Pods or zoned areas give pupils space to work on projects as part of a team; but they must be designed so not to overwhelm the room and disturb those who prefer to work independently. Consider using bold accent colours on furniture, walls and floors to indicate group zones.
Create dedicated quiet spaces with clever use of furniture and a distinct, more muted colour palette - think calming purples and greens. This will designate space for pupils who want time-out, yet minimise the problem of poor visibility.
The Design Council confirms that a key concern of school children is safety and visibility. Without having to resort to (expensive) structural work, you can increase visibility by reducing temporary structures like lockers - so there are fewer corners for bullying to go undetected.
With a budget of £5,000, the learners of IPACA were challenged to research, design and decorate their sixth form centre to match the way they wanted to learn. IPACA encourages learners to engage in research to support their design suggestions. As a result the learners included a few standard elements such as a pool and ping pong tables, but complemented it with a giant wall stencil that they could colour in throughout the year. Most importantly though, the back wall was dedicated entirely to showcasing the process and journey that the learners had gone through in order to reach their end product - ensuring constant affirmation of their role and impact on each other.