With some 10 lessons taught in the classroom at secondary C of E school, SMSJ (St Mary’s and St John’s) in Barnet, more than 60 Year 7 students have completed the inaugural pilot phase of Stephen George + You – a programme specially designed to introduce schoolchildren to Architecture and Sustainability and to encourage them to explore the built environment.
Architects and Master Planners, Stephen George + Partners LLP, in partnership with sustainability communications consultancy The Heaven Company and its Brief Cases education initiative have devised a unique tailor-made programme for schools.
Brief Cases is a model for co-operation between academia and business and brings education and the world of work closer together. Around 1,000 university students across the country each year undertake an industry-led Brief Cases project within their learning and receive credit in fulfilment of their degree. Stephen George + You, Architecture and Sustainability marks the first time that the Brief Cases methodology has been used within a school environment.
Stephen George + Partners LLP is an award-winning architectural practice that is committed to delivering long-term sustainability. The company creates value through a strong sense of business purpose and recognises Corporate Social Responsibility as an integral discipline within its Practice. The schools programme forms part of Stephen George + Partners’ wider Responsible Business and Social Value commitments.
The 10 week programme entitled: ‘Architecture and sustainability – looking to the future’, started in September 2017 and has revealed some extraordinary innate talents among the 11 and 12-year-old students, including trailblazing engineering ideas, ingenious designs and new concepts on how waste materials could be used to power homes of the future.
SMSJ in Barnet is the first school to complete the pilot programme, which will span locations aligned with Stephen George + Partners offices in London, Leeds and Leicester – the hometown where the architect firm is headquartered.
Head of Design and Technology at SMSJ, Miss Philippa Wimberley explained: “From the very beginning of our discussions, we were clear that SMSJ wanted to be involved with Stephen George + Partners, and Brief Cases. The lesson plans they’ve come up with are extremely well structured and spot-on for how we work and help our students to excel. We believe that everything is possible and want to nurture and inspire our students, so as a school and with the support of our senior leadership team, we were comfortable to give the full cohort of Year Seven students’ exposure to the project. And, the students have absolutely loved making and designing their model homes, particularly as they’ve seen television programmes such as Grand Designs; and here they are, as students designing and building their very own model version.”
Mark Smith, director at Stephen George + Partners led the project on behalf of the architectural Practice and played a leading role in delivering the lessons. Mark was on hand to give feedback directly to the students following their group pitches and the presentation of their ideas and mock-up model homes. He praised them saying: “You’ve listened to everything I’ve said since the beginning. Incorporating ground source heat pumps, hydroelectric technology, using solar panels and recognising the sun’s path in the placement of the living room areas shows that you’ve understood how important sustainability is. This is a fantastic collective effort and demonstrates great teamwork to bring your ideas together.”
Veronica Heaven, founder of Brief Cases and managing director of The Heaven Company said: “We are absolutely thrilled with how this first stage of the pilot programme has run. We are continuing to work with a mixed age group of students at SMSJ from years 7 to 10 as part of the after-school STEAM Club that the students voluntarily attend focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. Already, the design concepts and discussions that are emerging makes it clear why the time invested is worthwhile – we are helping to shape tomorrow’s architects and engineers.”
About Stephen George + Partners: UK leading architectural practice Stephen George + Partners LLP is a group of Award-winning Architects and Master Planners. Established in 1970, Stephen George + Partners’ accomplished and creative architectural design team has collectively more than 100 years of experience. With offices in London, Leicester, Leeds and Solihull, the Practice provides pragmatic sustainable solutions to clients in the private and public sector and offers specialisms in Master Planning in the Industrial, Logistics, Office, Education, Retail and Refurbishment sectors. For further information about Stephen George + Partners visit: www.stephengeorge.co.uk
About The Heaven Company:
Brief Cases is an initiative from The Heaven Company. The Heaven Company is a specialist communications business providing expertise and management support to clients in formulating Corporate Responsibility and sustainability strategy - and to effectively implement, measure and report it.
Clients in a broad and growing range of sectors (retail, construction, food and drink, energy, leisure, education etc.) benefit from tailored solutions which support their Corporate Responsibility governance, sustainable development and stakeholder communication.
The Heaven Company operates with realism and applies strategic thinking and a detailed understanding of the subject matter to deliver bespoke solutions and produces results with flair, according to plan and within budget.
Define it, implement it, and communicate it – that is The Heaven Company philosophy. For more information visit The Heaven company: www.theheavencompany.com