JBH Refurbishments launched its Design the Best Classroom Ever Competition in February. It was initiated as an early introduction to design and construction and was run in primary schools throughout the South East.
While the competition offered a cash prize of £250 to spend on classroom supplies for the winning pupil’s class, the concept also provided an educational opportunity for children to put their creative and methodical skills to the test. As a result, teachers across the South East got involved, using the competition as an art lesson, a computer lesson and even setting it as homework.
“We received over 200 entries, far more than expected and we were blown away by the originality and thought process of many of the designs,” explains Babs Hubbard Director of JBH Refurbishments.
The judges from JBH Refurbishments and honouree judge, Iain Mcilwee from FIS (Finishes Interior Sector) had the difficult decision of choosing just two winners – one from key stage one and one from key stage two.
They weren’t just looking for good colouring or a neat drawing, the concept had to be unique and winning designs certainly were.
The two winners of the Design the Best Classroom Ever Competition were Penny Bates, age 7 of Fortune Class at Thames View Primary and Florence Mannell, age 10 of 6C Staplehurst Primary School. The two will receive £250 each for their class to spend on classroom supplies of their choice. Their teachers will help the winners with their final decision.
“The level of entries to the competition has been exceptional and selecting two winners was extremely difficult. However, the two finalists stood out for their creative and imaginative approach to designing the ideal learning environment,” explains Hubbard.
About the Winning Designs
Key Stage Two Winner
Florence Mannell, age 10 from Staplehurst Primary School created a classroom with a secret library, hidden behind a wall that opened to reveal a magnificent selection of books that come to life when you read them. Featured in the main classroom design is a giant calculator, a touch board for discovering chemical reactions, a unicorn that provides equations, a writing machine to help with ideas and structure, and an outdoor football pitch for playtime. The attention to detail was impressive to say the least. Florence even provided information on the back of her entry about each item within her design.
Key Stage One Winner
Penny Bates, age 7 from Thames View Primary, developed her design around a Monopoly Board. The square desks were arranged to create the shape of the iconic board game. Students of this classroom design begin the day at the ‘Start’ table and roll the oversized die in the middle of the classroom to decide which table they should go to next. Each table provides a task, such as reading, baking, art and fun maths. We commend Penny for her creative concept, and for coming up with an alternative approach to the school day structure.
Due to the high level of entries, JBH’s judges have decided to award a runner up prize of £150 to Felicity Bemand-Qureshi of class Prep 3 at St Joseph’s Convent School. Felicity, age 10 impressed the judges with her consideration for space planning by adding a mezzanine floor where students could read and relax with noise of a water feature. Felicity used bright colours throughout and designed story book shaped light features.
The winners will decide with their teachers how best to spend the £250 prize money, which will be made payable direct to the school.
The Directors at JBH Refurbishments were so impressed by the entries that we have decided to make the final designs into 3D visuals that the winners can keep. We will reveal the winning visuals in just a few weeks.
Thank You to Everyone Who Entered
“We would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who got involved in the first JBH competition of this kind. We hope that it was fun and has inspired the next generation of architects, interior designers and builders.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed receiving the designs and seeing what is important to children when it comes to their classroom environment,” concludes Hubbard.