A project that you could say had been over 25 years in the making, when the chance came to give something back to the school that had been so influential in shaping two of our founders, it simply couldn’t be missed.
A unique school with an equally unique ethos, Berrywood Primary in Hedge End also happened to be the alma mater of Dan and Marc, two of The Canopy’s founding partners. When Berrywood approached The Canopy to help with a branding project, the opportunity to give something back to their former school was too good to miss.
Set within nine acres of beautiful urban gardens and woodland, Berrywood is simply bursting with hands-on learning opportunities. Headteacher Chris Reilly was keen to make the most of the school’s beautiful setting to inspire and develop the critical and creative thinking of the pupils, and approached The Canopy with an initial brief to help revise the identity and branding of the school.
We recognised an opportunity to create something truly special, by taking a holistic approach that encompassed not only the school identity, but built on the wonderful ethos that the Headteacher and his team had fostered. In doing so, we proposed to create a learning environment at one with the school identity, one that nurtured individual strengths and encouraged opportunities to learn, develop and grow.
Working together with the school leadership, we conceived of an idea that built upon his vision of a ‘School within a garden’. The Canopy initially designed an entirely new school logo inspired by the concept of a tree that grows along with its pupils, and harbouring a new strapline ‘Growing a brighter future’. We felt this encapsulated the school’s core values and inclusive, nurturing ethos, as well as fostering the idea of working and growing together.
In addition to the revised branding and language, we were trusted to help redesign the interior of the school. We wanted to create spaces that took learning beyond the confines of the classroom and the regular curriculum and seamlessly blended the outside with the inside. Working in conjunction with Hampshire County Council to redevelop the interior of the main school building, we fashioned an environment designed to encourage collaborative working whilst cultivating a sense of community and inclusion.
As one of the few primary schools to teach environmental lessons, we wanted our collaboration with Berrywood to leave a lasting legacy in both sustainability, and social and environmental impact. The collaborative vision was to build open learning forums where children could feel free to express themselves outside the classroom, whether that meant getting their hands dirty in the school garden, caring for their chickens and bees, or learning ways to lower their carbon footprint in the open plan learning spaces of the school.
The project with Berrywood has proven to be an ongoing collaboration, and one of its offshoots; Green Heroes, an environmental learning project, has even formed our DBA award-winning campaign. The opportunity to work with such a progressive, forward-thinking school has particular resonance to us, given that it helped shape and guide us growing up. Being able to give something back, and in turn help shape and inspire the learning of future generations has been a wonderful experience.