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Urban Primary Blackfriars

Designers:

Realm ISD


The Tree House Blackfriars Primary School


The Tree House Blackfriars Primary School Concept In the centre of the Learning Park is the Tree House. The Tree House is a natural gathering place, the tree a symbol of knowledge, of growth, the environment and the world outside.

In the heart of the Learning Park is the Tree House, a fun place for discovery and storytelling. In the shelter of the Tree House learners and teachers gather at its foot and share stories.

The Tree House at Blackfriars is also their library, a place of books, language and stories which nourishes young minds making them strong. Time spent here will feed learning and knowledge will blossom. Tree Houses with storage, changes of level and ‘washing lines’ to hang work

Easy-to-assemble sheds can be added to provide small spaces for quiet activity

Qualities Tree Houses can provide interesting learning opportunities and are great spaces for learning, for play, for quiet activities, thinking and observing. If you are creating a Tree House, consider the following qualities of real Tree Houses: - Tree Houses have changes of level, which enables us to see things from a different perspective. This might mean perching on a branch or sitting on a cushion on the floor. - Tree Houses have personality and provide opportunities for children to express their identity, to decorate and personlise the space. - They are often casual and comfortable spaces, cozy and homely.

A simple stand alone tree, with routered mdf branches

A simple tree with a base pf stepped storage and hanging painted banners as foliage

A Tree House from stepped library shelves creates a round sheltered space to sit and share stories

Stepped storage also provides a space for presentations, performance or small group work

The Tree House Library

- Most importantly Tree Houses are special places. The children should feel that they own this place and they want to spend time here.

Make it Ways to create Tree Houses at your school: - Trees can be made from routered mdf panels cut to a tree profile - Foliage can be made form hung banners of pupils’ art work

“For Blackfriars Primary, it was really important to give books pride of place in the heart of the school. The idea of the Tree House was to create a place that really connected children to their learning and to the actvity of reading. It was a fun way to put books and storytelling centre stage” Antonia Cairns, Realm_ ISD

- Vinyl, murals and digital imagery can be used on walls or ceilings - Add a base of mossy green carpet or log stools - Add a garden shed or shelter - Use stepped storage for changes of levels


The Learning Park Blackfriars Primary School


The Learning Park Blackfriars Primary School Concept In the heart of the School on the ground floor is the Learning Park. The Learning Park is an open tech-rich learning environment, a connective space through which all learning activities flow.

The key opportunity at Blackfriars Primary is to create a Learning Park in the ground floor of the school: an open, dynamic and stimulating learning space which engages and connects the school community.

The Learning Park is an open flexible environment, providing a choice of settings for learning

The Learning Park is open to circulation areas, meaning the activity in the space visible to all

The Learning Park has the potential to change the whole dynamic of this 1970s urban school: reconnecting the indoors and outdoors; re-connecting pupils with their learning journeys; re-connecting children with each other, and, via technology, with the world outside.

Qualities A Learning Park provides an open and immersive ICT-rich space offering new learning and teaching choices. If you are creating a Learning Park consider the following qualities of real Parks: - Parks are big - this Learning Park holds doubleclasses including the library area, while use of Gym, Dining or Outdoors will support larger learning groups - Parks are fun, open and stimulating - a Learning Park should make the learning activities visible and stimulate the interest of others

The ‘Kiosks’ provide fixed ICT workstations and secure storage for kit

The ICT Kiosks have timber slatted backs like fencing, to allow visibility through the space

The centre of the ‘Learning Park’ has loose furniture and a bench area for laptop use

The ICT Kiosks can be closed off out of school hours to keep kit safe and secure

The Learning Park

- Parks are busy, real-world environments - a Learning Park can use technology to immerse us in real-world learning, in a topic or a theme - Parks provide choice and variety of spaces, some active, some quiet - a Learning Park allows choice for staff and students to easily change location based on lesson or activity

Make it Ways to create Learning Parks at your school: - Provide flexible and fun furniture and settings, from picnic tables to stools, from park benches to cushions, offer variety and choice

“This School benefits from plenty of space indoors and outdoors, but the classrooms are upstairs far from the outside spaces. By creating a new tech rich learning park on the ground floor, there is a chance to change the way the school use all of their learning space, indoors and out.” Antonia Cairns, Realm_ ISD

- Integrate mobile technology and use projection to immerse children in another world setting or in their topic of theme - Kiosks’ provide some fixed ICT and storage and can be shut down at night to enable ICT kit to be secured


The Pavilion Blackfriars Primary School


The Pavilion Blackfriars Primary School Concept In the centre of the new Learning Park is an old cloakroom cage. One option is to leave this cage in situ and transform it into a lightweight Learning Pavilion.

The Park Pavilion is a small adaptive tech rich space created by re-use of an old cloakroom cage in the location of the new learning park. It has a temporary ‘pop-up’ nature for continual changes of use.

