STUDENTS' designs to transform a school's canteen have inspired plans to start fundraising for its transformation.

For years the pupils at Botley Primary School have had to make do with increasingly outdated canteen facilities.

But after an exhibition on Friday, where second year interior architecture students at Oxford Brookes University displayed 20 different design proposals, staff and governors have been inspired to get the fundraising ball rolling.

Headteacher Alison March said: "We wanted to hold the exhibition first so the students and governors could get some ideas for what we would like to do with the space.

"One design that I really liked was the idea of having a mixture of inside and outside eating areas.

"With the kitchens being in the same building it gets very hot with all the cooking.

"Having a picnic style covered area where children with packed lunches is a really great idea."

Ms Marsh said the project could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The existing building dates back to the 1940s and was not originally designed as a canteen.

Lecturer in architecture at the university Orit Sarfatti said the 'live project' required more work and coordination than standard fictional briefs that are often given when studying architecture.

She added: "In this case, we have a wonderful primary school that on one hand is rapidly growing due to new local housing developments in the area but at the same time struggles to adjust some of the existing facilities to accommodate this growth.

"The canteen is a burning issue in the school.

"At the moment, staff members work hard to compensate the shortage of space and they have to orchestrate three sitting every lunch time, in a building that is separated from the main school block."

Students visited the school several times and spoke with staff members and pupils to come up with a site strategy.

Mrs Sarfatti added: "The main design aspects in the students’ work that really stood out for me were those which looked at the building as an ever changing entity which can host various groups of users.

"Being it the school children at lunch time or a cooking courses in the evening; a kiosk on an event night or a café for young mums after drop off, all of which will alter the original brief.

"But more than anything what keeps coming up in this type of project is the ability of a young mind to rethink the traditional design process or the assumptions we all make about the users and experimenting with design solutions.

"One student suggested that there won’t be tables and benches in the room but actually the floor will become a landscape that allows variations of seating positions from sitting down in a picnic form to using a surface as a table."

The school is now looking at ways to start raising money for the project.