From one pod to seven: why St Michael’s Grammar kept coming back for more

When St Michael’s Grammar School first found Harwyn, they had a major problem. The noise from their music program was travelling across the school – disrupting other students’ learning.

After trying everything to improve the acoustics in their facilities, they knew there had to be a better way. So they installed a Harwyn pod…

… and then? They installed another SIX.

We sat down with Director of Business, Mr Farai Mufuka to find out more.

What brought you to Harwyn?

We had a major problem in our school. The noise from our percussion and brass studies carried into other learning spaces – distracting and impacting our students’ learning.

The consequences of this were two-fold. Students in nearby classrooms couldn’t concentrate. And our talented musicians didn’t feel comfortable playing their music to their full and loudest potential.

We tried everything to acoustically treat those facilities. But it didn’t get us anywhere. That’s when we found Harwyn.

That sounds frustrating. So what was it about Harwyn that stood out?

A key differentiator of Harwyn was their ability to acoustically treat pods – specifically for music programs in schools. That really put them on a different level from everyone else in the market.

Another thing we loved about Harwyn was the flexibility of the pod itself.

We often talk about how you can just pick up the pod and move it somewhere else. All you need is a power point. We can also easily transform the pod into a different space, whether that be a staff office or another classroom.

As our school is heritage-listed, it was crucial that the new facilities could complement our existing ones. And that wasn’t a problem for Harwyn.

How do the students and school community like the pods?

Everyone loves them.

The original intention was to only get one. But as soon as it was installed, the performing arts staff were knocking down my door to get another one.

So we did. In fact, we bought another six. So now we have seven pods – six are music rooms and one is a uniform shop.

I think that says volumes about how thrilled we are with our Harwyn pods.

And how was your experience dealing with Harwyn?

The owner, Jason, was great. He took us out to see their pods at Camberwell Girls Grammar School because I wanted to see how they looked onsite.

At St Michael’s, we focus heavily on performing arts. So choosing the right pod was crucial; it was a decision we couldn’t afford to get wrong.

After seeing how wonderful the pods looked at Camberwell Girls, it was a no-brainer. I gave a tight brief to Jason, which he managed to turn around quickly. And we were all delighted with the outcome for our school.

That’s great to hear. So how do the Harwyn pods fit into your heritage-listed environment?

Despite our eclectic mix of buildings, the Harwyn pods slot in well.

Through selecting the exact colours we wanted on our Harwyn, we were able to marry our pods perfectly with our heritage buildings.

We also love the addition of the pods because it reminds us that although our heritage is strong, we’re still a progressive school.

It’s also great for our kids to experience different eras. One minute they’re in a heritage-listed church at St George’s – and the next, they’re in a contemporary Harwyn pod. It’s amazing for the student experience.

How have the pods impacted your students’ learning?

Thanks to the noise filtering of the pods, students in nearby classrooms can focus a lot more easily. This has been especially crucial for our VCE students whose concentration is a premium commodity.

For our musical students who use the pods, they can now hit those notes as loud and proud as their little hearts’ desire.

Before, the poor acoustics limited them. But now, their new environment – a Harwyn pod – actually encourages better learning outcomes. And that’s what we’re all about at St Michael’s Grammar School: ensuring our students get the most out of their learning.

Does your school also have a space challenge? Harwyn is here to help. We deliver sleek, contemporary spaces for schools that eliminate distractions and enhance student learning. To learn more or for a custom quote, call 1300 HARWYN (1300 427 996) or enquire now.



Posted On: April 27, 2021. Category: