learning environments has a huge impact on teaching. Here, we take a look at a few of the ways in which lessons can be transformed through savvy classroom design.
Flexibility has become increasingly important in lessons. Whereas in the past, schools often relied heavily on the ‘chalk and talk’ style of teaching, they are now expected to provide much more varied, dynamic lessons. A well-designed classroom allows teachers to offer a mixture of practical and theory lessons, and it enables both individual and group work.
Interior education specialists Innova Design Solutions are well aware of the importance of this issue. So, when asked to create a dedicated biology lab at Manchester High School for Girls, the company ensured the space was set up to increase flexibility for practical work.
The new lab features a curved centre floor layout that ensures students are safe and comfortable when conducting written and practical work. The power outlets and gas taps are located on the front face of the spacious workbenches, keeping them out of the way during theory lessons and enhancing safety. During practical and group work, stools can be quickly and easily stored away and students can gather around curved workbench corners.
Commenting on the Innova Design Solutions lab refurbishment, head of biology at Manchester High School for Girls Dr Alice Walker-Taylor said the refurbishment had created a spacious, comfortable environment that made students more enthusiastic about their lessons.
Getting students to focus is often a major challenge for teachers, but clever classroom design can help to improve concentration levels. For example, effective storage solutions reduce distractions in learning environments. One simple way to increase the amount of storage available in classrooms is to incorporate a teacher wall which houses an interactive board as well as sliding whiteboards, storage units, filing trays and shelving. Furthermore, the teacher wall enables teachers to make lessons more engaging as they can hide or reveal questions and answers in a more visually stimulating way.
Another way to boost concentration levels is to make sure there are good lines of sight between the teacher and students. This can be accommodated by moving the teacher to the long wall of the classroom. Ensuring that teachers have a more direct view of students makes it easier for them see if any students are struggling and need help. This type of layout also means that all students can clearly see the interactive screen or whiteboard at the front of the classroom.
The best designed classrooms can play a major role in motivating students and unlocking their passion for particular subjects . For example, a smart, modern and professional looking space can motivate students to work to a higher standard. Also, attractive, bright and eye-catching displays tend to make people feel happier and more positive towards their lessons. Neutral colour schemes with bold accents, such as feature walls or brightly coloured furniture accents, often work especially well in learning environments.
As these points highlight, effective classroom design can ensure that teachers have the flexibility they need to deliver dynamic lessons that meet the needs of today’s curriculum. They can also transform students’ attitudes towards subjects, making it much easier for teachers to encourage them to engage with the material and try their hardest.