Senator Joyce Fairbairn Middle School


Lethbridge, Alberta

The Senator Joyce Fairbairn Middle School was designed for a variety of learning group sizes and activities, ensuring that the staff and students needs can be met today and into the future. Considering the intended 900 student capacity, with the possibility of future expansion, it was important to study the experiential nature of a large capacity school. Smaller groupings of students have shown increased participation in school and classroom activities, improved social relationships and greater overall student satisfaction. As such, the middle school is divided into learning clusters which enables smaller groupings.

Grades are organized into six learning clusters each with three classrooms, an ancillary classroom, a collaboration space, break-out room, outdoor classroom, natural lighting and future space to expand each pod. These clusters help to foster closer student/staff relationships and create a pleasant, human scaled environment. Operable walls allow the collaboration space in each pod to be combined with the ancillary space where the students can work or assemble. The band, drama, and gymnasium also have operable walls that can open and activate the gathering space for the students and after hours community use.