Young People's Community Consultation

December 2009, Queen's Hill Junior School, Norfolk

"It was really good to work with external partners and enabled the whole community to work together" (teacher)

"I learnt that you need to think more about what you are doing before you start" (pupil)

Project Summary

Over three days in December, Shape East ran a Making Neighbourhoods workshop and community consultation at Queen’s Hills Junior School, Norfolk.

This included a two-day workshop with the primary school pupils to develop their understanding and participation in planning processes using creative methodologies such as model-making, on-site tours, drawing and map reading, focused specifically on a new community centre planned for the area. A community consultation was then held on the final day to feedback to local authorities and the general public the visions that the young people had for the area.

The centre is part of a wider planning application for a large scale development site, some of which has already been built at Queen’s Hill, to the North West of Norwich just outside Costessey in Norfolk.

The development at Queen’s Hill is to include over 1500 new homes, with associated facilities and infrastructure, about a third of which has already been built.

The School Workshop

The two day school workshop gave pupils the opportunity to think about their local area and what they would like to see from the possible community centre, for themselves, their neighbours and families.They explored the facilities they would like made available in a centre and how they might benefit from these.

The pupils then took part in a model-making activity, working individually and in groups to create 3D models of the centre from their own sketches. They were given guidelines to consider, including who lives and visits Queen’s Hills, who would use the community centre, what could the centre would be used for and what could the centre look like.

Parents then attended an awards presentation at the end of the second day during which the pupils presented their models of the community centres and placed them on a huge site plan of the area. They discussed what the centre would look like, what it would be used for and why they designed the centre in the way that they did.

To view what the young people most wanted from this site, please download the results here.

The Community Consultation

A consultation workshop was then held with the local community during which the children’s models, as well as the results of the two day schoolworkshop, were displayed and discussed. Councillors, planning officers, community officers and parents/residents of Queen’s Hill came along to view these results and to take part in a series of activities which allowed them the opportunity to put their own ideas forward regarding the proposed community centre and to compare these with the ideas of the younger pupils.

Example of the Young People's Models:

Example of the Young People's Consultation Boards:

Feedback (taken from independent evaluation consultancy report) :

From the pupils:

"Making the buildings...was fun and excellent"

"Designing the community centre and showing the parents our models and working together was great"

"I learnt how to read a map. It helped a lot of people get on more"

I learnt how to work as a team"

"I learnt how to put some ideas into my community centre"

"I learnt about different houses and how they are made"

"I like finding out about the history"

From the teachers:

"I believe this project gave the children a real insight into the development,(particularly as they live in a developing community) and it also gave them an insight into the history of the area"

"I feel the project had a real impact on their (the pupils') ability to work together. The class generally find it difficult to listen to others and was wonderful to observe the children working together and sorting out their differences"

"They (the pupils) enjoyed finding out about their local area and the history relating to the name of their community - so did I!"

Contact Shape East

If you are interested in developing a similar workshop in your school, youth or community group or would like more information on our education programme, please contact us on:

tel: 01223 462606