Time: 10:45 - 11:45

Date: Day 1


A wellbeing Brief for Schools

Speakers: Sharon Wright & Helen Taylor

We often approach wellbeing in school environments as remedial – something that will stem or address problems – when we might approach it as enabling young people to achieve their potential. Enabling resilience, creativity, independence. Health and wellbeing is not just safeguarding, daylight, acoustics and ventilation, it’s also capability, which includes having choice and agency. In the post-covid world, physical environments for learning will need to be comprehensible, manageable and meaningful.

If we wrote a brief for a school thinking only about wellbeing and capability, what would it look like and how would it be different? What sort of spaces/school would you create if you took a ‘wellbeing and flourishing’ approach for students, staff and the wider community?  Might we have a greater focus on, for example : school as a community beacon; offering children diverse experiences that ensure every young person an opportunity to shine; embedding education into the city in new ways; and a greater emphasis on supporting work and family life?

Helen Taylor, Director of Practice at Scott Brownrigg Architects, and Sharon Wright, Senior Associate at the-learning-crowd, will share their work on how we can create a briefing process that starts with wellbeing as a driver for new learning environments.

Can we help with social and emotional well-being in schools as architects?

Speakers: Nada Milivojevic & Clare Mulholland

This presentation explores ways of addressing social and emotional well-being in school design. Whilst sustainability targets already play an important role when designing schools, there is less research that explores social sustainability, well-being of children and ways of enhancing the learning experience of children. To achieve a holistic design greater care needs to be implemented to incorporate needs of all end-users, allow for a range of teaching methods, allow for different learning styles, address social life within the school and improve overall social connections within the school estate and with the community. The presentation shows a research-led design approach and lessons learnt from schools in Northern Ireland, completed projects and projects which are at different stages of design development. The research behind this presentation is a joint project between Queen’s University Belfast and TODD Architects. The session shows the value of the integrated project team when delivering a project of such complexity to achieve excellence in design, but also to meet targets and approach site limitations. Drawing from project examples, the session presents practical mechanisms for improving learning environments and well-being for children with special needs such as autism. We demonstrate ways of creating healthier environments by providing adaptable spaces that explore ideas such as outdoor learning and play, visible learning, shared learning, inclusive and equal opportunities for all learners. Our research further explores ways of addressing community integration and overall, macro, social sustainability, through the school design. The presentation concludes by demonstrating the value of psychological and pedagogical input in school design, the value of the input of all parties included in the process and value of being agile and creative as building professionals to achieve social and emotional well-being for our schools and children.

Inspiring Spaces Inspiring Classrooms: Introducing the Pedagogic Toolkit

Speakers: Professor do Coyle

In this session we will outline the development of a toolkit developed with Architecture and Design Scotland, designed to enable teachers and their learners to transform physical, cognitive, and social spaces into learning design spaces by promoting a common language to share with all stakeholders. This Toolkit promotes learning for our young people that is sustainable over time, accessible for all learners and agile in ways which transform physical spaces into dynamic school learning places on a daily basis.  Drawing from a range of examples across schools we will unpack how the toolkit can help with stakeholder engagement and consultations processes, to not only ensure the learners voice is captured in any future briefing but to bring it to the forefront of future learning spaces.



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