It is an inclusive approach, taken throughout the project, which will ensure the long-term success of any school grounds project. If the project is quite minor, then you may get away with a minimal sharing of the concept and planning. Otherwise you will need to consult and engage your school community to collaborate in this shared endeavour.
The inclusive approach need not be complicated or time consuming. Keep it simple by imparting relevant information via assemblies, class sessions, notice boards etc. It is essential to consult with the direct school community – the children, young people, teaching and non-teaching staff – or at least a representative group of them. It is less important, but useful, to consult with the indirect community of parents, guardians, ex pupils etc.
The benefits of this consultation process are far reaching and set the tone for a change in your school culture. In a short time, you can expect:
- Significant improvements in children’s and young people’s behaviour, especially in school.
- The constructive motivation of your school community.
- That the results are wholly positive and far reaching.
- The building up of positive relationships and friendships.
In the longer term, it can be envisioned that such changes can have a significant impact on the local neighbourhood.
There are very few legitimate places where a community can easily create their own significant place in the world. This is it.