Modern school and college classrooms have come a long way since the days of students being penned in behind rows of regimented desks. A great deal of research has been carried out in recent years in effort to discover how the environment in which students study affects their learning, behaviour and relationships. As a result schools, colleges and universities are increasingly embracing the idea of a modern‘education environment’; in other words a dynamic, user-friendly space which allows students to communicate and share knowledge. Several education providers, including South Trafford College, Leeds Trinity University College and Leeds City College, have worked on highly successful projects to improve their education environments.
Applying expertise in the field of education environments.
Improving a learning environment is not only about re-thinking how a school or college looks inside, it’s also about updating the furniture and fittings to make the users of the space feel welcome, relaxed and comfortable.
For a long time people have expected to be able to work in modern,light, airy and well-equipped offices so buildings designed for study are now being designed and re-fitted to follow the same model. The previous model for designing learning spaces was firmly geared towards ‘working’ but now the emphasis is being placed on learning. Furniture, storage, exhibition and display areas or areas for relaxation and break times can all benefit from improvements; whether it’s careful planning of how desks are arranged or providing sufficient storage for students to stow away their belongings. Improvements in these areas are now known to have a hugely positive impact on how students absorb knowledge, behave and communicate. As a result both teaching and administrative staff can also benefit.
Manufacturers of furniture and office fittings have responded to this modern thinking on education environments by producing inspiring ranges of adaptable, user-friendly classroom furniture and equipment. Modular desk systems are available in almost limitless combinations of styles, shapes and sizes to allow for flexibility in classroom layouts; quieter areas around the edge of the room for individual work and larger desks in the centre to allow for group work and discussions have been proven to be successful learning environment models. Storage systems which integrate into the fabric of the building, display systems to provide visual stimulus and highly flexible ICT housing, designed to cope with demands of modern learning equipment, are also available for improving a learning environment.