Pupils chat to Deputy First Minister about their award-winning project

John Swinney with design project pupils

Midlothian pupils met with Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Member for Education and Skills John Swinney this week to talk about an award-winning project empowering children to shape the design of their schools.

mi:SPACE won the award this week

The Lasswade and former Loanhead pupils enjoyed a chat with Mr Swinney about the mi:SPACE initiative, which took the prize for Best Pupil/Student Experience at the Education Buildings Scotland Awards the previous evening.

The pupils addressed the conference

The young people also presented their experiences to delegates at the Education Buildings Scotland conference at which Mr Swinney gave the opening keynote address.

The project is ground-breaking

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Cllr Jim Muirhead said: “This is a ground-breaking initiative involving numerous partner agencies and giving 800 pupils across Midlothian the chance to have their say on the spaces in which they learn.

“It took teachers and learners into new territory.

Cllr Muirhead congratulated the winners

“I’m delighted mi:SPACE has won this award. It’s very well-deserved and the benefits of the project will be enjoyed by pupils, staff, parents and the wider community for generations to come.”

28 primary classes took part

In total, 28 primary classes were involved. The schools taking part in mi:SPACE made decisions about their learning spaces, directed by research and trials undertaken by the students. Covering a range of features including environmental factors, the pupils and teachers really engaged with the project. Schools had the chance to take part in STEM projects, competitions, expert visits, virtual reality sessions and a range of workshops to help inspire their designs.

Some classes made technology hubs

Some classes focused on new learning zones, increased comfort and agile spaces. Other classes made technology hubs and improved their outdoor learning. The classes enjoyed using a range of equipment and found that being empowered to create a new space, and having more ownership over their learning environment created confident students, who couldn't wait to get to school in the morning.

More information

The picture shows Mr Swinney with Jessica Bryce, Harvey Small, Verity Bell, Lewis Bryson, Anna Pettigrew, Constance Cairns and Kirstie Lang. Also pictured are Karen Hinton, a teacher at Loanhead Primary School, Lynsey Binnie, who teaches at Lasswade Primary School, and Councillor Jim Muirhead, Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education.

24 Nov 2017