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Heritage site becomes cutting-edge educational facility

One of Strathfield’s heritage-listed sites, Lingwood House and its surrounds, has been lovingly restored and renovated to become a state-of-the-art educational facility for four to six-year-old children. On Friday, the campus was officially opened by renowned children’s entertainer, Mrs Naomi Young (“Nay Nay”). The upgrade showcases the original features of the 1880s-era building, as well as the latest innovations in environmental, architectural and educational design selected to meet the developmental needs of Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students.

For Meriden Principal, Dr Julie Greenhalgh, the campus itself is a vital part of delivering a well-rounded education that prepares young children for success at school and beyond.

“Lingwood Campus provides a nurturing introduction to formal schooling where academic progress and social, emotional and spiritual development can take place in an environment that is tailored to the developmental needs of Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students. The specially-designed classrooms, dedicated library, covered Science and Art spaces and outdoor play areas help foster curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and make the site a safe and stimulating place in which students can begin to learn and grow in the school environment,” Dr Greenhalgh said.

“Meriden is proud to have been part of the social and educational fabric of Strathfield since 1897 and it is wonderful to be able to provide a thoroughly twenty-first century education to our girls on sites that are rich in cultural heritage. The fact that we care for buildings like Lingwood House means they remain part of the living history of the area.”

Dr Michele Benn, Head of Meriden’s Junior School, said Lingwood Campus was built with the understanding that the physical environment plays a pivotal role in the social, emotional and academic development of young children.

“A purpose-built site, where everything is designed to meet the needs of the children, can reduce environmental stressors and contributes to the safe and supportive environment that is optimal for our youngest students,” Dr Benn said.

“For example, Lingwood’s classrooms are designed so students experience a real connection between indoor and outdoor learning because of their glass sliding doors and covered outdoor areas adjacent to classrooms. This is particularly important for this age group as it helps to facilitate play-based learning. Through play, children improve their problem-solving and flexible thinking skills, they learn how to process and display emotions and how to interact with others.”

Meriden has opted to group Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students together, on their own campus, to allow them to better socialise with their peers, to help them transition to formal schooling in a gentle manner and to provide a happy and safe environment that is perfect for these young learners.

Lingwood Campus has been developed according to German Passivhaus principles which reduce the building’s carbon footprint by decreasing its reliance on artificial heating and cooling through a combination of high-performance glazing, insulation and quality door and window fixtures. The campus has a range of other sustainability measures incorporated into its design, including a rainwater collection tank under the playground which will help to maintain the landscaped grounds.

Lingwood Campus is one of three Meriden campuses that are adjacent to each other along Margaret Street, Strathfield. Each campus is purpose-built for the age of its students, the Junior School Campus for Years 1 to 6 and the Senior School Campus for Years 7 to 12.

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