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
Your school environment is a reflection of your vision and values.
It’s also an influence - a good school environment can provide a sense of pride and identity as well as boost morale for everyone in it.
As important as they are, there’s more to your school environment than classrooms. From locker rooms to corridors, much of the school day is spent outside the classroom - so your focus should go beyond it.
As the pupils of Springfield School said of their current assembly hall, ‘It’s the one place that everyone uses but it’s the most neglected. When everyone gathers here, we want them to feel pride.’
Involve teachers and children in the process. Be open about any financial constraints - getting great results on a tight budget is a challenge they’ll respond to. Organise fundraisers for your design projects - make the process as fun as possible. By involving those who use the space, your design ideas will be both innovative and feasible!
Choose a colour scheme of a small number of shades in line with your school logo. Accent rooms with your selected colours - on doorframes, panels and ceilings. Take it one step further with different colours for departments and houses.
St Andrew’s Primary School, Bath
In 2011, St Andrew’s participated in a new creative education project, ‘School Without Walls’, where pupils and teachers left their classrooms and held their lessons somewhere completely different - local cultural centres and public spaces.
The benefits were immediately noticeable, says Sue East, Headteacher at St Andrew’s. Pupils were increasingly engaged in their learning and demonstrated an enhanced ability to express themselves and problem solve. Pupils also reported a sense of ‘freedom’ that they compared to a sense of being ‘blocked in’ when they were in their school classrooms.
Following the six week programme, the school reviewed its teaching practices and learning spaces - with the school rated ‘Outstanding’ in its subsequent Ofsted assessment. On the back of the initial success, the school has revisited the project every year since.
Useful Questions to Ask Yourself
- Does my environment reflect the vision and values of our school?
- Is there a clear visual identity across the school?
- Does my environment support and celebrate our schools cultural diversity?
- Would my learners benefit from being involved in designing our spaces?
The Perfect Product
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How We Can Help You
Get in touch
Contact us to find out how we can help. If you’re already carrying out design projects in your school, we’d love to see how you’re getting on! Share your photos with us on social media.