Dainfern College unveils state-of-the-art facilities

Dainfern College unveils state-of-the-art facilities

Dainfern College unveils state-of-the-art facilities 1

Dainfern College unveils state-of-the-art facilities

It was with pride and excitement that Dainfern College officially opened four new collaborative learning spaces on its campus on 14 November 2023 to further enhance its offering.

Dainfern College first opened its doors in 1997 and quickly established itself as a forward-thinking and innovative centre of independent educational excellence. It was the first school in South Africa to incorporate the Mighty Minds curriculum into its teaching when it opened the Creativity Centre in 2000, based on Lego Dacta education kits. This technological innovation was followed in the ensuing years by the addition of an Apple Mac lab, mobile iPad labs and a ’Bring-Your-Own Device’ policy, where every student from Grade 4 to Grade 12 has their own tablet or laptop for use in class.

The Imaginarium & the Light House

These two makerspace facilities in the Junior Preparatory are designed to provide young learners with a stimulating environment in which to explore, experiment and learn, while simultaneously preparing them for future academic and career success in STEAM fields and beyond.

With links to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) education and IBL (inquiry-based learning), these makerspaces will provide an innovative and multi-functional educational environment designed to give students in Grades 0-3 hands-on learning experiences that ignite curiosity and foster creativity, while developing critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, thus setting the stage for a lifelong love of learning.

Ubambiswano and the Garage

‘Ubambiswano’, meaning ‘teamwork’ in isiZulu, is a place of collaboration and learning. This versatile, multi-functional space not only houses the library for both the Senior Preparatory and the High School, but also serves as an exhibition and community space. The open-plan facility is designed to provide a space for classes to collaborate and research, conceptualise and design, in large and smaller groups, with furniture specially designed to be expanded and rearranged to suit the different activities. A series of flexible spaces can be used for podcasts and vodcasts, meetings, training, inquiry-based learning, robotics, project work and student-led exploration.

The Garage makerspace is designed to encourage and develop the ‘maker’ philosophy of Design, Make, Test, Iterate and Sell. It gives students a hands-on opportunity – and the necessary confidence – to use tools and technology to create products. Opportunities are provided to work with wood, acrylic, electronics, laser cutters, 3D printers and more. In order to use this space effectively, students will be taught the skills needed to successfully and safely operate all the tools and technology provided so that they can bring their designs to life.

The rapidly changing digital world has had a significant effect on education and the skill set required to thrive in the 21st Century, and curiosity, creativity, collaboration and problem solving have become key words in the educational space. These innovative new collaborative learning makerspaces on the Dainfern College campus will give students the opportunity to explore, design and create, tackling real-world challenges in a hands-on manner that promotes critical thinking and a growth mindset.

The future just got a whole lot brighter!