Enhancing the learning environment

Design

Design for classrooms – enhancing the learning environment

It is well known and researched that the quality of the learning environment has a dramatic impact on pupils’ learning, behaviour and social interaction. We know that some spaces can inspire pupils and encourage them to want to learn, whilst others can distract pupils and sap their energy. Our young people come to us from a variety of backgrounds but our schools are a place for them to feel welcome, comfortable, confident and inspired. All teaching spaces should be attractive, inspiring and organised. It should excite pupils and staff.

There are many schools all round the world creating innovative learning spaces that are transforming the experiences of their pupils, often on limited budgets with restricted resources. The desire for change in schools is strong and the Gratnells Learning Room concept offers the support necessary to consider how your school can achieve excellent results in all its classrooms too.

For those with existing classrooms in need of change, it is possible for these to be transformed. Many staff have seen amazing results with very little resource. Even new furniture and equipment, delivered in isolation, is not enough to effect true change.

A true learning room requires that staff shift perceptions, change old habits and instigate new behaviours. With strong principles underscoring decisions about new arrangements for classrooms, staff can confidently put the carrier bags, cardboard boxes and ‘might be useful one day’ items into a skip. It’s a liberating experience! In the UK it is increasingly common for schools to be asked to squeeze bulge classes of pupils onto existing sites. As schools hunt for usable space, key learning and development spaces such as libraries, ICT rooms and staffrooms can be lost as extra pupils are squeezed into hastily converted classrooms. In some schools modular classrooms are dropped on site and valuable play space shrinks. In these situations value for money, agile solutions and a dynamic strategy to foster meaningful learning are vital to ensure all classrooms provide an equitable learning experience.