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Pupil Design Awards information and support

Find out how the RSA Pupil Design Awards work and what support we offer to help you run the design challenge in your school. 

About the Pupil Design Awards

We believe that designing with people in mind can bring about positive social change. Through this competition, pupils aged 11-17 are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination to design solutions to real challenges facing people and the planet.

We aim to:

  • build creative confidence in young people
  • introduce social design and design thinking to teachers and pupils
  • popularise design thinking in teaching and learning, outside traditional ‘design’ subjects.
Image of Pupil Design Award winners
Image of a speaker at the Pupil Design Awards

Support we offer: lesson plans, training, and mentors

Sign up your school and we’ll:

  • Send you a teacher resource pack and pupil resource pack.
    The teacher’s pack includes tools, activities and suggested lesson plans, as well as this year’s design briefs.
  • Invite you to a session on teaching social design thinking in real world contexts, delivered by design education experts.
  • Invite you to a mentoring session. Our mentors are all successful designers and previous winners of the RSA Student Design Awards

Resources, training for teachers and mentoring for pupils are all provided by the RSA at no charge to schools.

How to run the Pupil Design Awards in your school

Once you’ve signed up, you can decide how you want to design and deliver the RSA Pupil Design Awards in your school.

Some schools choose to make the Pupil Design Awards part of classroom teaching: previous entrants have incorporated the competition into Design & Technology, English, Science, and PSHE.

Other schools have run the Awards as part of an extracurricular design club.

Whichever way you choose to deliver, the process is there to help you to raise the profile of design and technology in your school and to develop important skills such as collaboration, confidence, and creative and critical thinking among your pupils.

Then, support pupils to choose one of the three briefs. Each brief contains a real-world problem for pupils to solve, and some ideas to get them thinking about the challenge. 

Image of a desk

Pupil Design Awards

Inspiring social change through design thinking.