Time: 11:40 - 12:40

Date: 27-Nov-2019


Designing a bespoke curriculum: making an old building fit for purpose! Gregor Kirk, North Ayrshire

Corsehill Primary School is located in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire. The building is made up of an original main block built in the 1950s and a series of extensions added in the 1970s. The design of the building controlled the delivery of the curriculum. A traditional layout with traditional closed classrooms led to a traditional curriculum.  Working in an area of high deprivation with a number of socio-economic problems meant that a traditional delivery of the curriculum did not work for our community and we were not getting the best possible outcome for our learners.

Over the past five years we have made drastic changes to how we use the space within our building and used creative, innovative ideas to re-imagine the spaces available in our traditional school and addressed how we as a team deliver the curriculum. The development of innovative learning zones throughout our school building and garden has created a bespoke curriculum that fully encourages children to be curious about the world they live in and seek to explore the many possibilities that a strong education can give a young person in their life.

The Potential of the existing estate: Christoph Ackermann, BDP

The existing education estate can often be regarded as a burden to education and public bodies. Backlog maintenance, poor utilisation and inflexible layouts superficially render many existing education buildings unfit to deliver affordable excellence in education. As a result new-built projects are often regarded as the most obvious solution to improve the estate.

This approach disregards the inherit value and quality of the existing estate. Refurbishment or integration of existing buildings can be a cost effective and valuable alternative to new build. BDP have delivered a number of fantastic education projects, from early years to tertiary sector, which make use and improve upon the existing estate. BDP will discuss this by presenting a number of case studies, including for example Ayr Grammar, Marr College and the University of Strathclyde’s Learning and Teaching Project.

The impact of new secondary school buildings on students and teachers: Dr Eddie Edgerton, University of the West of Scotland  

Whilst Scotland has benefitted from substantial investment in its school estate in recent years, there is a lack of evidence highlighting the precise nature and extent of these benefits.  Much of the work aimed at improving the school estate lacks a focus on the potential benefits associated with these improvements.  However, investment in the school estate provides a unique opportunity to develop an evidence base that could both demonstrate the value associated with making changes to school environments, whilst at the same time informing future investment. We present research undertaken to identify the benefits associated with a secondary school rebuilding project.


  • Gregor Kirk Primary Teacher - North Ayrshire
  • Christoph Ackermann Principal, Architecture - BDP
  • Dr Eddie Edgerton University of the West of Scotland


  • View full profile for Simon MairSimon Mair Scottish Government

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