Quilley School of Engineering
The lack of an acceptable environment for lunch and breaktimes was the initial trigger for Quilley School of Engineering to undertake a strategic review of the whole school landscape. Facilitated by the Landscape Strategy Team within HCC Property Services, the school formed a representative Steering Group to audit and evaluate the existing school landscape through a whole-school approach.
The findings revealed that the layout and structure of the school site was having a significant impact on the school ethos, and creating hidden tensions around ownership of the outdoor spaces, which in turn affected behaviour, attitudes and learning.
Following the site investigation, the school organised a series of site planning workshops where ideas for the future arrangement and use of the external spaces were explored. A comprehensive vision and a forward-looking Strategy for the Quilley School landscape emerged from this process, encompassing site access and circulation, lunch and break times, the community use of the site and the natural environment. The strategy acknowledged the need and value of play within a secondary school context.
- The Landscape Strategy became an effective and flexible tool for leading and managing change in the outdoor environment, placing the school in a strong position to take a pro-active approach to the grounds and to target scarce resources.
- The award-winning ‘BIG landscape eXperiment’ was developed in partnership with Quilley School and has been adopted and used by other schools and colleges.
- The Landscape Strategy gave a successor Head a comprehensive understanding of the site and the ability to continue to lead change, while responding to the needs of the whole school community.
- The release of a key central space has improved safety and wellbeing and has made breaks and lunchtimes more enjoyable for the students, with students now choosing to remain on the school site during lunch time.
The school’s understanding of the wider landscape context has led them to identify new access points and to create a new footpath which supports the School’s Travel Plan and reduces the amount of mud in school.
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Hampshire County Council Children's Services
Schools Landscape Strategy Manager