‘The delivery of education in the UK is currently undergoing a major renaissance, the likes of which has never before been seen, and for the first time a more holistic approach is being adopted’.¹
The central government Department for Children, Schools and families has set a clear vision: ‘To make this the best place in the World for children and young people to grow up’ and in the past 10 years the UK has seen huge developments and spending within governmental policy which will transform education and its settings both inside outside the classroom.
Whether it’s a nursery, school, college or university, the spending programmes which include Sure Start, Building Schools for the Future and the Primary Capital Programme, aim to create learning environments which inspire all young people to unlock hidden talents and reach their full potential.
With the largest school building programme since Victorian times now underway across the UK, and with a heightened importance on creating stimulating and creative outdoor environments, Marshalls, the UK’s leading hard landscaping transformation company, has launched its Manifesto for Education in response to the growing needs of the education sector for expertise, guidance and sustainable products to create stimulating and creative outdoor learning areas.
Marshalls understand what makes good design within an educational landscape and has supplied over 1,860 schools within the last 3 years alone with products including hard landscaping, street furniture and water management solutions across the UK. Transforming outdoor areas around educational buildings allows young people to experience much more than books and computers. As well as the benefits of fresh air, a change of environment stimulates different senses and enables learning to be undertaken in diverse and new ways.
Romy Rawlings, a Marshalls Chartered Landscape Architect firmly believes that a sensitively planned and constructed educational landscape offers countless opportunities for learning, fun, achievement, exercise and play and says:
“A school’s surroundings should be attractive and welcoming to all who use them - if the quality of the environment impacts directly upon the behaviour of those who use it, investment in the grounds of a school will surely reap many rewards - staff retention, higher student numbers and an improvement in learning to name a few”.
With this in mind, Marshalls has launched its ‘Manifesto for Education’ which sets out its pledge to transform outdoor educational landscapes for all children and young people.
Marshalls Manifesto for Education:
To use our knowledge and experience to provide the education sector with the tools and integrated products they need to transform their landscapes
To provide easily accessible information, resources and guidance to create a stimulating outdoor environment
To provide materials that will help with pupil and community consultation and engagement
To continue to support local community based projects to help build a sense of community and provide opportunity for increased learning
To lead our industry in providing educational landscapes with sustainable solutions which consider all social, economic and environmental factors
Along with the Manifesto, Marshalls is launching a number of support materials and online guidance to assist in design and product specification aimed specifically at those involved in the planning, design, specification and construction of outdoor areas around schools, colleges and universities. This will include Marshalls Educational Landscapes book which is the most comprehensive guide to date for creating better educational landscapes. The book brings together thoughts and suggestions from leading landscape architects on the design of outdoor learning areas and provides a wide range of products to choose from to extend learning opportunities beyond the classroom.