Flexible, stackable furniture and hoardings can be changed based on learning activities

The Pavilion is created by adapting the cage with new fixings and panels, creating hoardings. Together with flexible furniture and projection, this enables the space to become a secure but highly adaptable learning space. The hybrid Pavilion includes the Learning Park Kiosks

Qualities The Pavilion in this School has a focus on ICT but it is an adaptable space and there are many activities it will support: events, talks, small performance, group learning and exhibition. If you are creating a Pavilion, consider the following qualities of real Pavilions: - Pavilions are often lightweight changeable structures for temporary exhibits, events, performance, artistic and community activities - Pavilions often have a special relation to the outdoors - The facade of Hoardings are usually lively urban elements, with panels advertising activities and events and showing temporary art installations

Hoardings could include bold graphic panels advertising learning events or practical pinable panels

The hybrid Pavilion sits like a small lightweight building in the Learning Park

As well as an ICT space (shown below) the space can be cleared for events and showcasing work

This hybrid option which includes the Kiosks to extend the capacity of the Pavilion for a whole class

The Park Pavilion

“The Pavilion idea came from making use of what was there. The School was keen to keep the cage enclosure to secure ICT kit and this got us thinking about hoardings. The need for a secure ICT space will change over time, so we suggested making a temporary adaptable space” Antonia Cairns, Realm_ ISD

- Hoardings can be stored away as practical prefabricated elements, and are put in place to provide security in open spaces

Make it Ways to create a Pavilions at your school: - Create stackable Hoarding panels to change the used of spaces, including whiteboards, pin-boards and coat storage - Use mobile and stackable furniture to enable Pavilions to be cleared for other activities and regular changes of use. - Get children involved - the cage structure could be a trellis for children to weave in fabrics creating art installations instead of hoardings - Use the space as a blank canvas, view the changes you make as temporary and allow your use of the space to evolve organically


The Learning Landscape Blackfriars Primary School


The Learning Landscape Blackfriars Primary School Concept The ideas developed for inside the school centre on the concept of a Learning Park. One of the things that this would achieve is to reconnect the whole inside of the school to the outdoors.

The ideas for Blackfriars Primary are centred on making small changes, inside and out. Changes that shift the whole dynamic of the School, by creating stimulating, fun places to learn and play.

By bringing learning into the heart of the school, the activities can flow from inside to out, and the school can make full use of their outdoor space.

Simple changes to outdoor areas might include changing a brick raised bed to an outdoor class

The outdoor class can include stepped decking, fence windbreaks and use of covered areas

Qualities The outdoor spaces in, and beyond our school grounds, can provide stimulating spaces for learning and play. To make the most of the outdoor opportunities, take inspiration from how we use gardens, public parks and the outdoors: - Gardens are spaces for growing - create a community garden where children and others can gain the benefits of growing fruit and vegetables - Nature trails can be fascinating learning places - look at opportunities for wildlife habitats (ponds, mini-beast houses, hedgehog hotels, bat boxes) and introduce plants attractive to wildlife

Planting vegetables to learn about health, nutrition, the environment and wellbeing

Woodland areas can be outdoor classes with simple wooden seating in natural clearings

Combine raised beds with a poly tunnel and trellises to grow a range of fruit and vegetables

Mini beast houses can be built in the woodland areas, with a small science nature lab nearby indoors

- Children are drawn to park playgrounds - look at creating small playground areas with equipment or colourful painted games to draw children into learning and play activities - Big parks are often zoned with varied types of outdoor spaces - think about how your outdoor spaces lend themselves to learning activities

Make it Ways to support outdoor learning at your school:

Outdoor Classrooms

“At Blackfriars Primary they have so much outdoor space, there is huge potential for outdoor learning. By focusing on a number of zones – for example an active learning zone , a nature zone and a growing zone - small projects can be initiated to embrace these opportunities” Antonia Cairns, Realm_ ISD

- Disused flat spaces with good light can easily be converted with a few raised beds and poly tunnels to a great space to grow vegetables - If you have areas of tarmac in your school grounds, look at painting surfaces for games and keep a store of outdoor learning props - Outdoor classrooms can be created with benches or logs using natural shelters. Get children involved in building outdoor spaces - Get creative with outdoor art projects which can be brought together as a sculpture park


Park Pavillion 1b In the centre of the new Learning Park is an old cloakroom cage. One option is to leave this cage in situ and adapt it into a Learning Pavilion. The Pavilion is created by modifying the cage with ICT, whiteboard and pinboard panels, adding flexible furniture and projection to make a secure, adaptable learning space.

Park Pavilion

In the heart of the school is an open tech-rich learning space through which all school activities flow. The Learning Park has the potential to change the dynamic of the school. This space connects inside and outside, engages children in their learning, and through technology, links learning journeys with the world outside.

Learning Park Kiosks

Active Play

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Tree House Library

In the centre of the Learning Park is a natural gathering place, the Tree House. The tree a symbol of knowledge, growth, and of the world outside. The Tree House at Blackfriars is also their library, a place of books, language and stories which nourishes young minds making them strong.

Gardens

Outdoor Class at Entrance

The ideas for Blackfriars centre on the Learning Park. One of the key things this achieves is re-connecting learning to the Outdoors. By bringing activity down into the heart of the school, learning can flow inside to out. With a new focus on the outdoors, school and community projects will grow learning opportunities for all.

Outdoor Parks 3

Hoardings

Dining & Performance

Nature 3 Park

Offices

Kiosks

Community 3 Garden

Tree House 2

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The Learning Park

Entrance

Classrooms

Learning Hub

Trees

Learning Park 1a

School Gym

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Active Learning

The big opportunity at Blackfriars Primary is to identify the key design change with maximum impact for learning. In this school it is the ‘Learning Park’. By transforming an underused space into a stimulating learning hub in the heart of the school, we create the potential for new learning journeys for every child.

Blackfriars Primary School

The Learning Park

Profile for Architecture + Design Scotland - Schools Programme

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The Re:design Option explores the challenges of different educational building types, and looks at how designers can help reveal the hidden...

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