Flexible, comfortable and hi-tech: today’s classrooms are shaping the way our children learn. So, what do 21st century teaching spaces look like, and how do they differ from classrooms of the past? We take a look at the design ideas behind modern learning environments.

Flexible spaces

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One striking feature of many modern classrooms is their versatility. Schools all over the UK are becoming stretched for space due to rising school populations – meaning that today’s classrooms often have to double up and take on several different functions.

With extra flexibility incorporated into the design of these modern learning environments, today’s contemporary teaching spaces have many advantages over more basic classrooms:

  • Dividing walls can split classrooms into subsections, then be removed when they are no longer needed.
  • Storage space for teaching aids, instruments and other equipment is maximised through clever use of space.
  • Specialist technology and equipment for lessons like music and science are built into the classroom design.
  • Seating arrangements can be reconfigured to suit the class, allowing for group work, providing floor space when needed and facilitating student-friendly modes of learning.

Effective learning

It has been shown that positive learning environments can have a big impact on learning outcomes. So 21st century schools are beginning to act on this, creating environments that are more conducive to learning, encouraging pupils to be comfortable, enjoy their lessons and concentrate better. Modern classrooms are designed with this in mind:

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  • Breakout areas are common, offering an informal area where students can get together and learn in a less structured way.
  • Wifi, ample power outlets and other technological learning aids are available as and when needed
  • Design features like natural light, open spaces and temperature control all make for a comfortable environment that promotes learning and concentration.

Outside space

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Outdoor learning is another key feature of today’s teaching philosophies. Modern learning environments are often designed to make good use of the space outside the classroom, rather than confining classes within the four walls that enclose it. Whether it’s used as an outdoor science classroom or as an add-on to a modular sports building, outside space is always a valuable asset. For example:

  • Modular music rooms and drama studios might incorporate decking around the outside of the building to be used as a performance space or a stage.
  • Natural light can be maximised through the use of huge folding doors, letting the sunlight flood in.
  • Accessible ramps help those with wheelchairs to make full use of the space.


What do modern learning environments look like in real life? At Green Modular, our bespoke modular classrooms come in all shapes and sizes, designed for individual schools and their own particular needs. Some examples include:

If you’d like to find out more, read about our prefabricated buildings and take a look at some examples of our work? Or call us on 01582 805710 to request a brochure, arrange a consultation or discuss how we could help you. We have also put together a helpful whitepaper on mobile classrooms.