Sponsored through the School's Engagement Fund, this project was inspired by the paintings of George Shaw of his teenage home and neighbourhood in Coventry. George Shaw had his own exhibition at the Baltic in May 2011 and was nominated for the Turner Prize in December 2011.
Working alongside Part II Architecture students Jennie Webb and Lauren Wedderburn, Teresa Strachan (Senior Teacher at APL) worked with local school children, inspiring them to take photos of their environment. Teresa commented 'By involving young people from a local secondary school to take photos of the area where they live, favourite places around their school and in the city, we hoped to encourage them to observe their built environment. We also wanted to establish if this process of recording a young person's built environment might be a first step for them to engage with the town planning process, to begin a dialogue with built environment professionals'.
This was a day event with A level students across Newcastle, Gateshead and South Tyneside and their Geography teachers, with the aim of helping to smooth the transition between school and university.
In small groups students brainstormed what made places good or bad before moving on to think about what made their location liveable; doing a SWOT exercise on the economic, environmental and social issues of their place. Gathering their ideas they worked on how to present their bid to the whole group - posters and presentations were the most popular choices but we even had a role play. Using TurningPoint technology we voted for the winning bid.
Rose Gilroy said "feedback from the session was positive and made students more aware of planning as a potential career path. From our perspective it was fun, we learned more about the capabilities of an A level cohort and have strengthened relationships with local schools".