
  • Distance, volume and proportion are illustrated on a walkway marked out in 10 metre sections, a three tonne cubic metre block of sold granite and lines of bricks illustrate size and mathematical patterns in the main courtyard.
  • To denote location and position all paving is oriented along NSEW lines.
  • Door signage includes GPS co-ordinates.
  • A roundabout at the school entrance is the site of a sundial.
  • Lifts are transparent to illustrate how they work and in some rooms glass 'truth windows' reveal ducting and cabling behind the walls and ceilings.
  • Our school computer servers are located in a glass room to make it visible.
  • The student entrance to the school is through a 'virtual forest' complemented by recorded music or bird song. In this way learners are invited to begin their day in a way which is designed to lift their spirits.

Our Environment

The Alfriston College Logo 

The logo is both a symbol and an introduction to the school; it tells a story about the school and reveals some of the significant values espoused by the school's community.
The logo has three dimensions:
  • Font (Alfriston College)
  • Mark (the pod)
  • Background (the poutama pattern)
The image means different things to different people. It can be interpreted in a number of ways:
  • The Koru unfurls from the bottom opening out to support the pod, the koru symbolises a new beginning.
  • The pod is a nourishing and nurturing symbol.
  • It is a Manuka pod, a native of Manukau.
  • The seed is independent, complete, dynamic and leaving purposefully.
  • The pod is woven, this alludes to kete and tukutuku.
    • The woven pod can also represent a network - a community network or a digital network or a family network. The woven pod can also be seen to include:
    • The letters A and C.
    • A bird's beak (Pukeko)
    • The Pukeko foot.
    • Shape and symbols used in Maori carving.
  • A connection with the Pukeko is also maintained through the uniform colours and the adoption of this bird as the school mascot, as the Pukeko is native to our area.
  • The Poutama pattern (seen on our stationery) is a foundation which supports all other elements.
  • The Poutama pattern is a positive, growing symbol, it is a stairway leading onwards and upwards, it follows the same bottom-left to top-right trail as the seed leaving the pod.


The Alfriston College Motto: Zest for Learning - Te Ihi Ke te Ako

The school motto plays a similar role to the logo. Whereas the logo tells a visual shorthand story, the purpose of the motto is to capture the essential core value of the school. The Alfriston motto 'Zest for learning - Te Ihi Ke te Ako' is intended to highlight the thrill, joy and excitement of the learning experience. It also captures the spirit of learning at Alfriston College.
Learners should be connected to, challenged by and enjoy their learning. They should see purpose in what they learn and leave school with the capabilities to be self-reliant, self-motivated and life-long independent learners.

Our Environment