Around 300 school children from East London have been learning about design as part of a competition to come up with ideas for public spaces on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The London Legacy Development Corporation’s Schools Programme called M.A.D.E in East London has given 10 schools in the six host boroughs the opportunity to attend a series of workshops to learn about design, place-making and what is happening in their area and the Park.

The children, aged between 13 and 15-years-old, came up with ideas for a space on the Park, then went onto design and build a model of it made of recycled materials. They range from a creating a wishing well to an Olympic themed play area.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

“Young people are the generation that can benefit the most from the dramatic changes happening around them because of the Olympic Games.

“Legacy plans are further ahead than any previous Olympic host city and this is a great way for young people to find out more about what is happening to their area and get excited about the opportunities the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will bring.”

The school children will showcase their designs at a celebration event on the 28 June, 2012, and present their ideas and models to a panel of judges who will award the schools Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes, in keeping with the Olympic theme.

The Legacy Corporation appointed environmental regeneration charity Groundwork London to deliver the schools programme.

Below is a list of the participating schools in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham and Waltham Forest with quotes and images from the school children.

Full list of names of schools:

  • Hackney
  • Clapton Girls Academy
  • Stoke Newington Media, Arts and Science CollegeTower Hamlets
  • Mulberry School for Girls
  • Morpeth School
  • Waltham Forest
  • Kelmscott School
  • Lammas School and Sports College
  • Newham
  • Langdon School
  • Kingsford Community School
  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Eastbury Comprehensive School
  • Greenwich
  • Thomas Tallis School

Images and quotes from each borough:


School: Morpeth School

Image: Group shot of Reggie Regan, Kieran White, Sami Wahid, Khalil Pierre (bottom right) and Bic Dong (aged 14)Image 1

Idea: Wishing Hill – A waterfall with a wishing well to throw coins in and make a wish for the future.

Student Khalil Pierre, 14, from Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets, said:

“We wanted our design to provide visitors to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a view of the natural, green area of London – not just the buildings and tower blocks. The design includes a ‘wishing hill’. People would climb to the top and make a wish while looking down at an amazing water feature. We’ve used natural recycled materials throughout the design.”


School: Eastbury Comprehensive School

Image: Group shot of Laura Butzki, Aadam Sheikh, Humayun Rashid & Abu Siddik (Aged 15)  Image 2

Idea: Reflections: Create five rings linked together representing the Olympic rings made up of a mini park and indoor areas.

Student, Aadam Sheikh, 15 from Eastbury Comprehensive School, said:

“We came up with the idea to create a space based on the five Olympic rings that showcase the best things about the UK, and then a separate space that showed the best aspects of the rest of the world. It is an interactive area providing learning experiences for all ages. Our design has a modern twist with an emphasis on nature. We think it is a unique design.”


School: Kelmscott School

Image: Group shot of Nicholas Rickett, Hamza Saleem , Jordan Elgar , Nimra Akram (second from right) and Joanna Johnson (Aged 14)  Image 3

Idea: Kelmscurve – a historical journey through the centuries starting from the ancient Olympics to London 2012. A ramp takes people through to images which are displayed on a curved wooden structure with another ramp down the other side. Situated underneath is a circular sea of wildflowers.

Student Nimra Akram, 14, from Kelmscott School in Waltham Forest, said:

“We think this would be a fun place of discovery for both adults and children. It shows the history of the Olympics. The ramp would give visitors an elevated view of the Olympic Park. The materials we want to use are reclaimed wood and recycled metals such as copper.”


School: Clapton Girl’s Academy

Image: Group shot of Ela Zent, Kikelomo Ogunyanwo, Rasu Sayad Image 4

Idea: An acoustic cone – A space for listening and moving, a wooden structure, appealing to the senses, especially sound and how it changes.

Student at Clapton Girl’s Academy, Kikelomo Ogunyanwo, 14, said:

“It’s a great opportunity for us to show off our talent and ideas and really think about sustainability. I’m finding this experience really enjoyable. It makes it possible for us to understand sustainability and how this will be embedded in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Now we are looking forward to going to the competition.”


School: Langdon School

Image: Group shot of Arfa Begum, Sabrina Bekouche, Mahgul Ghouri, Wahiba Abdi, Ferouze Mattan. (Aged 14)  Image 5

Idea: Intreegue – This design uses a tree as the focus and building a circular ramp with a wooden wall with slits to give a restricted but interesting view.

Student Arfa Begum, at Langdon School in Newham, 14, said:

“This has been so much fun. We’ve learnt about the different properties of materials such as cement, gravel and water. Today has been messy, but it was worth it as we’ve learnt so much about design and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It gives us a clearer idea of how to move forward with our design and what we need to do for the competition.”