Oval Rejuvenation

At North Ainslie Primary School, we value our school community and the facilities that support the best learning opportunities for our students. Working together with our Parents and Citizens’ Association (P&C) and local school community we are looking to upgrade our school’s oval space.

This project will provide not only a considered and multi-use space for our school to play, learn and connect to Country, but will also be a wonderful and sustainable facility for our local community.

Our Journey so far - Principal, Tania Collis

The rejuvenation of our oval is a project that will bring a whole new lease of life to our play and learning spaces here at North Ainslie.

The project commenced in 2017 when the P&C and the school began working together to improve the quality of the oval. We started looking at our budgets, saving money and investigating grants that might help us with funding.

During this phase, one simple question changed everything: “Have we really had a look at how the children play and use the oval at break times?”

So, we looked.

Using a drone, we discovered a myriad of activities taking place across the space. Some activities were structured games such as touch football, soccer, and cricket.  Then there were the chasing games, the imaginative games and the students chatting and socialising under trees.

We then looked at the space and how it was used for lessons, with multiple classes often sharing the area as they played games and taught fundamental skills. This formed the idea of multiple grassed areas for games and lessons, different in size and in different areas of the larger oval space.

As a school community, we are also on our Cultural Integrity Journey as we learn more about Indigenous Perspectives and how we can help to Care for Country. This led to collaborating with our P&C on workshops for teachers, families, and students, and with Indigenous Community Leaders, Uncle Tyronne Bell and Adam Shipp to finalise the design you see here today.

We are excited to bring to our community a space that recognises Indigenous Perspectives, with a yarning circle at its centre and plants that represent that we live on Ngunnawal land. A space where we can all come together to share social occasions and further develop our community connections.  A space where our teachers and students can develop skills that will last them a lifetime and help to keep them fit, physically and mentally. A space that invites children to play, to explore, to learn and to laugh.

Tania Collis

Principal

Message from the North Ainslie Primary School P&C

NAPS PC logo

It is so exciting to see this project finally about to start construction! The Parents’ and Citizens’ Association of North Ainslie Primary (NAPS P&C) have been working towards an upgrade to the school’s oval space for many years.

We have involved all school staff, students, parents, carers, and the community in transforming the oval into an exciting, inviting, engaging, and enduring multi-purpose playscape.

The project has evolved over the last few years, and it was such a joy to see our Student Leaders step up in 2020, working with their peers, school staff, parents, and Indigenous experts to co-design a space that centres and reflects their needs.

The P&C were delighted to secure a Nature in the City grant in 2020, which will be used to create a water-smart underground system to ensure our plants survive and thrive in the future, and we even started a native plant nursery on the grounds, to grow our own plants and build on our students learning about the natural world. We continue working closely with the ACT Government and school to deliver our collective community vision for this space.

Uncle Tyronne Bell kindly shared some Ngunnawal language with us to describe the space, which translates to Play, Learn, Discover. We can’t wait to see our kids and community do just that as this beautiful patch of Ngunnawal country continues to nurture us for many years to come.

The construction will take place in a number of phases over the coming years, with the first stage of the project starting in 2021.

We value your support and your skills. Please visit our P&C webpage to learn more about this project and see how you might be able to help and get involved.

Student involvement

In 2020, North Ainslie Primary School Student Leaders wrote a letter to the ACT Government, outlining why they wanted their oval space upgraded with assistance from the Government coupled with funding from the school and the P&C. The students also created a provocation presentation for years 3-6 students to get them thinking about their vision for an oval upgrade, in order to create a concept and master plan for their outdoor space.

Below are some examples of student work resulting from the provocation project, describing how they currently use the oval and what they would like to see in their future outdoor space.

Student Work Year 3-4

Year 3-4 Class:

“Knowing that the hard work put into this project by us student leaders will pay off and benefit future generations of children, has kept us going throughout the long lunches and the exhausting meetings. This journey has been a once in a lifetime opportunity and we hope future students will benefit from our hard work, decades into the future,” wrote 2020 Student Leaders Isla, Grace, Amy, Hugo, George and Oscar.

Year 5-6 Class:

Student Work Year 5-6

Plans for the North Ainslie Primary School Oval upgrade

Aerial Map

The upgrade of the school’s oval space will take place in the highlighted area of the school grounds, adjacent to the existing bike track:

See below for an artist’s impression of what is proposed for the upgrade of the Senior Oval, including:

  • a central Aboriginal yarning circle
  • multiple grassed areas for community sport, play and learning
  • landscaped space for plants, including native plant species
  • areas for sitting and a path leading from the school to the oval area

Simple Oval Design Plan

Construction on the oval area is planned to commence from October 2021 and be completed in early 2022 (weather and ACT Government health directions permitting).

Student safety is our priority, so while work is underway, part of the oval grounds will be cordoned off. However, the bike track, the ‘Spider Web’ and play equipment will all remain open and accessible for school and community use.

The natural elements of this project are central to our vision and all efforts will be made to ensure they thrive by having the best possible start.

If you have questions about these works, please email ACT.Education@act.gov.au. Watch this page as we share updates on construction and bring you Frequently Asked Questions soon.