Christchurch Boys’ High School

Case Study

“Do your due diligence, visit other schools and take your time…”  Craig Dunnett, DP Christchurch Boys’ High School

Craig Dunnett, Deputy Principal of Christchurch Boys’ High School opens the doors on their brand new purpose-built teaching blocks, Caldwell and Caddick. Craig was tasked with creating spaces that enable teachers to get alongside the boys in a relaxed fashion. With 67 new learning spaces to create, durability and flexibility in meeting the needs of students have been key drivers in a five-year journey, collaborating with Athfield Architects and Woods Furniture.

With such a large capital investment in furniture, Christchurch Boys’ were determined to get it right, first time. Craig visited a number of schools as part of his research and found that in some cases the furniture was failing after just six months. He embarked on an extensive trial process to see which furniture performed best in the Christchurch Boys’ environment and believes this was invaluable in enabling them to make the best decision.

Craig was generous enough to share some of the journey and the lessons learned along the way, and says his door is always open at Christchurch Boys’ for other schools going through a similar process.

With durability a key driver in his decision making, Craig says he couldn’t go past the DuraTough tops made by Woods Furniture. Having previously experienced peeling edges on other products,  Christchurch Boys’ chose DuraTough tops for all their tables and benches.

Unlike traditional Formica or MDF products, high-density DuraTough has a buffed edge to avoid the problem of peeling edges. It also has a high resistance to impact damage and chemical resistance that makes it ideal for science and art rooms.  Learn more about DuraTough...

“You don’t want something you have to replace every five years. The DuraTough tops are a game-changer – they still look the same as they did when they arrived 5 years ago.”

Craig believes that having the right furniture has played a key role in the overall success of the Caldwell and Caddick Blocks, areas that he describes as bringing a sense of calm to the school. He comments that the students feel so at home in the new buildings, they often come in early to study or simply to hang out with mates. Staff enjoy the flexibility provided by the new classes and breakout spaces, which support the Christchurch Boys’ teaching philosophy and help the boys to engage with the teachers.

Craig says he was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the procurement process. He worked with Athfield Architects and Woods Furniture to determine which furniture would be best in different areas and received a detailed plan of each classroom setting this out clearly. When the furniture arrived, every piece had a numbered sticker that related to the room and Woods were on hand to make sure everything ended up in the right place.

“The process couldn’t have been simpler.  With so much furniture arriving the potential for disaster was huge, but it couldn’t have been easier for the school”.

With boys sitting for up to five hours a day, Craig is well aware that comfort is crucial to enable the boys to engage and stay focused. The Lupo Science Stools have been the firm favourite with boys of all ages, who comment on how comfortable they are. A far cry from old-style science stool, the Lupo Science Stool has a supportive back, and highly stable design that resists rocking back and forth. Learn more about the Lupo Science Stool….