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Ursuline Academy’s new classroom unveiled by Mike Gapes MP

Ursuline Academy unveils new DT classroom after winning Dulux design competition

The school year has got off to a bright start for students at Ursuline Academy following the makeover of their DT classroom after winning a national competition by Dulux.

Unveiled by local MP, Mike Gapes, at an event last Friday (14 October), the classroom brings to life the students’ winning design for the Smarter Spaces 2016 Young Designers Competition.

The Ilford school came out on top in the national competition after being shortlisted from hundreds of entries for the creative and innovative design. Their prize – the opportunity to work with professional Dulux designers to bring their design to life – was celebrated at an event which brought together local political, education and community leaders, including the Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Gurdial Bhamra.

Edna Reilly, Head of Design and Technology at Ursuline Academy, said: “The Smarter Spaces Young Designers Competition has been a fantastic experience and has empowered the girls to take ownership over their school.

 “Working as a team helped refine the students’ communication and planning skills, whilst collaborating with Dulux to bring the design to life gave them first-hand experience of managing a real life project.

 “It is great for the students to see their design up on the walls and it was wonderful to see their faces when they first saw the new classroom.”

Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, added:

“The school’s victory in Dulux’s competition is a fantastic achievement and reflects the hard work of the students and teachers involved.

“Their success truly embodies the collaborative ethos of Ursuline Academy and their long tradition of working together to go above and beyond the day to day to deliver excellent results.

“The new classroom is clearly a space where the school’s students can set their imaginations free.”

In a short presentation the winning students described their design concept which focused on creating a classroom that “stimulates ideas” and encourages more girls to continue design and technology beyond Key Stage 3. Under the guidance of Floraine Fidegnon, the school’s STEM Ambassador, the students collaborated with Dulux’s professional designers to build on that concept – creating a classroom that echoes inspirational words from civil rights activists like Maya Angelou to tech revolutionaries like Steve Jobs.

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