In this initiative the Primary 4 and 5 pupils at Niddrie Mill Primary School worked with Planning Aid for Scotland to understand and provide input to the plans for redevelopment of a piece of wasteland near their school.
At the Changeworks climate change conference in March 2009, the Niddrie Mill Primary School technologies co-ordinator met Head of Development at Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS).
This meeting led to a partnership which then created the PAS education resource IMBY (In My Back Yard) in order to encourage pupils at Niddrie Mill Primary School to engage in the development planning of their own community.
Development opportunities around the school provided the pupils with a real-life context to actively take part in considerations that might shape their new community layout.
This initiative provides the background for creative and challenging interdisciplinary activities, covering a wide range of curriculum areas such as social studies, maths/numeracy, literacy and English, technologies, expressive arts and health and wellbeing.
The initiative aimed to be stimulating and engaging as well as enjoyable, allowing children of all abilities to actively participate in issues that directly concern them and their families.
Through a school-based, curricular investigation carried out in June 2009, it was determined that, due to the success of the project, IMBY would be developed for the Primary 4 and 5 classes, incorporating experiences and outcomes at first level.
The future development of IMBY is now being incorporated in the school's development plan.
About Planning Aid for Scotland
Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS) is a national charity, delivering free, independent and impartial planning advice. It aims to provide an education programme that raises wider awareness of the community planning process and how to access planning information.
Its long-term objective is to encourage all citizens to play a more prominent role in the planning process and subsequent developments that affect their local communities. PAS has established a primary education programme to deliver on the above objectives across Scotland.
The specific aims of the IMBY initiative can be summarised as follows:
- To raise children's awareness of community planning and develop a wider perspective regarding their active engagement in the community planning processes.
- To enable children to have a voice in their community.
- To teach skills of citizenship and being part of their community.
About Niddrie Mill Primary School
Niddrie Mill Primary is a new-build, non-denominational school situated on the edge of the Niddrie/Craigmillar area of Edinburgh, which is recognised as an area of multiple social deprivation.
Approximately 250 pupils attend Niddrie Mill Primary. As part of the area's multi-million pound regeneration, the school moved to a new dual campus in August 2008, sharing the building, dining hall and playground with St Francis RC Primary.