Space to Educate, Space to Work

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Whether it’s a primary school, secondary, or even further education institution, the perfect classroom design needs to accommodate students, teachers and their assistants. In a primary school, for example, children need space to play and learn whilst the teachers and other adults involved in a classroom need space to work and teach. Working on a design project in which students and adults are both the ‘end users’ can be challenging and requires a degree of flexibility and creativity. 

If you are involved with the design management of any classroom setting, take a look at the following design solutions, centred on making the most of modern school education settings and creating the perfect classroom design.

Learning Labs

Learning laboratories take a wide variety of names that differ from school to school, but generally refer to a specific location in an education institution, such as a dedicated space in a library or classroom, designed to deliver academic support for students. 

The design of a learning lab can also vary significantly, though it is fairly common for the lab to be an IT hub, designed for technology-enhanced learning. The seating and layout of learning laboratories is also important. It is not uncommon for the labs to comprise of several tables with clusters of chairs around them to accommodate multiple students and to encourage student/teacher collaboration. 

Amspec was appointed by Thornleigh Salesian College, a secondary school in Bolton, to design a number of laboratories within the school. The design of the labs needed to cater for some alterations in methods of teaching that had been implemented in the school. 

Consequently, Amspec designed and manufactured central service bollards with accompanying island-style desks and seating. Amspec worked with Thornleigh College throughout the design project to ensure that the materials and design style adhered to the school’s objectives and that the project was completed before lessons resumed in September. 

Alterations to partitioning

Making some simple alterations to the layout of a classroom can significantly affect the teaching/learning experience. For example, installing partitioning in the classroom will provide areas of personal space, as well as making clear distinctions between individual and group activity areas.
As well as flooring and ceiling replacement, Amspec’s recent refurbishment of Appleton Thorn Primary in Warrington included the decoration and alteration to existing partitioning, designed to modify the teaching/learning experience of the classrooms. 

Utilising space above

If the education setting is stuck for space, if classroom numbers are rising or you merely want to create more room in a classroom for both children and adults to benefit from and enjoy, utilising space overhead can be an effective form of classroom design.
One way to do this would to have a ‘classroom loft’ installed. The classroom loft can be accessed via some steps and can enhance the learning and development experience in the classroom. 

These cosy and creative spaces not only provide additional room in a classroom but they also create a supplementary teaching space. With more room on ground level, teachers and classroom assistants can have more space to manoeuvre, work and teach at their optimum. 

Space to play with creative structures 

The simplest of spaces can be a haven for playing and learning in a classroom. For example, in a reception class, dedicating a corner of the room to being a play area can be creatively achieved by mimicking an inspiring and ‘fairy-tale’ structure, such as a doll’s house, a fairies’ garden or a castle. Have books, toys and other learning resources close at hand so children can read, play and learn with ease in this dedicated creative space.

Removing the teacher ‘shrine’

Interactivity is a buzzword in modern classrooms as the days of students arduously staring at the teacher talking for the majority of the day have long gone. Consequently, the teacher’s desk or table is no longer such a mandatory requirement in modern education settings. Getting rid of this teacher’s ‘shrine’ will mean space is utilised more efficiently in the classrooms, giving teachers more room to work, teach and interact with children, who will also have more space to learn and play. 

If you are looking to create bespoke classroom design and build anywhere in the UK, North West-based Amspec has experience working on design projects which cater for the unique requirements of both students and adults. We will work with you every step of the way on your commercial interior design project in the UK, to ensure your classroom educates and inspires everyone who steps foot in it. Call Amspec today for more advice on a bespoke design and build of a school or other education setting.


 

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