Kent Street Senior High School

  • The local community at dusk enjoys taking dogs for a walk.
    The local community at dusk enjoys taking dogs for a walk.
  • Steps across the school site provide incidental opportunities for physical activity.
    Steps across the school site provide incidental opportunities for physical activity.
  • The school oval is not fenced off so the local community can use it for physical activity.
    The school oval is not fenced off so the local community can use it for physical activity.
  • Kent Street High School Oval
  • Kent Street High School Steps
  • Kent Street High School Steps
  • Children and adults use the generous path between the school oval and local public open space.
    Children and adults use the generous path between the school oval and local public open space.
  • On the weekend the community uses the school oval for soccer.
    On the weekend the community uses the school oval for soccer.
  • Kent Street High School Oval
  • Kent Street High School Oval
  • Kent Street High School Oval
  • Kent Street High School Oval
  • Kent Street High School Pathway
  • Kensington Bushland Sculpture
  • Kensington Bushland next to Kent Street High School
  • Walkers enjoy the Kensington Bushland co-located with the school.
    Walkers enjoy the Kensington Bushland co-located with the school.
Introduction

Kent Street Senior High School is a State Government school located in the suburb of East Victoria Park. It has three specialist education programs - aeronautics, cricket, and fashion and design. The specialist curriculum attracts a large number of students from outside the catchment area with over 50% of students coming from other school districts.

Description of project

 

The design of the open space in and around Kent Street Senior High School is particularly conducive to increased levels of physical activity. The school ovals are not fenced allowing the local community to use the school ovals in conjunction with parks alongside the school. There is a small grove of trees surrounding a pedestrian path separating the school and public open space facilities which provides a transition area that is frequently used by the community to walk their dogs. The school ovals provide increased facilities for the community including a football, cricket pitch and nets and, during the athletic season, a marked running track.

Providing the community with access to Kent Street Senior High School's sporting ovals is not the only design feature that supports a healthy active community. Access to public transport, local destinations, and building design also contribute.

Reliable high frequency bus routes encourage students across the Perth Metropolitan Area to access the school using public transport.  Bus services along Berwick, George, Rathay and Sussex Streets provide a comprehensive bus network. The proposed light rail between the CBD and Curtin University identified a stop at Harold Rossiter Park; potentially further increasing accessibility for students and the community.

One of the most important design features in promoting walking and cycling is proximity to multiple destinations. The student accommodation is located to the north-east of the school site. Rotary Residential College provides housing for rural and remote children who access the specialised courses at the school. Students can walk from the residential college to classes. 

There are a number of other destinations abutting the school. Harold Rossiter Park (a local reserve) and Kensington Bush Forever Bush Land (a regional reserve) are within 300m of the school. A Police and Citizens Youth Club is located to the south-west of the school. A local centre with a supermarket, newsagent and restaurant is 400m to the west.

The school is only a 5 minute bus ride from Curtin University, a 5 minute walk from a community services precinct (including a police station and ambulance base) and an 8-10 minute walk/cycle from local shops on Albany Highway.

The design of the buildings at the school supports physical activity. The usual approach of ensuring a level school site has been replaced with a site that undulates across three levels. The level changes from the lowest point (the ovals to the south) through to classrooms and an administration centre at the top of the hill to the north. This topography has resulted in a number of stairs across the school site. Students and staff regularly use stairs to move between classrooms and different areas of the campus. 

Project team
  • Department of Education and Training
  • Staff and students of Kent Street Senior High School
Project cost

On going

Values

There are a number of health, economic, environmental, social and use benefits to developing a school in close proximity to student accommodation and parks.

Health value
  • In 1988, the Kent Street Senior High School specialised cricket course commenced. It regularly attracts some 120 students and is widely acknowledged as the most successful sports course in Western Australia, with 80% of participants also playing cricket at a District level. The school’s resources, cricket pitch and nets, are open to the community after school hours supporting increased physical activity levels. 
  • Kent Street Senior High School has nurtured and guided a number of highly successful athletes across a number of sports, including test cricketers, first class cricketers and elite football players. In addition, the school has produced cricket and football development officers who positively contribute to sports in Western Australia's wider community.
 
