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Smarter Spaces Summer Newsletter

Smarter Spaces Summer Newsletter

The school year may have drawn to a close, but at the Smarter Spaces campaign it has been busier than ever, with everyone developing exciting new ways for schools to transform their learning environments and promote learner engagement more generally. Read on to find out more and exactly how you can get involved this summer...

Revolutionising funding resources

Rather than add to the long list of individuals and organisations calling on government to provide much needed additional funding for schools, at Smarter Spaces we want to do something a little more enterprising.

Over the coming weeks, we're bringing together the very best minds from across the public and private sectors - from the education community through to the fundraising and wider finance world, in the UK and beyond - to come up with ideas for how schools can look to secure additional funding from non-traditional routes. Funds (and wider resources) that can help to transform schools and learning, and ultimately change lives.

This work will all culminate in the release in early September of a funding toolkit for schools. As part of this, we also plan to unveil a brand new crowdfunding partnership at the same time.

We hope you can contribute too - if you or others you know have raised a small fortune or found a new way of applying for funding, we'd love to share your story as part of the funding toolkit, so tell us all at smarterspaces@bellenden.co.uk

We're also inviting schools to open a schools account because when they do we'll open another for the local community and give the school 10% of the annual spend from both accounts back in free vouchers. Spread the word to give them a design project on us!

Winners of the 2016 Young Designers Competition

Judging by the record-breaking number of entries we received to this year's Young Designers Competition, we're not the only ones feeling inspired to revamp the spaces around us. Their amazing quality presented a fun challenge for the Learner-Teacher Council who decided on two incredible designs.

St Mary and Joseph's Primary School in Blackburn soared to victory with their "The Sky is the Limit" themed room. The judges loved their creatively designed indoor sky, which is bound to bring a ray of sunshine to their "dull and boring" intervention space. Learners said that their very own Smarter Space would be "a calming room which stimulates our imaginations and engages us with our learning", bringing a whole new meaning to having your head in the clouds.

Determined to draft more students into taking DT, the young women at Ursuline Academy in London hammered home a victory with their redesigned technology room. Hoping to create a space which will "let their imaginations be set free", the young designers immersed the judges into their vision by creating a 3D model of their dream DT classroom - complete with miniature tables and chairs.

While the Dulux Design Team work to bring these designs to life, teachers can gather inspiration from Twinkl who offer a brilliant range of display resources.

What's next?

Whilst schools have wound down for summer, we're powering up to create a range of insightful pointers on how schools can make the most of their learning environment and engage learners.

We're working with teachers, gardeners, arts and crafts bloggers and musicians to create a special 'How To...' series filled with tips on easy ways that teachers can completely transform different aspects of their classrooms and schools to make them a smarter space. These will be on this website and actively promoted through @smarterspaces16.

If that isn't enough, we're also working with a broad range of education experts including architects and edtech specialists to write features on what the Schools of the Future will look like. This is in addition to our big funding initiative covered above.

Inclined to inspire others?

Unbox your learners' creativity with the Shoebox School Competition. We're asking learners to create a model of their dream classroom over the summer - think colour, murals, greenery and furniture - and tweet us a picture to @smarterspaces16 using #ShoeboxSchool for the chance to win some Dulux goodies! Those not on Twitter can also email us their entries.

Teachers, parents and everyone in between can join the summer fun too by snapping a picture of any inspirational spaces they encounter this summer - be it a skyscraper, beach hut or even someone's living room. Just remember to follow the @smarterspaces16 account and send in your entries using #SmarterSpaces.

Looking for more ways to get involved?

Talk to us - we want to share your views and experiences with teachers everywhere. If you'd like to contribute to our upcoming work, please email smarterspaces@bellenden.co.uk.

Connecting with us - follow @smarterspaces16 for the latest news and join us on #UKEdChat and #SLTChat every week and get in touch to lead a themed chat.

Spreading the word - refer three friends and colleagues who you think would be interested in joining the campaign so we can give everyone the chance to create their own smarter space.