The primary objective was to enhance student retention and attraction, aligning with the school’s growth plan. Additionally, the cultivation of student independence was a paramount aspiration. Overall, the girls would receive a space to develop skills for academic success, plus skills for life beyond school.
The project began with design workshops and discussions, including open evenings showcasing designs and engaging the parents’ and workshops to incorporate the students’ ideas. The collaboration ensured that the student’s needs were central to the design and gave them confidence that their voices had been heard.
During one workshop, students used post-it notes to express how they wished to feel in their new space. The collected responses revealed their hopes for the area and what they wanted to avoid. The Envoplan team took everyone’s input seriously, resulting in the final colour scheme of blues and greens being chosen exclusively by the girls. Despite initial reservations from the staff about a “quirky” seating choice made by the girls, the students adore them and use them daily. Exemplifying the student-focused approach of the designs, granting them a sense of ownership over the space.
The project involved redesigning the sixth form floor, including the staircase, teachers’ offices, a boardroom, and the visitor reception area. Construction work happened during term time, with a temporary staircase installed to minimise the disruption of learning. However, the project faced challenges due to the delicate nature of the original “lath and plaster” walls, limiting the use of modern furnishings.
To create the envisioned bright and airy atmosphere, glass partitions and doors were installed in sections of the corridor walls, allowing ample natural light, and transforming the previously dark and narrow corridor. The design of the sixth form itself included social areas for relaxation, quiet study areas, a wellbeing room and a kitchen.
According to the head of the sixth form, the students asked to study and use the new sixth form space rather than study at home during the holidays. Of course, this was agreed upon and facilitated! Providing students with a dedicated space that offers choice and independence resulted in a sense of belonging and identity and has positively impacted their attitudes towards themselves and their education.
The most significant indicator of any project’s success will always be the students’ enthusiasm to utilise the space. The design of the sixth form itself included social areas for relaxation, quiet study areas, a wellbeing room and a kitchen.
The revitalisation of the sixth form area created a profound impact on both the students experiences and the school as a whole. It generated excitement among younger year groups, inspiring them for their future steps and the opportunity to use the space themselves.
The redesigned area served as a vital stepping stone, preparing students for life beyond sixth form and equipping them with skills such as forward-thinking, self-awareness, and independence, in addition to academic achievements.
Video: The Customer Experience
Overall, the project showcased the school’s commitment to the sixth form and its dedication to providing a supportive environment that nurtures students’ holistic growth.