Outside of the home, school is the most important setting in children’s development. Education is more than academic ability; it includes students’ behaviour, self-esteem, integration, motivation, initiation, confidence and social skills, to name but a few. Many ‘environmental’ factors have been shown to have an impact on the educational process. The quality of school experiences are determined by the school environment (Gump, 1991) and there is a direct relationship between students’ perception of their school environment and satisfaction with it (Ozdemir & Yilmaz, 2008. Dudek (2000) claims architects should design school buildings to accommodate and facilitate meaningful social interactions, which are a crucial aspect to the development of children’s social, emotional and cognitive processes. As children enter adolescence their interactions and relationships with peers and friends become increasingly important (Bukatko & Daehler, 2004), particularly in schools, as they “reveal complex webs of meanings, reputations and identities” (Coleman & Hendry, 1999, p.145). The physical environment is an influential aspect in determining how satisfied students are with their education, which includes the interactions they have therein. This paper comes from a PhD research project, which aims to investigate how secondary school students in Scotland (age 11-18), perceive and utilise the social spaces within their learning environment. Social spaces are defined as the internal and external areas within the school buildings and grounds where students go to when they are not in the classroom.This paper is based on responses to an open-ended question which was added to a questionnaire that was part of a much larger study (Edgerton, McKechnie & McEwen 2011). The questionnaire was completed by S1, S3 and S5 students (ages 12-13, 14-15 and 16-17 respectively) at six new build secondary schools in the same demographic area of Central Scotland. The question asked, ‘Within your school buildings/grounds, what are the best and worst features about the places you meet with friends?’. Responses were received from 1843 students.Participants’ responses varied inasmuch as some provided responses to both aspects (i.e. a best & worst feature), while others provided a response to only one feature (i.e. best or worst) and some participants gave more than one response to a feature. Collectively, there were 1,866 responses to the ‘best’ feature and 1,942 responses to the ‘worst’ feature.The results indicated that in general the S1 students from all six schools provided more ‘best’ responses, whilst the S3 and S5 students provided more ‘worst’ responses. The findings show variations between schools and year groups. The latter highlights the dangers of viewing school students as a homogenous group. This paper will discuss these results in more detail by focusing on how students’ perceive the social spaces in their schools and the implications for school design.