Spaces for Eating, James Gillespies Primary School

We are culturally emphatic that schools should deliver the best possible spaces for learning. We follow closely, new ideas for what a good learning environment and we would consider one of the best, if not the best, learning spaces at primary school age to be natural outdoor landscape. Additionally, learning occurs through the everyday act of eating and socialising between peers, not just teacher to pupil. At James GIllespies Primary School a feasibility for the parent council investigates alteration and upgrading of the school dining experience, providing solutions to transform a noisy, dark, airless and rather disconcerting existing dining space. Our proposals open up the space to a south west sunny and tree lined external space, introducing views, sunlight, ventilation and a direct connection to a new external dining space. An outside eating space, remarkably, is a cultural shift for the school, which even encourages threads of learning through opportunities such as a new kitchen garden.  These simple but considered changes can weave the everyday lunchtime practice with ideas of nature, growing, nutrition and provides a greater diversity for how different children may wish to interact socially and comfortably at lunchtime. Attention is also given to simple solutions to the quality of the indoor dining space, through quite simple improvements to internal wall surfaces, acoustic and quality of artificial light.

Location: James Gillespie Primary School

Client: JGPS Parent Council