Schools landscape strategies
Enabling schools to tap into the real potential of their school landscape drives our whole approach.
As safe outdoor spaces at the heart of the community, school landscapes are filled with opportunities to deliver effective, enjoyable education, build healthy lifestyles, enrich and experience nature first-hand, plan space for play and deliver meaningful responses to the needs of today’s children and young people. They also have a vital role to play in actively reducing carbon emissions and supporting climate change adaptation.
Planning for the long term
With a forward-looking strategy and vision for the school landscape in place, schools have begun realising all of these opportunities by investing in the outdoor environment so it continues to flourish well into the future
Our team of professionally qualified landscape architects has specialised in school landscapes since 1992 and works directly with schools across all sectors. As part of a vibrant County Council, with regular liaison and joint working with Children's Services, Countryside and Environment Department colleagues, the team is placed in a unique position to use these relationships to inform practice and ensure an effective relationship with schools.
A collaborative design process
Pioneering a collaborative design approach, the team has won national recognition and influenced national practice including the Learning Through Landscapes Trust philosophy for grounds development.
Working through a well-defined and effective process brings rewards at every stage, enabling the school to see things from a variety of perspectives, building local interest and ownership, resolving challenges and establishing a balanced way forward. With extensive experience of working with senior leadership, the wider school and the community, the team has developed a comprehensive understanding of what makes a successful school partnership.
Active and participative
The process draws on the contribution of children and young people, teaching and support staff, governors, parents, community representatives and school leadership. Through a range of briefings, workshops or special projects such as the award winning Big Landscape eXperiment, schools can test, explore and evolve ideas to imagine a different future prior to decisions about investment. At the same time every stage of the process leads the school towards a comprehensive strategy to complement their unique landscape setting and community context in a city, town, residential, urban or rural location.
As part of our whole site philosophy, we work together with the school to explore the broad potential of the site including education use, context and community use, access and circulation including links between inside and outside spaces, play, break times and lunchtimes and social and behavioural aspects.
Partnerships and networking
Following preparation of a school's landscape strategy, our involvement can extend to include a signposting service to help schools to link to range of national and local organisations and trusts. In addition, our in-house Landscape Design team can work with schools to create the exciting spaces planned through this collaborative, whole site approach.
With a Strategy for the School Landscape in place, schools can effectively
- lead change in their school grounds, adapting use, management practice or transforming space
- tap into fund-raising and investment opportunities and target scarce resources most effectively
- maximise the full educational potential of all site assets
- make the most of local talent, skills, knowledge and experience
- respond to growing customer interest, building future business
- gain awards and recognition, building on work with other partners such as Eco Schools, Healthy Schools and Trailblazers
- present a cohesive school community picture to Ofsted,
Whether you are starting from scratch, or you are building on past developments in the school grounds, our skilled and experienced team can enable you to move forward effectively and achieve long term success.
Schools Landscape Strategy Manager