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St Bartholomew's C Of E Primary School.

Students to work with community to design outdoor classroom for Leicestershire school

Students from Loughborough University are to bring their learning to life by designing an outdoor classroom for a Leicestershire school.

St Bartholomew's C Of E Primary School, based in Quorn, is looking to create a ‘Discovery Zone’ – a new space for teaching and well-being activities that will be situated behind the main building, in a wooded area.

Thirty-two second-year students from the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering will work with pupils, their parents and guardians, teachers and the wider community to develop a series of designs.

Their ideas must take into account the physical environment plus the requirements and desires of the different stakeholders, who they will interact with at a variety of events and workshops.

The ‘live project’ will give students a glimpse into a career as an architect and teach them how to assess locations, work with clients and use data to create designs.

It will also contextualise different theories they have been taught during their studies and build on the University’s history of making and learning through production.

The project commenced earlier this month and pupils of the School, which is also known as St Bart’s, were set a homework task that required them to submit their ideas for the new building.

Loughborough students are working with the schoolchildren and their teachers to develop some of the initial concepts further.

Student Claudia Johnson with Year 3 children.

Student Claudia Johnson with Year 3 children.

A number of designs will also be presented on Thursday (1 November) at The Generator Space, on Fredrick Street, Loughborough, as part of the University’s involvement in the ‘Love Architecture’ festival – a celebration led by the Leicestershire and Rutland Society of Architects.

As part of the project, pupils will visit the University later in the year to use state-of-the-art technology that allows them to see and alter designs in virtual reality (VR).

It is hoped that by the end of January 2019, the students will have a well-developed brief and concept design that they can take to a professional architect or builder to move the project forward.

Professor Andrew Dainty, Dean of the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, commented: “This project provides a unique opportunity for our students to co-create an exciting new learning space for the School and the local community.

“For our students, this live project will help foster a deeper understanding of how to develop a design brief and work with stakeholders to deliver it.

“For the school, it will enable them to build a closer connection with the process of creating a new facility, as well as benefitting from the creative ideas of our students and staff in realising an inspirational design for their new building.

“And who knows, we might even inspire some St Bart’s children to become the Loughborough University architecture students of the future!”

Pictured is a child's drawing of a classroom.

St Bart’s is currently in the process of raising and securing funds for the new learning space. 

Head Teacher Judith Boston and Assistant Head Teacher Sonya Campbell said in a joint statement: “We are delighted to be working with Loughborough University on this exciting project. 

“For the children, this represents a real-life opportunity to be actively involved in thinking about their learning and how they can make a difference to their school environment. 

“We aim to create a multi-functional space which can be used for a range of creative, physical, spiritual and social activities. 

“Through sharing and developing ideas, producing designs and working with the latest technology, the children's aspirations will be raised as a consequence of this unique opportunity.”

Loughborough University is hosting a variety of events as part of Love Architecture and is also showcasing its new Architecture course. Further information on the Festival can be found on the dedicated webpage.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 18/142

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2019, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

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