Designing the future ARK John Keats

Students from ARK Putney Academy have been solving engineering problems as part of their work experience with our corporate partner Bouygues UK, with their solutions to be incorporated into the design of the new ARK John Keats building.

Year 13 students Josh, Tyrell and Emira spent their half-term holiday designing stairs and working on database analytics.

Tetris in real life

Josh and Tyrell worked to solve a problem Bouygues have been facing at ARK John Keats Academy, where they have to design a staircase to fit into a void of roughly 1.8 square metres.

Andrew Metcalfe, their manager at Bouygues, explained: “This task is essentially puzzle-solving with a physics background. It’s like Tetris in real life.

We could see they had design manager potential, but they produced such an excellent drawing. Their solution is also perfectly acceptable regulations-wise. We’d love to have them back in the future.”

The solution proposed by Josh and Tyrell will now be incorporated into the designs for the new building at ARK John Keats Academy.

Josh said: “It taught me a lot about my character and what I want to do in the future. I really enjoyed this placement because it was so active and I was able to get involved with real problems. It taught us a lot about the profession we want to be in and how our work affects other people.”

“It’s better to be prepared.”

Emira worked in the post-completion department, extracting information from a bespoke database system to produce graphs and pie charts that would enable useful analytics. She also accompanied her manager to on-site meetings.

She said: “I realised how important it is that you study the finances and accuracy of the designs beforehand. In the long term it’s better to be prepared so you have fewer issues with quality. I learnt a lot from the whole experience and everyone at Bouygues has been really helpful.”

Emira’s analysis of the database was a huge success and has been sent to the UK board for review. Bouygues have invited all three students back for further work experience placements in their university holidays.

For more information on our work experience programme, please contact