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Young Designers Primary School Winner

Young Designers Primary School Winner

From the beginning, we could tell that this submission was going to absolutely match the expectations of the Young Designer competition panel: creative, functional suggestions that demonstrate a positive, tangible benefit on learning and the school as a whole.

On the first page of Springfield Primary's submission read: 'Our names are Madison, Maxx, Ruby-Jae, Courtney, Callum and Dylan. We are members of the Department for Teaching and Learning with Springfield Primary School's Pupil Parliament and are in years 3, 4 and 5. We represent the views of the other children and we are constantly aiming to improve our school'.

From the beginning, we could tell that this submission was going to absolutely match the expectations of the Young Designer competition panel: creative, functional suggestions that demonstrate a positive, tangible benefit on learning and the school as a whole.

Over the last two years, Springfield has grown by 90 pupils, taking it up to almost 400. However, while the school welcomed the addition, the school's pupil parliament felt that the learning environment could perhaps do more to reflect this inclusive ethos around the school, starting with the school hall.

Leading with the impact they wanted the redecoration to have, they said: 'Currently, we all have assembly in the same hall. In order to fit all the children in, old furniture has been removed, exposing the scruffy walls behind. This hall is quite old and tired and in need of some colour and life! It is often described as 'dull' and 'boring'. The curtains are tatty and falling down. It is a place where we perform our class assemblies (which our parents watch), where governors meet, where parents attend presentations and where we celebrate our growing achievements as a school. It is the one place in our school that everybody uses and it the most neglected.'

'We want this to change. We want everyone, children and adults, to be excited to go into the hall. We want a place fit to celebrate our achievements in. We have tried to improve it by creating wonderful displays on the walls, however the space needs more than just a few display boards to really bring it to life. We want to show what life at Springfield is like when new children and parents arrive.'

Then onto their design suggestions, all of which support the challenges they had identified to begin with.

Firstly, to support the school house system, based on the four Patron Saints, they wanted to use the colours of the four countries represented in the hall, providing a strong visual identity. This would cover the colour on the walls as well as the furniture.

'Each child can earn House Points for their House each week with the winning House achieving the House Point Trophy. This is celebrated during assembly on Fridays, in this hall. It is a very proud moment for the school and we wanted the room which the celebration takes place in to reflect that. We would like the colour scheme to link to our House system. The coloured benches and chairs would be used daily for assembly and PE and would be used for House events throughout the year'.

Secondly, to complement the house colours, they wanted to create a giant wall mural as a celebration of the diversity within the school.

'We also wanted the mural to depict other celebrations at Springfield that take place in this hall, e.g. music, dance, drama, sport, lead learners, super citizens, Guga Fit champions, attendance awards, class assemblies. These will be a constant reminder of how fantastic Springfield children can be and to inspire others to follow in their footsteps. We celebrate our school values weekly so the mural would be a good stimulus to use to discuss them, alongside a reminder of how we should treat each other'.

While the rationale behind each of the suggestions was incredibly powerful, it was the final slide, describing the impact the redesign would have on the school as a whole, that stole the show.

'We want children, teachers, parents and governors to be proud to be members of Springfield School. Children will look forward to assemblies more because the space will be an exciting and stimulating environment to be in. It will encourage more parents to attend meetings and feel part of the school as well as giving a better first impression to new parents and carers. The mural would help children to reflect on their learning and achievements'.

As with almost every entrant we received last year, what amazed us so much was how conscious Springfield's learners were of how their environment had the potential to positively impact on their school experience. Combined with a great collaborative approach and creative, functional ideas, we were very pleased to award the prize to Springfield.

Following the win, our designers have been in to help formalise the submission into a plan. However, on the back of the competition process, the school is now looking at expanding the project beyond the hall so we shall hopefully be supporting a much bigger delivery over the summer of 2016.