Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from EHS

The Big Common Room Challenge

Senior School

07 June 2024

Just before half term, Year 10 students were presented with an exciting challenge: to design a new and inspiring Year 11 common room in the current Year 10 and 11 locker room located in the basement.

The students were divided into nine teams, each with a designated Team Leader assigned by the teachers. They received their brief, which included a budget of £500 and the opportunity to pitch for an additional £500 from the EHS Parents’ Association. Provided with the room's dimensions, they were informed that all structural work would be completed during the summer holiday, ready for use in the new academic year. The brief also included six specific objectives on which each team's proposal would be judged, leading to the selection of the final three teams at the end of that Thursday.

This week, our three finalists were summoned to the boardroom, Apprentice-style, to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges which included Mrs Macro, Ms Purewal, Mrs Campbell, Ms O’Hare and Ms Browning, a former EHS student who is currently working as an architect and designer in London. 

Ms Browning worked with the teams to help them hone their final presentations. Each sales pitch was 5-10 minutes long and, thanks to the thorough and exceptionally detailed and creative plans that were presented, it took judges a considerable amount of deliberation time to come to a final decision on who should be the winning team. Alongside the pitch itself, groups had designed architect-style drawings, mood-boards, 4D graphics and leaflets to convince us of their ideas.

The first group was led by Amy, and the judges commended the following features:
•    An incredibly polished presentation with everyone contributing in turn. 
•    A comprehensive budget process and a spreadsheet that was incredibly detailed, professional and well thought-out.   
•    Confident explanations of the colour scheme and use of space, especially their understanding of how colour and lighting can be used to reduce stress and create a calming environment.
•    The group has considered both sustainability and environmental factors in their upcycling of existing furniture.

The second group was led by Simar, and the judges commended the following features:

•    It was excellent to see how the group had embraced the ideas of other groups and referenced brilliant ideas from the other presentations from Thursday by name.  
•    Exceptional structure of their presentation that was professional, clear, and concise.
•    A professional floor plan that offered two feasible alternative ideas, was laminated and took account of dimensions and spacings accordingly.
•    Super consideration of the use of space and how it was to be looked after was excellent to meet the needs of everyone in Year 11. 

The third group was led by Nature, and the judges commended the following features:
•    The variety of visual resources was professional and excellent. The brochure that contained a summary of the ideas, the digital and white board floor plan, the presentation and the mood board gave the panel a lot to look at and supported the ideas of the team very well.
•    The presentation was delivered without notes and with confidence.
•    A fantastic idea for the name. The group want to call the space BASE 25.  Base, as it is located in the basement and 25 as it represents the year 2025, the year it would be when the pupils leave in Year 11.  Their idea was that this name would change each year as the cohort changed. 
•    Some quirky ideas that would add to the community feel of the common room and were cost-effective too.  For example, Gerald the Mascot, the board of photo memories and the weighted blankets.

It was therefore, an incredibly tough job to judge the pitches and after much discussion, the decision was made based on the team that delivered the most effective sales pitch. The winning group tasked with bringing their vision to life is Nature’s group and her team consisting of, Vanessa, Isabelle, Elisa, Zhian, Ali, Alissia and Jess. Pictured below.

They will now coordinate the implementation of a new Year 11 common room that will benefit generations to come. 

Well done to all of Year 10 for their excellent work ethic and approach to this challenge and we look forward to helping them bring this vision to life for September. We know we will see some of you in Alan Sugar’s Boardroom one day soon…

Miss O’Hare


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