School children visit Loughborough University to develop designs for new outdoor learning space

Primary school pupils have been working alongside architecture students at Loughborough University to design an outdoor classroom.

A total of 29 children from William de Yaxley Church of England Academy in Peterborough visited the University and took part in a design workshop.

Forty-two second-year students from the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering are working with the children and the wider community, to design a new outdoor learning space for the primary school.

The children submitted their ideas for the project earlier this year and they spent the day on campus working in groups with students to produce their designs.

As part of the workshop, pupils created sketches, models and design boards. They also experienced the virtual reality laboratory and saw how laser and 3D printing machinery work.

One of the children said: “I particularly enjoyed working with the students – they really listened to my ideas.”

At the end of the session, pupils were encouraged to present their design ideas back to the room.

Architecture students will further develop these initial designs into seven proposals for an outdoor learning space. The final concept designs will be presented to the community at an event early next year where the winning project will be selected.

Kay Corley, Headteacher at William de Yaxley C of E Academy, said: “Our children presented their ideas to adults in the room with so much confidence and enthusiasm. I felt incredibly proud to be their Headteacher.

“A huge thank you goes to Loughborough University for this stunning opportunity and we look forward to seeing the final design ideas.”

This is the second design collaboration between Loughborough University and a local school, following last year’s live project with St. Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary School in Quorn. The live project is organised across two modules on the University’s Architecture course, Design in Context and Advanced Technical Investigations.

The aim of the live project is to give students an insight into a career as an architect and teach them how to assess site locations, work with clients and use data to create designs.

Professor Andrew Dainty, Dean of the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, said: “Real-world projects like this offer a unique opportunity for our students to engage with end-users, determine their requirements and to design learning environments that respond to the complex needs that they present. This experience is invaluable to them developing the kinds of stakeholder engagement skills that will vital for their work in practice.”

Luke Butcher, Director and co-founder of Butcher Bayley Architects (BBA), said: “We’re very excited to have brought Loughborough University together with William de Yaxley Church of England Academy for this project. It will see an exciting space designed for the school children that feels like their own, with their input crucial from the very beginning."

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 19/214

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