Architecture in Schools: Primary

Annual Architecture Programme for primary schools: May-July

Open-City, London’s architecture charity, will be running our exciting Architecture in Schools: Primary programme during the summer term for KS2. During our 2016 programme over 700 pupils from 18 London wide schools participated, partnering with over 60 architects and built environment professionals.

"This cross-curricular, creative approach to learning is something that our school values very much: providing learning through real-life, practical situations with a purposeful outcome. It has also introduced the children to the idea of our built environment and its relevance to our everyday lives. For both children and staff, the opportunity to learn from our partnered professionals is a valuable experience, as is the evening modeling training for staff. Both are great CPD. Throughout the project, learning in Maths, Science, DT and Art and Design is promoted. The maths curriculum places great emphasis on the application of mathematical knowledge to help solve problems, and the ability to reason and justify within maths, and this project provides these opportunities from beginning to end. National Curriculum aims in Science and DT are also addressed and children begin to see the links between subjects. We have continued to apply for Architecture in Schools: Primary project because it is a rich learning experience for our pupils. Taking part has encouraged me, as the creative development lead, to consider how we can incorporate architecture into our school curriculum and it is my intention that this will continue to develop."

Sarah Smith, Teacher, Henry Maynard Primary School, 2014-2016 participant

Get Involved

We will be recruiting schools for the next programme in January-February 2017.

Architecture in Schools: Primary is a comprehensive programme for primary school pupils in years 4, 5 & 6. The programme focuses on D&T and art subjects plus a strand specifically for maths.

Open-City arranges and accompanies pupils and their teachers to visit an inspiring London building together with a built environment professional and a member of our education team who provide specialist knowledge and learning activities.

Visits are then followed up by creative classroom workshops with built environment professionals going into the classroom and helping pupils develop their designs, focusing on model making and drawing. Finally, pupils enter the inter-school competition and winning designs are displayed and celebrated at the awards ceremony, which all participants are invited to.

“‘I like the way the programme gives opportunities to children who might not have them. Very interactive project and very fun!’”
Year 6 pupils, Cubitt Town Junior School, 2016

Click here to find out more about Architecture in Schools: Primary.

Programme Outline

Step 1: Evening workshop for teachers and built environment professionals
Looking at how architecture can enhance the national curriculum and engage pupils

Step 2: Exploration building visit
Exploration visit to one of London's exciting buildings, led by the partner team of architects or engineers and the building's representative, and supported by an Open-City Education team member. Open-City provide on-site activities and resources; architects are also encouraged to create lesson plans and develop additional materials for their partner class, to help structure the visit.

Step 3: Evening model-making training session
All teachers, architects and built environment professionals are invited to develop their model-making skills to use with pupils back in the classroom, in a hands-on workshop.

Step 4: Classroom design development workshop
Architects and built environment professionals go into their partner schools and help pupils to develop their ideas, inspired by the project design brief set by Open-City, and to prepare their competition entries.

Step 5: Competition and awards ceremony
At the end of the project, pupils are invited to submit their work to the inter-school programme competition. Winning individuals/teams have their designs exhibited at the awards reception and are presented with certificates and prizes.

“'Architecture in Schools: Primary is a great project and I feel that many children would benefit from this experience. It helps to build pupils' confidence, team-working skills, co-operation, listening and problem-solving skills. Working with architects was a great experience for the children. Their knowledge and expertise was a huge advantage for the children and it was extremely good to have a different perspective on a task.”
Dorith Morgan, Teacher, Manor Primary School, 2016 participant

Please click here for the summary report for Architecture in Schools: Primary 2016, which provides more information about the stages of the programme.

Contact Zoe Zotou or phone on 0207 383 5722 to find out further information.

Architecture in Schools: Primary 2016

Architecture in Schools: Primary 2016 programme was a great success with over 700 pupils taking part!

Congratulations and a huge thank you to all of the pupils, teachers, design professionals, building representatives and judges who participated in this year's programme!

“'The Architecture in Schools programme is a fabulous way for children and schools to become involved with current architectural, environmental and scientific ideas and explore these in a wider, more applicable context.”

Jane Noble, Lecturer in Primary Education, UCL Institute of Education, 2016 competition judge

Architecture in Schools Primary

View the Architecture in Schools: Primary 2016 summary report to find out more about the programme


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