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Aspiration & Achievement

When completed, this school in a park will support student learning and wellbeing through interactions with nature throughout the day.


Recognizing ‘nature is nurturing’—when completed—this school within a park will reinforce the value outdoor learning and outdoor connections bring to students and staff. This is based on the foundational principle that engaging with nature is restorative, as well as an understanding of the physical and psychological benefits of connecting with nature creating feelings of well-being and sustaining students’ ability to learn.

The documented restorative effect of nature on learning is referred to as the nature-academic performance relationship. Nature benefits cognitive functioning by allowing students to recover from mental fatigue, psychological stress and allowing their attention to rest. Connections to nature can reduce a student’s blood pressure and stress hormones, and refuel the energy used from responding to stress, restoring a feeling of well-being.

The design concept develops a park-like setting and locates the new school within the “park.” Windows that maximize exposure to natural daylight and views outside, outdoor courtyards and covered walkways all integrate brief, restorative moments with nature for everyone throughout the school day. Inside, a strategically used color palette of blue, green, and violet creates comfortable and identifiable places for students to reset—affording them the ability to feel whole as individuals and as a community while nurturing cognitive and emotional well-being for successful learning experiences.