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Introduce Planning to Kingsmeadow Community School

When at school I thought my calling was to be a Geography Teacher but then I realised that only being able to tolerate children didn't put me in good stead (naturally I love my own), so I needed to consider other options. 

I didn't realise what Town Planning was until I started my degree, I knew it was about people and places but the different aspects of the planning profession was still a mystery.  In a bid to promote the profession I took the challenge to try to explain town planning to secondary school and sixth form pupils at Kingsmeadow Community School, Gateshead during their career day in January.

The giveaway of RTPI rulers, pens and magazines enticed students to engage with me, I think they thought I was giving away chocolate bars but I needed something more to keep their attention so I used the Planning the Future Toolkit to explain the concept of town planning.  Through a basic visioning exercise using cards to explain how the environment can develop and that planners are mediators the surface of town planning was scratched.  Whist some had a glazed expression some pupils engaged and started rearranging cards to demonstrate how the environment could be planned and if there was potential conflict discuss any possible solutions to overcome the issue.  It was actually inspiring to watch.

Let us hope that a few future Planners come from Kingsmeadow and maybe I could have been a teacher after all.

Chris Pipe BA (Hons), DipTP, MTP, MRTPI - Planning Director - Planning House