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Encouraging positive attitudes

The Schools Environment Survey of 2010 showed that the learning environment is key to children’s behaviour and happiness - and over 95% of teachers agree.

At Smarter Spaces, we want to help make school environments more attractive, affordable and inspiring for teachers and learners.

To do this, we have gathered all of the evidence from existing research to inform our education design principles.

Areas of consideration

Traditional methods of teaching are evolving, to promote greater responsibility for learners over their education. However, our school environments are too often not changing to match this.

A well-designed school can help promote good behavior and tackle bad. Many studies confirm that morale, motivation and learning time increase with good design, while absenteeism and bullying fall.

Above all good design is more likely to foster pride and mutual-respect among teachers and pupils.

Design principles

Furniture layouts

Easily moveable furniture provides flexibility, so you and your learners can choose the best layout for individual lessons. In general rows are better for focus-led learning, while group tables encourage more participation.


Ask what children and staff want from their rooms and let their thoughts guide design. This will help to facilitate better teaching and learning, while giving them a greater sense of ownership and deter bullying and vandalism.


Owing to their obvious lack of visibility, toilets are often scenes for bullying and vandalism. One study says that only 34% of children feel safe in their school toilets. To combat the problem, consider introducing unisex toilets with private cubicles. While this renovation may come at considerable expense, the benefits are experienced over such a large percentage of the school population that the impact is often considerable.

Case Study

Rosemary Works Primary, London

A small, personal school, its philosophy openly encourages ‘being different’, says Jacqueline Logue, Director. A key part of the school’s approach is a recognition that its spaces not only have to support its ‘maverick’ style of education but also to create an environment that pupils respect and feel proud of.

A key part of the development was the engagement of pupils, staff and parents in the design process. To take pupils through the design journey, the school ran a number of workshops to draw out their creativity.

The impact has been considerable. With strong colour schemes and ‘zoning’ throughout the school, pupils and teachers have seen a dramatic change in the way they interact with their spaces to support learning.

Getting Started

Useful Questions to Ask Yourself

  • How would my pupils and staff want their spaces to look?
  • Are my learning spaces flexible enough to cater for different learning needs?
  • Are there any specific areas of the school that receive the most vandalism?
  • Is it possible that some learners don’t use the toilets because of their state?

The Perfect Product

For school toilets we recommend Sterishield Diamond Matt. It will deliver a more hygienic finish, reducing the threat of bacteria, MRSA and E.coli.

How We Can Help You