School Landscapes Strategies

The BIG Landscape eXperiment

The BIG Landscape eXperiment (BLeX) is an award winning resource available to secondary schools as well as designers. Trials have clearly demonstrated its potential for:

The BLeX
  • promoting creative thinking about the design, use and layout of school's outdoor spaces.

  • testing out ideas and explore new possibilities for those spaces before making permanent changes.

In addition the BLeX can be used to develop new opportunities for:

  • teaching and learning with its positive impacts on attainment, achievement and attendance

  • socialising, fun and play

  • engaging the whole school as well as neighbours and the wider community

  • establishing a creative dialogue between young people and designers of the natural and built environment

The BLeX was conceived by Hampshire County Council's Schools Landscape Programme. The team have worked with Quilley School of Engineering, Eastleigh, and artist-led company "Snug and Outdoor" to develop prototype resources for use by schools as well as design professionals.

Arts Council for England Award Logo


What is the BLeX?

The BLeX gives schools the opportunity to turn their outdoor spaces into a flexible and experimental environment for a temporary period. This provides a chance for the whole school to explore new ways of using the outdoor spaces or test out ideas for new design before making more permanent changes.

The BLeX Equipment

The equipment includes:

  • Foam blocks

  • Outdoor carpets

  • Parasols

Read more about how to Get involved including a promotional leaflet and inspirational DVD for sharing the idea with others.

Explore Your BLeX to access a range of resources to support your activity and make links with learning.


Case Studies

How could this approach be shared with other schools in a way that makes it achievable and manageable?

Whole site planning - the school develop a whole site strategy and use the BLeX to test ideas.

Whole site planning - the school develop a whole site strategy and use the BLeX to test ideas.

New approaches to teaching and learning - the BLeX resources are used with construction students.

New approaches to teaching and learning - the BLeX is used as a taster for 14-19 CBE Diploma students. New School Design - the BLeX helps students discover and use new outdoor spaces

To feature as a case study complete and submit your BLeX Users Diary. Microsoft Word 230kb


If you are a Hampshire Secondary School..

The resources here will help your school to build support for carrying out a BLeX and accessing the equipment.

Other Interest Groups

If you are a Designer, Artist, Primary School, Community Group with an interest in the BLeX we would be happy to hear from you.



The resources here will help you to plan and run and review your BLeX activity and make links to learning

BLeX Group of Shapes


Review and Evaluation

What have you learned?

The Review Framework Microsoft Word 226kb here can be used to help structure discussion with the BLeX team and others.

Here are some tips to help you carry out a successful review:

  • Plan your review as soon as possible after your BLeX.

  • Involve the whole BLeX team and others who you think need to know what you have discovered. This could include senior managers, governors or landscape architects or designers you may be working with.

  • Share your review with the Schools Landscape Programme team so that your school can feature here as a case study.

What people have said about the BLeX:


News and Events

  • 14th-18th June 2010 Everest Community College, Basingstoke

Everest Community College used the BLeX as part of Technology week.

Approximately 30 students ages 11-14 used the resources to learn how to design an outside space and make it work.

Through the activity they explored improvements to play and social opportunities, developed their personal learning and thinking skills and helped to build co hesion within the school.

  • 12th - 26th May 2010 The Arnewood School, New Milton

The Arnewood School used the BLeX to explore the design of seating areas within their school grounds

  • BLeX wins Landscape Institute award

The BIG Landscape eXperiment has won the "Highly Commended" Award in the Communications and Presentation category of the 2009 Landscape Institute Awards held in London on 19th November 2009.

Judges’ comment:

‘The judges were hugely impressed by this great tool for communication and engagement.’