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RIBA National Schools Programme

First nationwide architecture schools programme

Helping children explore and understand the built environment

RIBA National School Photo Competition – your work exhibited

This autumn, RIBA will be hosting a Circular Design exhibition that will explore, explain and celebrate sustainability, recycling, the reuse of materials and the retrofitting of buildings.  

We would love for students’ interpretations of ‘circular design’ principles to be part of the exhibition and we are launching a national photography

We would like students to explore their own school and find good examples of recycling, reusing, retro-fitting, and sustainable/environmentally friendly design features or activities.

Find out more about any of these topics or what they mean then watch our Building the future film featured below.

Students should then photograph what they have found and send their photographs along with an explanatory paragraph to sophie.draper@riba.org by 22 July. The best photographs and story will feature in RIBA’s Circular Design exhibition.

Entries should fall within one of these four categories, and one winner will be selected per category

  1. New build – a new school which has been designed with the environment in mind.
  2. Retrofit – a school which has installed or changed significant parts of their buildings, such as insulation, new windows, altering walls, doors, ceilings or floors.
  3. Repurpose – a school that have come up with a clever way of changing how a space is used instead of demolishing it.
  4. Small change – even small things can make a big difference; a school might have started harvesting rainwater for their toilets or changed the type of lights they use.
  5. Actions – even without material changes to a school there are things that we can all do, including switching off lights, using less heating and using renewable energy.

One overall winner will be selected for a visit to their schools delivered by RIBA Learning and an architect who specialises in sustainability.

New film for Key Stage 3 and 4 students

Discover our brand-new film for Key Stage 3 and 4 students to explore climate change and the built environment. Featuring exemplary designs and architecture professionals, this film provides inspiration as to how we can tackle the climate crisis through design and innovation, so that together we can build a better, more sustainable future for us all.

Find out more about how to use our Building the Future film in your classroom.

RIBA National Schools Programme

The Royal Institute of British Architects National Schools Programme aims to help children explore and understand the built environment: its impact on people and communities; how it is shaped and developed; and why good design is important. It empowers children to develop their thoughts on architecture and make their voice heard in the debate.

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Supporters of the RIBA National Schools Programme

RIBA is a charity and relies on funding to run its National Schools Programme. Funding from trusts, foundations and donors enables our workshops to be free for schools. 

We are very grateful to the following supporters:

  • Clore Duffield Foundation
  • Ernest Cook Trust
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Kirby Laing Foundation
  • Old Possum’s Practical Trust
  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • Royal Commission for the Great Exhibition of 1851
  • The Sackler Trust
  • All practices signed up to the Future Architects Pledge
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