Where we live and work has an effect onour lives, and this is even more important to help give our children the best start in life, not just in terms of mental health but also academic improvement. Incorporating good classroom and school design through school renovation has multiple benefits.
Improving Results in Schools
When you undertake a school renovation project or upgrade an existing building you want to ensure it will not only enhance school facilities but also students academic performance. Salford University conducted research over a year with 3766 pupils to discover how design and environmental factors for school buildings and in classrooms can affect children’s results. It was found that “well-designed primary schools can boost children’s academic performance”. Based on the results of the HEAD Project (Holistic Evidence and Design), it was found that there is “clear evidence..that well-designed primary schools boost children’s academic performance in reading, writing and maths. Attracting and retaining talented staff members
Good school interior design is the key factor in academic improvement and in improving the overall wellbeing of pupils as well as helping to attract and retain the best staff and teachers for your school. Ultimately saving you money in recruitment and improving pupils academic performance and general happiness.Influencing parent and student perceptionGood improved design will of course positively influence parents’ perception and satisfaction with your school and help your school move up league tables and attract good pupils as well.Primary and play school room designSalford University’s report goes on to say that “surprisingly, whole-school factors (eg size, navigation routes, specialist facilities, play facilities) do not seem to be anywhere near as important as the design of the individual classrooms. The message is that, first and foremost, each classroom has to be well designed.”In Primary Schools, most children stay in one classroom, so having good design that will positively impact their academic and social performance if key to happy children who will grow, develop and interact easily with each other will engender confidence, contentment and successful progress. It is also fair to say that happy children make for happy teachers, a good environment foryour staff to work in will encourage staff retention and attract the best teachers you can find, a factor that is becoming more and more important for overall OFSTED and other school inspections, examinations and results.
Prepare students for a life beyond school, especially sixth form, where the space needs to reflect the modern workplaceFor older children, you can help prepare students for a life beyond school. So, you could consider industrial school furniture, research contemporary study room furniture ideas or ask your refurbishment contractor to show you some innovative school furniture.Increase collaboration and peer-to-peer learningDesigning a space which will increase collaboration and peer-to-peer learning can be a challenge if you’re unsurewhere to start. Make sure you partner with experienced designers who can work with you, to know the needs and challenges of the space, your staff and the pupils and create something bespoke for each room. It will revolutionise how your school operates andimprove the lives of everyone who works and studies there.Accommodate technology and new ways of learningWhile this is obvious, it is incredibly surprising how many variants in design there can be within each classroom even within just one school. Withthe rise of digital learning aids, classroom and school design can help facilitate the integration of hardware and new learning methods, from role playing to collaborative learning.Increasing Focus and AttentionNatural light is one of the key things you can have in your classroom. Large windows are excellent when combined with blinds to control the light levels or external shading to sunlit windows. Adding good quality artificial electrical lighting will help concentration, focus and attention.Helping prevent bullyingOther factors to consider are hidden areas. If you are looking at your school plan, are there any areas where bullying can take place? Making sure each area is bright, open and accessible is key in helping prevent having little cubby-holes where children can be cornered and trapped.Improved Furniture ergonomics, colours, lighting and acousticsOne of the most important factors, and potentially one of the most difficult, is to make sure you look at how your furniture performs in the space. Is it practical, what is the storage like, does it need to move easily, is it ergonomic, will it enhance the working and studying environment? It is too high and oppressive, does it block the windows, can you change the school furniture to make it a friendlier and more efficient classroom environment?
Enhancing the learning environmentWhat is the lighting like in your classrooms, hallways, school library, receptions, at the moment? Pay attention to specific aspects of design to fully enhance the learning experience –heating, lighting, acoustics, etc. Also the colours. Some colours of the spectrum can be too bright and distracting, others too sad and depressing. Do they clash, will they lead to headaches?Involve students in the design process to enhance ownershipProbably the most fun and positive thing you can do, is to encourage your students and teachers to get involved in the school interior design and school refurbishment process which will enhance ownership and support what you are doing. It will be a learning experience as well. A good design team will guide you through this and make the whole school and classroom renovation a positive experience all round.To read our next article going deeper into different aspects of the resultant benefits each improvement can bring. Send us an email at [email protected] request a copy of our newsletter.