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The sky is the limit

Budding young designers triumph in national design competition powered by Dulux

Posted by Hannah Oakman | June 21, 2016 | Events

Pupils at St Mary and Joseph’s RC Primary School and Ursuline Academy have been left with smiles painted on their faces after competing with hundreds of schools to win a free makeover to transform their schools based on their very own designs as part of the Smarter Spaces 2016 Young Designers Competition, powered by Dulux.

In the primary school category, Blackburn-based primary school St Mary and Joseph’s came out on top. As part of their submission, pupils said their ‘intervention space’ was in dire need of a makeover because it was “dull” and “boring”, and made them feel “claustrophobic”. The school’s pupils sought the ideas of their peers and teachers to come up with their ‘The Sky is the Limit’ concept – a “calming room which stimulates our imaginations and engages us with our learning.”

Ursuline Academy pupils

In the secondary school category, pupils at London-based Ursuline Academy were singled out for their originality. Pupils said their design and technology room should be revamped to “let their imaginations be set free”. The school’s team of pupils surveyed their peers on what they wanted to change with better storage, tables and chairs the most popular features. Their final concept concentrated on creating a room that “stimulated ideas” and encouraged more girls to consider taking design and technology.

The winning entries were shortlisted by Dulux and judged by members of the Smarter Spaces Learner Teacher Council, who chose a primary and secondary design to become a reality.

The competition is a key part of the Smarter Spaces campaign which – in partnership with some of the UK’s leading teachers, heads, designers and policymakers – aims to raise awareness of the positive impact that well designed classrooms can have on learning, and support schools across the country to make the change – be it through small tweaks or major overhauls.

Ursuline Academy sketch

Speaking about winning this year’s 2016 Young Designers Competition, Simone Abby, Assistant Headteacher at St Mary and Joseph’s RC Primary School, said: “The children thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Smarter Spaces 2016 Young Designers Competition. They thrived through using their imagination and creativity to design an inspirational room which will provide a new learning environment for all of the school. The pupils, staff, parents and governors were thrilled when they received the fantastic news that through their hard work the pupils will see their ideas become a reality.”

Speaking about winning this year’s 2016 Young Designers Competition, Edna Reilly, Head of Design & Technology at Ursuline Academy, said: “We were really proud when we received the news that our project had won the secondary school category in this year’s Smarter Spaces Young Designers Competition. It has been an amazing experience and we can’t wait to meet the Dulux Team to create a learning environment that will really benefit the whole school community.”


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