Pupils show talent to win multimedia haul

Front row, left to right: Matilda Leng and Olivia Graham hold their design concept. Back row, left to right: Design and technology teacher Mike Skinner and headteacher Maurice Hall.
Front row, left to right: Matilda Leng and Olivia Graham hold their design concept. Back row, left to right: Design and technology teacher Mike Skinner and headteacher Maurice Hall.

A pair of talented pupils have shown their creative eye by winning a national design competition and bagging their school a £2,500 multimedia bundle in the process.

Matilda Leng and Olivia Graham, from Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick, came out on top in the Viking Classroom of the Future competition – beating hundreds of entries from secondary schools all across the country in the process.

The youngsters, both aged 14, impressed a judging panel with their piece, which included eco features such as solar panelling.

Judges from Viking, as well as competition partner British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), praised the girls’ thought for the environment and innovative teaching methods which were displayed in their entry.

Jacqueline Hills, legal and compliance director at Viking and competition judge, said: “Matilda and Olivia clearly demonstrated creativity and practicality in their design and a real forethought for the environment and future teaching systems.

“Picking the winner was extremely difficult due to the sheer volume and calibre of the entries, but this design and thought process behind it stood out above the rest.”

The Classroom of the Future competition was broken down into two age categories; 11 years and under and 12 to 16 inclusive.

Pupils were encouraged to enter designs that were as imaginative as they were practical, and by using their creative licence were able to submit their entries in any medium they saw fit.

Olivia, from Chatton, said the pair were a bit surprised to win, but added that they had worked hard on the piece. Matilda, of Eglingham, said that they enjoyed creating the work.

Items within the school’s multimedia bundle include a laptop, two digital cameras, two iPads, a 42-inch television, a multi-purpose printer, two iPad cases, two pairs of headphones, a docking station and five USB flash drives.

Olivia and Matilda also bagged themselves a tablet each.

Mike Skinner, design and technology teacher at the Duchess’s High, was delighted with the girls’ achievements.

He said: “I was impressed by the girls’ creativity and the ideas they showed in their classroom concept.”

Lindsey Rendall, chairman of the student committee at the BIID, and judging partner, added: “The Classroom of the Future competition has been a great opportunity for pupils to learn more about new technologies and how their environment is evolving, as well as getting stuck into creative design.

“The effort shown by all of the pupils who entered the competition has been outstanding and it has been a pleasure to judge.”