Jackie Vaughan is living the principal's dream.
She's been tasked with leading Denman Prospect's new Evelyn Scott School to create a modern, welcoming place for the growing suburb.
Since her appointment in August 2020, Ms Vaughan has been meeting with architects and families and hand-picking the teaching team to bring her future-focused learning philosophy to life.
"This is just fantastic. Every principal dreams about starting a greenfields school, from the ground up," she said.
The $47 million primary school, which is named after Indigenous rights activist and social justice campaigner Dr Evelyn Scott, will have capacity for 600 preschool to year 6 students.
In 2023, a high school for years 7 to 10 will open at the same site.
Ms Vaughan's vision for the school has three parts: it will be a contemporary school, centred on the community and connected as one school but also connected to best practice nationally and internationally.
Evelyn Scott School will help to rewrite the book on modern education, a change which is already in progress through the ACT's Future of Education strategy.
"The old industrial model of pumping education through students that doesn't work, it doesn't serve them," Ms Vaughan said.
"There's a focus on skills and future skills, as opposed to a focus on content because we all have ... computers in our pockets and students don't rely on teachers for facts and they rely on teachers for skills."
The 187 students who in the first cohort at Evelyn Scott School will eventually take on jobs that don't exist.
Educators will be focused on guiding students to follow their interests through play-based and inquiry-based learning.
Problem solving, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration will be front-and-centre at the school.
Students will call all educators by their first names to create consistency from preschool through to high school.
Families will be able to keep track of their children's progress through an online platform called Wabisabi, named after the Japanese concept of finding beauty in imperfection.
"We want that to be a transparent process, not secret business of teachers. So this platform allows us to map the curriculum using the achievement standards."
The physical campus aims to enhance the philosophy of the school.
Classrooms and administration buildings overlook a central playground which features grassy areas, in-ground trampolines and recycled drain pipes as tunnels and seating.
"I was really keen on and making sure that this was a natural space ... because to connect students with the natural environment is really important."
The zero-emissions school will eventually have garden beds, a chook shed and worm farm to give students a hands-on education in sustainability.
A community room will be available for meetings to further bind the budding suburb together.
Ms Vaughan grew up on her parent's farm in the small town of Delegate. She learned the value of hard work in the shearing sheds and picking berries and started her education journey at a small public school.
She studied at the University of Newcastle and has worked in the ACT education system for 21 years.
Ms Vaughan's previous role was to lead the flexible education program across six schools which provide education for some of Canberra's most vulnerable children. It includes campuses at Canberra Hospital, Bimberi Youth Justice Centre, Muliyan at the Smith Family building and The Cottage at Calvary Hospital.
"We were doing future focus learning... across all of those campuses and so, for me, the realisation was if that style of learning works for our most complex and challenging and vulnerable group of young people, then imagine what you can do with students who are really connected."