BRE and a team of construction industry experts and educational suppliers have carried out a Changing Rooms type makeover of an Ealing school to mark National School Environments Week.
They transformed three key areas of Southfield Primary School during a five-day project to show how educational spaces can be changed to provide better learning and teaching opportunities for pupils and staff.
The three areas of the Southfield Primary School considered for the makeover were:
- Attic – with a view to turning this into a drama or music studio.
- Outside classroom – could be transformed into an area for studying science and nature.
- Art room – the current room is used for a range of activities, but by re-planning the space it could better stimulate pupil creativity and support other work.
“There is more to this project than improving the look of the school,” said Chloe Halfhide of BRE. “The classroom environment – including such issues as lighting levels and acoustics – can make a big difference to learning and teaching success. Also, addressing a number of environmental issues in this practical way provides a valuable learning experience.”
A successful school makeover was part of the first National School Environments Week held in June last year, when the staff room and library at Liscard Primary in Wallasey received the makeover treatment. “I worked alongside Year 5 and 6 pupils carrying out workshops on different aspects of sustainable development, including climate change, water use, waste and transport,” said Chloe.
“School buildings are sometimes described as the third teacher, and we ignore the built environment at our peril,” said Ty Goddard, Director of the British Council for School Environments (BCSE), which is overseeing the Week. “The makeover will bring together limited resources with unlimited imagination and show how a learning environment can be altered beyond recognition.”
Partners are also discussing offering re-designs for the junior dining room, the infant library, and another outdoor space; this will ensure the school has exciting designs it can use in the future.