2014 Guidance Notes

This is the 11th anniversary of what has become and very popular and hugely successful event.

The objective is to stage a design competition that introduces and encourages S2 students from secondary schools, to participate in a day long contest that has a direct interface between schools, further education, design and construction.
The motivation for the organisers is to use their knowledge, experience and expertise to help stimulate local school children to perhaps consider a career in the design related professions and/or in the construction industry and increase awareness of their own potential.

Preparation Advice and Recommendations
It has become clearly evident over the years that some schools come to Creative Spaces far better prepared than others and this has a consequential effect on their eventual performance and the results. Some schools are poorly prepared.

It is imperative that the appointed teachers fully prepare the team from his/ her school long before the day of the event. PREPARE – PRACTICE – REHEARSE especially the presentation.

This brief document and check list is intended to offer some assistance and guidance to the schools who will participate in 2014 on how to prepare. This will make the day more beneficial for the students so please make sure that:-

  • The teacher who will be representing the schools (and bringing the students to the venue) is identified and appointed at the earliest possible date.
  • – The school selects 4 students from S2 (two male and two female) who have the correct attitude, interest and enthusiasm with good communication skills. This is primarily a building design competition but involves a number of other skills including Art, Crafts, Maths, English, Geography and Technical abilities.
  • – The appointed teacher meets with the students at least a few weeks in advance of the event (ideally on more than one occasion) and familiarises each of them as to what to expect on the day. The Creative Spaces website at www.creativespaceschallenge.net has various examples of past briefing documents, activity photographs and models, which can be referred to.
  • The website provide all relevant information that the students will need including references to the theme for the 2014 Challenge (with the exception of the design brief, which will be issued on the day).
  • The programme for the day has been received, the content read and understood.
  • The Information Pack has been received, the content read and understood by both teachers and students.

Please note – it is imperative that you read and familiarise yourselves with the content of the Information Pack as this will help you to prepare for Creative Spaces Challenge 2014. It is available to download from the website. These have been updated for 2014 and an additional helpful document called “How to Prepare for Creative Spaces” has been included!!

On the Day

A questionnaire, which will be sent to the school approximately three weeks before the date of the event. You must bring the answers with you.

The questions will relate to the Creative Spaces Challenge for 2014 and the answers will form part of the team’s overall score on the day.

It will be helpful if the teacher(s) and pupils are familiar with the concept of scale and the use of a scale rule.

From feedback forms we collect annually, the students generally hugely enjoy the competition and the experience and opportunity that it offers. However, the most consistent difficulties that students appear to face are:-

  • Working to a deadline. There is a lot to get through in a busy day.
  • Making their presentation to the rest of the competitors. This year the allocated slot of two minutes will again be enforced.
  • Working out the construction cost of the project. Despite this being relatively straightforward ‘arithmetic’, many students seem to struggle with this item, despite the fact that we are not really looking for 100% accuracy.

We want to severely limit the influence that teachers have on the performance of their students so for 2014, so they will only be permitted to verbally assist the students for the first 30 minutes in the morning. The use of pencils, pens or the use of any other medium will not be allowed.

Additionally, teachers will not have access to the workshops at lunchtime.


A huge amount of work has been undertaken by the organisers in arranging Creative Spaces 2014 and we hope and trust that in preparing for the event this year, the schools and critically their teacher will prepare appropriately.

February 2014