Edinburgh re-writes the rulebook on new school design

The City of Edinburgh Council is to take an innovative new curriculum-led approach to designing two schools in the city.

James Gillespie's and Portobello High Schools will be developed with the input of a 'pedagogic designer' to help ensure that designs are based around the principles of Curriculum for Excellence - the first time the approach has been used in Scotland. 

Whereas previous school projects have been off-plan this approach looks first at how pupils will learn through the curriculum and builds the design around that. Teachers and educationalists will inform designers and architects about the culture of the school and indicate what they think the needs of the school will be in the future. 
City Education Leader Cllr Marilyne MacLaren said:
 
"With this project, we are re-writing the rulebook in terms of school design in Scotland.  Whilst the budget is the same as that of a school built from a standard template, Gillespie's will be developed imaginatively around the principles of the Curriculum for Excellence. 
"We've started from scratch with big aspirations and we're confident we'll see truly inspiring learning spaces a result."
 
Schools could have informal dining areas, seminar and presentation theatres, collaborative research spaces and classrooms focussed towards a number of subjects rather than just one. 
 
Read more about the project and see what James Gillespie's Head Teacher Alex Wallace has to say in this week's Times Educational Supplement Scotland.
The new James Gillespie's and Portobello schools are being jointly funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and the government's school building programme.

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