More pictures from the new Muswell Hill School Ark, London by Phil Campbell)

During the summer I read this report (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/07/20/surge-number-primary-school-children-expelled-attacking-teachers/) stating that 32% of primary age children are permanently excluded from school due to attacking a teacher and that a further 8% were excluded due to verbal abuse towards teachers (figures provided by the Department of Education). Some experts consider this is due to a change of emphasis on whose rights predominate; the pupil or the teacher? Further theories include the narrowing of the curriculum and focus on exams which is leading to some pupils disengaging from education. So what can be done?

Biophilic design, bringing natural elements into the built environment, has demonstrated positive results in many studies, be it healthcare, the workplace, or in schools. The theory is that we spend too much of our time indoors (approximately 90%) and we therefore have a disconnect with nature. Adopting some of the principles of biophilic design – as defined by Terrapin Bright Green, can lead to more mentally restorative environments. Studies have shown that student wellbeing and learning improves with this design strategy. My next blog will look at specific cases. Watch this space!