Economic value
  • Kent Street’s commitment to the aviation industry is strong and enduring. In 1979, 27 students from across Perth and Western Australia began the first aviation course. In 1982, a first for an Australian School, Kent Street Senior High School purchased a Cessna aircraft for training. By 1990, some 140 students across five-year groups enrolled in aviation studies. The students at Kent Street have built four airplanes used for training purposes and have positively contributed to the industry upon graduation. 
  • ‘Creative Australia’ is a federal Government strategy that acknowledges the benefits of creative industries. In 2011, creative industries represented 5.3% of the workforce (or 531,000 people), an increase of almost 70,000 jobs since 2006.  The Kent Street Senior High School’s specialised fashion and design course provides an opportunity for young West Australians to contribute to one of Australia’s fastest growing industries. The students are taught vocational skills related to specific employment in the fashion and design industry – skills which can also be adapted to many other creative pursuits.
 
Environmental value
  • The annual Planet Ark National Tree Day and Schools Tree Day provide all Australians with an opportunity to do something positive for the environment and reconnect with nature. The national event in 2012 resulted in more than one million trees planted during 3,300 tree-planting events. The local community and students planted trees on National Tree day behind the Kensington Police and Citizens Youth Club as a buffer to the Kensington Bush Forever site.
  • Students at Kent Street Senior High School are exposed to vegetation complexes they would otherwise rarely have an opportunity to see due to the Kensington Bushland Reserve. The Reserve is 9ha of remnant bushland. It contains jarrah-banksia woodland on Bassendean soil. The canopy is dominated by just a few species, particularly Eucalyptus marginata, E. todtiana, Banksia attenuata, B. ilicifolia, B. menziesii, Nuytsia floribunda and Allocasuarina fraseriana. The reserve is the best-preserved remnant urban bushland between the Swan and Canning Rivers. 
  • The local community is fond of the Kensington Bushland Reserve and takes part annually in Grab a Gladdy Day, which is run by the Friends of Kensington Bushland. Pink Gladioli are introduced plants, which compete with native wildflowers. The Grab a Gladdy Day initiative helps to keep Gladioli weeds at bay in Kensington Bushland Reserve and is an excellent opportunity to contribute to a great community day. 
Social value
  • The accessible design of the Kent Street Senior High School playing grounds provides the local community with increased facilities and additional green open space. 
  • The school’s unique aviation program offers an opportunity for students to engage with a range of experts.  During 2004 and 2005, third year, engineering students at the University of Western Australia worked with the Kent Street students to build a Vans RV6-A aircraft.  
Use value
  • The Rotary Residential College, established in 1991, is located adjacent to Kent Street Senior High School and provides an opportunity for 95 rural and remote students to gain an education within a metropolitan setting.
 
References

About National Tree Day, PlanetArk, Tree Day Site Details, Kensington Bushland. Sourced on 28 April 2013 from:  http://treeday.planetark.org/site/45277

Australian Government Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport. Sourced on 23 April 2013 from http://creativeaustralia.arts.gov.au/

Bush Forever, Urban Bushland Council WA Inc. Sourced on 28 April 2013 from: http://www.bushlandperth.org.au/component/content/article/ and http://www.victoriapark.wa.gov.au/community/events/grab-gladdy1-current-activities/4-bush-forever

Grab A Gladdy, Town of Victoria Park. Sourced on 28 April 2013 from: http://www.victoriapark.wa.gov.au/community/events/grab-gladdy

Kent Street Senior High School. Sourced on 14 February 2013 from: http://www.kentstreetshs.wa.edu.au/

Parks, Kensington Bushland, Town of Victoria Park. Sourced on 28 April 2013 from: http://www.victoriapark.wa.gov.au/community/parks-and-reserves

Transperth Planner. Sourced on 23 April 2013 from: http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/Home/JourneyPlanner.aspx

 
Type of project
School Initiative
Scale of project
Individual Site
Location
Urban