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RIBA National Schools Programme

First nationwide architecture schools programme

Helping children explore and understand the built environment

Following a successful pilot, the RIBA are proud to launch its National Schools Programme: the first nationwide architectural learning programme for schoolchildren. The programme creates partnerships between schools and architecture professionals, who become RIBA Architecture Ambassadors, volunteering their time to deliver creative, curriculum-linked workshops for children aged 4-18 years.

The National Schools Programme aims to help children explore and understand the built environment: its impact on people and communities; how it is shaped and developed; and why good design is important. It empowers children to have an opinion on architecture and make their voice heard in the debate.

The programme operates in two ways:

  1. Architecture Ambassador partnerships that bring together schools and architecture professionals for in-depth, curriculum-linked projects in school
  2. Interactive workshops exploring architecture and our exhibitions in the RIBA’s iconic home, 66 Portland Place

Ben Derbyshire, RIBA President

The RIBA believes that everyone should have a right to have a say in their built environment, and we are committed to empowering the next generation through this inspiring nationwide schools programme.

We are proud that the pilot reached nearly 18,000 young people and are looking to build exponentially on this number with the official launch of the RIBA National Schools Programme this autumn.

Yemi Aladerun, Architecture Ambassador

I joined the National Schools Programme as it allowed me to build on my commitment to boost training, broaden access and employment opportunities for young and disadvantaged people. 

My ultimate aim for the partnership with Hammersmith Academy, my partner school, is for the students to see the difference they can make to their surroundings, develop a sense of ownership of these spaces and start to engage with their built environment in truly meaningful ways.

Canan Ahmet, Rokesly Junior School

The RIBA National Schools Programme is run by a team of passionate, professional, creative and inspiring individuals who care about architecture as well as all the children they have inspired along the way.

Working with a team of talented architects, as well as RIBA, has ensured that our children are able to develop life skills, such as team work, solving a brief, problem solving and communication.

The programme raises aspirations and creates new and broader pathways into the profession for the architects of tomorrow. We are truly grateful for the wonderful programme RIBA has developed and we hope that we can continue to take part in the future!

Student at Hammersmith Academy

Even the small things can change a lot of people’s perspectives on the world.

It made me feel I have a chance, an opportunity to become an architect. I could design something that could go on to help a lot of people. 

Supporters of the RIBA National Schools Programme

RIBA is a charity and relies on funding to run its National Schools Programme. It is currently funded by trusts, foundations and donors, enabling all of the workshops to be free for schools. 

We are very grateful to the following supporters:

  • Clore Duffield Foundation
  • Ernest Cook Trust
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Hull UK City of Culture
  • Kirby Laing Foundation
  • Old Possum’s Practical Trust
  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • Royal Commission for the Great Exhibition of 1851
  • The Sackler Trust
  • All practices signed up to the Future Architects Pledge
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