Cabbage smells to infuse Dome

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THE PUNGENT aroma of boiled cabbage, redolent of schooldays, will permeate the Millennium Dome's Learn Zone.

The smell of canteens and chemistry labs, and the sound of ranting headteachers, will be combined to create a traditional educational atmosphere in a giant school corridor, said Lord Puttnam, who unveiled the zone yesterday.

The film producer, who is overseeing the construction of the Work and Learn zones as one of the dome's "godparents", said visitors will also be confronted by a "knowledge orchard" for interactive learning in the tranquil surroundings of grass and trees.

Lord Puttnam said the learning orchard, which would evoke the atmosphere of a "beautiful summer's day", will form a contrast to the traditional Grange Hill atmosphere of the school corridor.

Two auditoriums will each screen an eight-minute film showing positive aspects of learning. He said he wanted to create a "cinematic and theatrical experience" to excite visitors about their future.

The Work and Learn zones will be the only ones to share a single structure, in an attempt to emphasise the close relationship of work and education.

Plans for a four-storey facade to the two zones were also unveiled yesterday. The New Millennium Experience Company is describing the hoarding as the "largest billboard in the world". The facade will show images changing every five seconds. The Learn zone will also have computers showing Internet pages created by thousands of schoolchildren in an initiative run by Tesco, the zone's sponsors.

Estelle Morris, an Education minister who was at the Dome in Greenwich, south-east London, for yesterday's launch, described the Internet initiative as "absolutely brilliant", adding: "Working on the Internet has to become the norm at every school. This gets pupils ready for the next century."

The Work zone, to be launched next month, is sponsored by the employment service company Manpower.