Make sure your classroom works as hard as your students!
The classroom is a unique environment where many different activities are carried out. The interior design affects the learning process in a big way: everything from light, sound, materials and adaptability play a major role. With the right furnishings, the classroom becomes a safe and inspiring environment that encourages creativity and concentration - a pleasant workplace for both students and teachers.
A classroom should stimulate both individual and group work. Look for furniture that is adaptable so that the classroom layout can be easily changed depending on the activities and needs. A larger table encourages spontaneous gatherings and makes it easier to come together for team work. Mobile work tables on wheels, which can be rolled in and out of position, are a good solution when the need for a quick room change arises. Also, remember to choose practical and durable furniture designed to make everyday life easier. Stackable chairs and folding tables save space while chairs with arms that hang on the table facilitate cleaning.
Create rooms within rooms
Partitions can easily create distinct areas in the classroom for different activities. Screens, bookcases, cabinets or trolleys can all be used as room dividers. “One trend is that classrooms are now being designed with individual students’ needs in mind. Some students may have difficulty concentrating and thus prefer to sit alone, whilst others work best in an open landscape” says Kerstin Metz, key account manager at AJ Products.
Use durable environmentally-friendly materials
Due to the harsh workout that students give school furniture, it is common for schools to get through a lot of desks and chairs! It shouldn’t necessarily be this way, advises Kerstin. “The furniture should still look good even after ten years of use. After all, the furniture has been made to be used” she says. “One durable material that is recommended to survive the tough school environment is linoleum. Linoleum is made from natural and renewable products plus it is hard wearing and easy to clean, making it a great choice for classroom furnishings. The material also has good sound dampening properties, helping to muffle some of the noise in the classroom!”
Improve posture with ergonomic furniture
As students and staff often sit for long periods at a time, it is important to have furniture that is ergonomically designed in order to avoid placing any unnecessary strain on the body. The desks should be designed specifically for the activity and the subject and the classroom should offer several different types of seating options. Height adjustable tables and workbenches are ideal for providing a good working position. Also remember to take noise into account: a noisy environment may impair concentration and the efficiency of both students and teachers. Even something as simple as lighting is a significant factor in the classroom. Research shows that natural light in classrooms is important for reducing the stress hormone cortisol, which affects the behaviour of students. Make sure that light does not shine too brightly against the whiteboard or on work surfaces as this can make eyes tired more quickly.
3 tips for a better classroom environment
- Create a "room within a room" with partitions, bookcases or cabinets.
- Look for furniture that is adaptable and has many uses. It gives students and teachers more freedom to use the classroom as needed and rearrange as necessary.
- Keep ergonomics and materials in mind. The furniture must withstand the wear and tear that naturally occurs in school.