School focuses on outdoor space

Edinburgh City Council has adopted a curriculum-led planning approach, with a focus on the provision of external learning places, in its plans for a new school.

The aim is to build the design around Scotland's new Curriculum for Excellence and to create special learning spaces focused on a several different subjects.

A briefing design document for James Gillespie's High School has highlighted the importance of outdoor space. It states: "External learning opportunities are critical to the success of James Gillespie's aims and the school is keen to see a strong narrative on how the external learning landscape will contribute to the design solution."

The intention is to use areas outside for specific learning purposes through the creation of amphitheatres, horticultural spaces and outdoor terraces.

The design document shows plans that incorporate habitat areas, nature trails, cycle trails and a reed-bed filtering system to improve the site's eco-footprint.

City council education leader Marilyne MacLaren said: "With this project, we are rewriting the rule book in terms of school design in Scotland.

"While 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."

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