Professor Peter Barrett’s work on Clever Classrooms in Sustainable Schools has been recognised by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) Green Gown Awards 2015.
Now in its 11th year, the Green Gown Awards initiative recognises the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK.
With sustainable development moving up the global agenda, the Awards are established as the most prestigious recognition of sustainability excellence within the tertiary education sector, as well as the environmental sector.
When the Clever Classrooms study was originally published in February 2015, it received widespread media interest, which has continued. It has also grown to include workshops with the UK Department for Education, the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, and joint working with the Australian Council for Educational Research, the Paris-based OECD and the US Green Building Council.
The report was based on the results of the HEAD Project (Holistic Evidence and Design), which was undertaken by the University and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
It showed, for the first time, clear evidence that well-designed primary school classrooms boost children’s learning progress in reading, writing and maths.
Good natural light, temperature, air quality, individualised classroom design and a mid-level of visual stimulation through the use of colour and complexity were revealed to be among the biggest physical factors impacting on pupils’ learning progress.
Peter and his research team, from the School of the Built Environment, spent three years collecting data on 3766 pupils and carrying out detailed surveys of the 153 classrooms they occupied – from 27 very diverse schools across three local authorities – Blackpool County Council, Hampshire Council and the London Borough of Ealing Council.
The winners will be announced at the Green Gown Awards Ceremony, which takes place in Brunel’s Old Fire Station, in Bristol, on 26 November 2015.
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