School Landscapes Strategies

Resource Area

Resource Area

Sharing experiences

This resource area is designed for use by schools who have joined the Schools Landscape Programme. Your Head Teacher and another member of staff or governor will have met the Schools Landscape Programme team at an Introductory Briefing.

Remember this is a guided process and the aim is for the Landscape Architect to visit regularly and work collaboratively with your school through your Steering Group.

If you are not already part of the programme do contact us before proceeding further.

The resources throughout this section are all based on Schools Landscape Programme practice. They reflect the approaches taken by past programme schools.

Once you are familiar with each of the resource area pages the Index of resources will help you find each of the resources whenever you need them.


Getting Started

What do you need to do?

Once you have joined the forthcoming programme, the first step will be for you to contact the team to arrange for one of the Landscape Architects to make an initial visit to meet with the headteacher, other lead staff and begin to familiarise themselves with your school site. They will work with you as your advisor throughout the project

As part of your initial visit you will discuss:


Planning Meeting

What is it?

This key meeting follows an initial visit. It usually takes place once you have a Steering Group in place and have brought them together to brief them as outlined under 'Getting Started'. It is the first opportunity for your Landscape Architect Advisor and Steering Group to meet and plan the way forward.

What happens at the meeting?

Your Advisor leads a discussion with the Steering Group

  • To agree the range of information gathering activities and approaches to be used.

  • To decide who needs to contribute to the grounds investigations from within and beyond the school community.

  • To develop a "vision" for the schools grounds.

The outcome of the meeting is to have devised an Information Gathering Plan of Action Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 15kb, which will then be reviewed at a progress meeting.


Gathering Information

What is it?

  • An investigation of the school grounds as they are now.

Watch a short video about how one school started their programme and how they involved

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What needs to be done?

Information relating to your school grounds will need to be gathered using the range of activities agreed at the Planning Meeting. The various examples and activities here will give you an idea of what is available and who should be involved: Information Gathering Overview, Microsoft Word 50kb Walkabouts, Microsoft Word 816kb Group discussions and interviews, Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 700kb Recording information on plans, Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 864kb Questionnaires Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 653kb and the use of 3D models. Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 267kb

During information gathering the Steering Group will need to

  • Monitor progress of the investigation. This will ensure the various information gathering activities have happened and the findings are summarised in time for the Residency.

  • Begin planning the Residency day well in advance. This will ensure everyone you would like to contribute is available.


Feedback Day

What it is?

  • A Feedback Day, or Residency is the time, usually a full day, that your Landscape Architect Advisor spends at your school hearing feedback from the investigation findings and working collaboratively with key members of the Steering Group.

  • In addition it is a chance to gain input from various specialist advisors such as the Wildlife Trust and Children's Services Strategic Planning Officer. Here are some example timetables for Secondary Microsoft Excel 33kb and Primary Microsoft Word 48kb schools, as well as some tips Microsoft Word 58kb to help you plan your own residency day.

What needs to be done?

  • Liaise with your Advisor at least five weeks before the event to arrange a Residency Timetable for the day.

The outcome of the Feedback Day will be a...

Site Evaluation

What it is?

  • A document compiled by your Advisor illustrating the opportunities and challenges of the site, highlighted by the investigation. Here is an example Site Evaluation Microsoft Word 997kb

What needs to be done?

  • The draft document is usually presented to the Steering Group by your Advisor for discussion.

  • The Steering Group will decide who else needs to see it, how this will happen and how comments will be reported back to the group.



What is it?

A chance to develop options for the future arrangement of spaces within the grounds, based on the opportunities and challenges highlighted in the Site Evaluation.

It involves a "Zoning Activity" that your Landscape Architect Advisor will explain to the Steering Group. Here is an example of a Zoning Plan. Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 684kb

What needs to be done?

Create opportunities for a Zoning Activity to take place with various user groups. Here is an example of one school's approach. Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 412kb

Refine the Key Principles which have been emerging. These will help guide future changes. Here are some examples from Secondary Microsoft Word 46kb and Primary Microsoft Word 47kb Schools.

If you have an electronic 3D model of your site (or are a secondary school involved in the BIG Landscape eXperiment) now is a good time to use these resources effectively. Example 3D model. Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 419kb



What is it?

  • Your Landscape Strategy is a document that brings together your vision statement; summary of the main challenges and opportunities for your site; the key principles to guide future development and most importantly your Whole Site Strategy Plan. Here are some examples from Secondary Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 2mb and Primary Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 683kb schools.

  • The Whole Site Strategy Plan forms a vital component of the document. It summarises your aims, requirements and ideas for each of the spaces identified through the Zoning Activity.

What needs to be done?

  • Formulate Aims and Requirements for each of the spaces shown on the plan.

  • Ensure that these aims reflect the aspirations of the wider school and community, which have emerged throughout the process

  • Share the aims with your Advisor who will incorporate them into a plan format.

You will be given your strategy as part of a Handover meeting...


What is it?

This is the last meeting that your SLP advisor will attend as part of the Steering Group. At the meeting:

  • An electronic and hard copy of the Landscape Strategy Plan and document will be handed over

  • A plan of action will be developed

  • The School Grounds Support Network web pages will be explored, leaving you with a range of contacts, advice and guidance as well as the opportunity to join the network, share your experience, ask questions and learn from other schools.

  • Progress made throughout the process will be evaluated and a record Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 109kb of this will then be created.

What needs to be done?

  • In advance of this meeting encourage the Steering Group to explore the School Grounds Support Network web pages and to begin considering a plan of action.

  • As part of the meeting the group will work together to evaluate what progress has been made throughout the process  


Progress and Review

The Schools Landscape Programme team will aim to visit approximately three years after handover to update on progress and offer support and guidance for the next steps

If, in the meantime, significant changes are planned to your school site, building or grounds, please contact us to discuss how we can contribute to the design team briefing process and support in a way that enables the Landscape Strategy to influence and respond to changing circumstances.