16/11/15 - Full School Planning Project Report

The School’s Planning Project went well again this year. 60 youngsters from Year 9’s Geography sets at Wheatley Park and Marlborough Schools took part.
The Project started with a visit to Shipton Quarry, by kind permission of Earthline, the current operators. The youngsters viewed the various activities taking place at the quarry, including stone quarrying, the recycling of demolition materials, protection of the site’s ecology and the site’s reinstatement.
Back at Thomas House, they received on Day One, tutorials relating to Urban Planning, possible future uses of the quarry site and the needs of the area, and ecology. They were asked to consider the impact of the potential alternative uses of the site on local transport, existing settlements and the environment. Back at School in the Classroom, they integrated their ‘Shipton Quarry’ experience with the GCSE Geography syllabus, and set about preparing planning applications for the future use of the quarry. These applications were then presented to the ‘Planning Committee’ at Thomas House on Day Two.
The submissions covered potential  residential, leisure and commercial uses, and the standard of the best submissions were excellent, the youngsters demonstrating an understanding of Green Belt issues, and a keen knowledge of what the area needs.
An added dimension to this year’s exercise has been the offer of planning related work experience by West Waddy ADP. This has been made to the year 10’s at Wheatley Park, who took part in last year’s planning project.
This sets the seal on an extremely good Education / Business project, that not only builds on the GCSE syllabus being delivered in the Classroom, but now also leads to related and constructive work experience.
We are indebted to Earthline (Nick Waite and Richard Adams), West Waddy ADP (urban designer - Hannah Smart), Enzygo (ecologist - Kirsty Rogers), Steve Bowley (Minerals Consultant), and particularly to David Coates who designed and co-ordinated the Project.                    
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