Adaptive school grounds design in response to COVID-19: Findings from six primary schools in South East England

Quinn, Alison and Russo, Alessio ORCID: 0000-0002-0073-7243 (2022) Adaptive school grounds design in response to COVID-19: Findings from six primary schools in South East England. Building and Environment, 215. Art 108946. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2022.108946

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The purpose of this research is to look at how primary schools in England have adapted their outdoor spaces in the context of COVID-19 rules and guidelines to meet the needs of students returning from school closures and national lockdown of Spring/Summer 2020, how that impacted play and learning value of their grounds, and to consider how these findings might inform future school grounds design. Thus, we used a mixed-method approach that included qualitative interviews with representatives from six primary schools (three in rural and three in urban areas), quantitative desk research, and in-person site surveys. We used literature-based scoring criteria to quantify changes in the playground before and after the implementation of COVID-19 measures. The research reveals that the zoning of play areas and other aspects of the school grounds may negatively affected the value of play and learning. We also found a substantial disparity in the amount of outside space per pupil (OSPP) available across schools. Those with the lowest OSPP also had the lowest outdoor and environmental learning provision, lacking the flexibility to accommodate this alongside other requirements of staggered play breaks and PE. The amount of outdoor space that a school has available per pupil averaged at 32 m2 for urban schools and 43 m2 for rural schools. Finally, we have explored how spatial layout and design elements may have supported or inhibited schools' abilities to respond to children's needs, and how this might inform adaptive school grounds design considerations for the future.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture > SB469 Landscape gardening. Landscape architecture
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Alessio Russo
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2022 09:54
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 15:56

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