Peter Clegg RDI & Andrew Grant RDI at Abbeywood & Church Hill

On Friday 8 January 2016, the first creative workshop bringing students from Abbeywood First School and Church Hill Middle School together with Peter Clegg RDI and Andrew Grant RDI was held, some of it in the bracing January outdoors!

Their brief? To come up with ideas for a sculpture that will sit outside between the entrance of the two schools. The space is currently home to plants and is ripe for a creative intervention.

The project is to create a pupil-led sculpture that reflects what school means to the children and marks the closer working of the schools as new RSA academies. The two schools are located right next door to each other with a shared courtyard space separating the two entrances. Two teachers, Mrs Frost from Abbeywood First School and Mrs Lewis from Church Hill Middle School have devised this design project and an exciting, visual way to mark this point in the schools’ history for pupils, parents, teachers and raise the profile of the schools to their local community.

The students who took part in the design workshop represented each class across the two schools and they are now charged with being ambassadors for this project and in gathering further ideas and inspiration from their classmates. The spent some time on the site (this was the outdoors bit!) and carefully measured the area, took photos and made sketches before heading indoors to make models and do some research on their iPads. Thinking about scale and the relationship to the existing building was a key element of the design thinking. The teachers are open minded about the materials the sculpture will be made from as long as it is high quality, low maintenance and will last a long time outdoors.

The students are going to hold an assembly in each school and have the chance to develop their ideas further before a winning design (or designs) is chosen. Without giving too much away, the children were already excited by colour, vertical plant walls, stars, waterfalls, arches, spirals, stone, trees as art, mosiacs, petals, flowers and participation by other students to create the work. The creative journey has begun, watch this space…


Peter Clegg is an architect at FCB Studios. He is regarded as a key pioneer in environmental design, with more than 30 years’ experience in low energy architecture and is actively involved in research, design and education. Peter works primarily in the education and cultural sectors. He has led projects at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, London’s Southbank CentreBrighton Dome and the new Leventis gallery in Cyprus. His active involvement in schools and higher education projects includes a new School of Engineering in Toronto and an academy in Bangladesh. Peter is the Chair of the RIBA Awards Panel and holds a professorship at Bath University. In 2010 Peter was made a Royal Designer for Industry.

Andrew Grant is a landscape architect. He formed Grant Associates in 1997 to explore the emerging frontiers of landscape architecture within sustainable development. He has a fascination with creative ecology, each of his projects responds to the place, its inherent ecology and its people. In 2012 Andrew was awarded the title of Royal Designer for Industry in recognition of his pioneering global work in Landscape Architecture and is also a Visiting Professor for the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, UK. In 2010 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA reflecting the strong relationships he has developed with many of the leading architects in the UK and abroad and his work on key architectural projects such as the 2008 Stirling Prize winning Accordia and the £500 million Gardens by the Bay project at Bay South in Singapore.

Related project: Royal Designers for Industry (RDI)