Does the atmosphere in your school foster the right conditions for learning? Creating a positive learning environment that welcomes children and encourages them to explore their ideas has a beneficial effect on their feelings of well-being, and also their learning outcomes. Here we’ll explore how schools can design and create classrooms that get the very best from their students.
We learn best when we feel comfortable – and that means not too hot and not too cold. So, if there’s just one step you take towards creating a positive learning environment, make sure you have adjustable heating and air conditioning, so that pupils can concentrate on their studies, whatever the weather.
The same goes for other basic creature comforts; lighting, noise levels and ventilation can all provide distractions if they’re not at the optimal levels. A modern learning environment should be one where these variables can be controlled to allow for good levels of concentration.
Children, especially younger infants, are visual creatures. Creating a positive learning environment for young learners means designing a space that is fun, tidy, colourful, and generally visually appealing to children. Displays of pupils’ work show children that their efforts are valued; incorporate these into the layout of the classroom. Help the class to take ownership of their space by having a say in its décor, and get each class member to design a name tag to add to their peg, tray or desk.
The design and layout of a room can have a subtle but powerful influence on how we behave within it. (Just think of supermarkets and how they use their layout to guide us through the store.) By paying careful attention to the furniture and layout within your classroom, and creating a learning environment that reflects the needs of your class, you can encourage a more active form of learning.
For example, a classroom containing rows and rows of desks all facing the front might lead to a passive approach, where pupils listen to the teacher and don’t interact. By arranging your seating in a horseshoe formation, or simply doing away with it altogether, you can create a more effective learning environment that feels more inclusive, encouraging everyone to get involved. For more casual or active lessons, you might choose bean bags on the floor, or a space in the centre of the room where everyone can move.
Although we often associate learning with a classroom, there’s nothing to say that lessons must all take place inside one. In fact, there’s lots of evidence to show that outdoor learning can be a healthy, interactive and calming way to gain a hands-on understanding of the world. Modular classrooms, with features like roof canopies and bifolding doors that provide easy access to outdoor learning areas, provide the best of both learning environments.
Green Modular specialises in building modern, bright and comfortable classrooms for schools and nurseries. If you’d like to find out more about creating a positive learning environment through modular buildings, or see how our work could benefit your school, just browse our range of educational buildings or contact us for a consultation.