An Ideal Schoolyard
If high school and college students could create their ultimate schoolyard space, what would it look like?
Based on the submissions for The Schoolyard I’d Like ideas competition, they are places of castle adventure parks, hydroelectric dams, Versailles – style gardens and gazebos with comfortable seating areas. They are also kitchen gardens, slides, fitness equipment, colourful reading nooks and shaded seating areas for students and community members alike.
These are but a few of the many ideas shared by thirty five students across six Canberra schools as part of the recent schoolyard ideas competition run through the University of Canberra. Common to all the entries was the need for places that were safe, engaging and most importantly, FUN.
Schoolyards provide students with a daily dose of green space. However, research around the outdoor preferences of adolescents is sparse. The ideas competition provided the opportunity to reveal the types of schoolyard spaces that young adults desire. These ideas will help inform future green space designs – particularly in schools. Jurors for the competition included Tracy Gallagher (Director of Health Promotions, ACT Education Directorate); Veronika Pasalic (Program Manager of It’s Your Move, ACT Health) Nicki Ricza (Project Officer at Infrastructure Capital Works, ACT Education Directorate) and Gweneth Leigh (Health Research Institute, University of Canberra).