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Senses of Place 2 - St Margaret’s Academy: written brief

Outdoor spaces that make us feel good “Spaces you shouldn’t be in…” We want dangerous, exciting places, which give you an adrenalin rush and where we can be determined and feel amazing. We love natural areas, which have enough space to move around freely with trees to climb for shelter on a windy day. Mountains – the beauty of the Cuillins, hilltops with peaceful views, campsites with greenery, paths and woods, sitting outside where we can be at one with ourselves and... “take your mind off stuff”. Lochs that are natural, quiet and calm with clean, clear water. The beach, sun, sand, the warmth of walking barefoot - South Queensferry or the Caribbean. We think of healthy, active outdoor spaces, as busy and energetic, involving discovering, interacting with others and feeling good – physical sports such as football on the Astroturf, paint balling, skiing at Hillend. We appreciate stress free social areas where we can sit, have fun and be with friends -eating and drinking at small tables – easier to chat and have a laugh in a relaxed, safe, cosy environment.

“...communicating with friends, chatting, chilling out, hanging out with friends.”

Transitional Spaces “Will never feel free in school unless we can go out.” We do not like being supervised all the time especially during lunch. We want doors leading directly from classrooms to external, imaginative and unique spaces to give a feeling of freedom. Being able to move from old to new, light to dark, inside to outside, accommodating lots of contrasting spaces and balancing different feelings - the peace and quiet of sitting on a bench at the front door to freefalling from the sky. We love the idea of having more choice, of moving between lots of small spaces within one big safe and secure outdoor space. Within open grassy areas secluded, heated, sheltered corners with comfortable seating, are linked to the building, by covered, colourful walkways. We want these spaces to have modern looks, encourage pupil involvement and be fun.

“...playing hide and seek in a maze.”

We do not want our outdoor spaces to be... Dirty, noisy, dull, dark, old, worn, rusty, cold, wet, cramped, cluttered, untidy and full of litter. We dislike wide, open spaces with no shelter from bad weather, with limited opportunity to enjoy the sun because of a lack of appropriately positioned seating. We would be very unhappy to see a lack of colour but too many colours would not feel natural either. Using the same materials and shapes is repetitive and boring. A loss of greenery is not acceptable. We do not want our existing good outdoor space lost.

“We do want our school grounds to be better�

We want our outdoor spaces... To help us find out about new things and discover new experiences. We want to feel different – a change from the norm –

“to let our imagination run wild”. To allow us to be energetic, alive and excited - a bit loopy, like when going on rides at Alton Towers. We would like it to be calm, peaceful and stress free, like visiting Linlithgow Peel and the Maldives; social like Howden Park and the German Market in Princes Street; interesting like the roof garden at the Museum of Scotland; to be natural like the River Almond and the waterfall at Cramond. We would like to see the benefit of modern technology. Interesting, natural durable materials such as woodchips, glass and good stones being used– no plastic... bright and colourful green, yellow and blue, incorporating a variety of soft shapes such as ovals, circles and cylinders which would stand out and make us feel good. We would like to see more imaginative use made of our hilly slopes, perhaps a grand outdoor theatre with concerts – loud – like our music department. We think of a ‘fifty pence’ layout, with restaurants and small shacks to drink tea and eat with friends in an open friendly place, to achieve that get away from school feeling, like being on holiday...


West Lothian Council delivers

St Margaret's Academy - External Spaces Brief  

During Phase 1 of the project, students produced a written brief which identifies and describes how they's like to feel in the external scho...

St Margaret's Academy - External Spaces Brief  

During Phase 1 of the project, students produced a written brief which identifies and describes how they's like to feel in the external scho...