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A modern school interior design for a sixth form canteen area with a dark colour scheme and contrasting flooring. A modern school interior design for a sixth form canteen area with a dark colour scheme and contrasting flooring.

Safety First: How to Refurbish Your School During COVID-19

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Rap Interiors

How to Refurbish Your School During COVID-19

With the imminent reopening of schools, it’s important to set up your interiors so that they’re safe and practical. Finding the balance between the two will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure students receive the best possible education.

In this blog, we look at some of the things you can do to achieve the desired outcome. With reference to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government guidelines, we guide you on the safest solutions while offering our expertise on school space design.

From classroom configurations to school furniture options, you will find plenty of tips here.

Read on to learn more and get ready for the great return!

Ensure Good Ventilation

According to the UK Government website, coronavirus is spread through the air by droplets and smaller particles known as aerosols. When you’re indoors, these particles can remain suspended in the air for hours and build up over time.

To prevent this from happening, WHO advises that schools open windows to let out the bad air. If your classroom has fixed windows, then another option is to improve ventilation through mechanical means.

As highlighted on the WHO website, a good HVAC system will extract the harmful air that would re-circulate without ventilation.

In addition to these methods, you can now get air purifiers which trap and eradicate harmful particles.

Collaborative school furniture solutions installed for a refurbishment Collaborative school furniture solutions installed for a refurbishment

Improve School Washroom Hygiene

While it’s not nice to broach this subject, poor hygiene and ventilation in school washroom facilities can lead to the spread of coronavirus. This is because coronavirus has been traced in stool samples, meaning harmful particles can float in the air when a toilet is flushed.

As mentioned in the previous point, you can prevent particles from circulating by opening windows and implementing a ventilation system. It will also help to create signs that tell students to put the toilet lid down when flushing.

There’s no harm in carrying out a toilet refurbishment at this time either. This will encourage students to respect the interiors and keep them clean and tidy.

a school washroom design with ceramic tiles fitted by interior fit out company rap interiors a school washroom design with ceramic tiles fitted by interior fit out company rap interiors

Get Creative with your School Classroom Design

Last summer, the government advised that pupils should learn with desks facing forward and spaced appropriately to reduce contact.

While the set up will seem old fashioned to children used to relaxed settings, the advice is likely to be reiterated to curb infection rates under current guidelines for social distance space planning in schools and offices.

In addition to adapting the school desk configuration, consider creating a teacher-only zone.

This is off limits to students so that teachers can pass on their knowledge without the worry of contracting COVID-19. A simple piece of tape on the floor will do the trick or an acrylic desk screen.

By taking these simple measures, you can make a big difference in reducing the spread of infection. Parents will also rest assured knowing that their children are being educated in a safe environment.

Laptop Station Interior Design for Haringey Sixth Form College in London – Rap Interiors – Interior Design Company Laptop Station Interior Design for Haringey Sixth Form College in London – Rap Interiors – Interior Design Company

Take a look at our options of protective desk screens and workspaces we have installed since last March!

The most popular screen in use in a school environment is the full standing screen, 2m wide X 2m high.

They are extremely versatile and moveable, providing a flexible solution to schools where learning environments are constantly changing due to the pandemic to keep students and staff safe.

These full height protective screens are useful for corridors, as demonstrated in this image, to promote a one-way traffic flow that is easy for students to follow.

Schools are using them to create bubbles in classrooms and social areas like the canteen as they can create U-shape areas to keep students separated from their peers.

Social distancing in corridors at work through protective screens Social distancing in corridors at work through protective screens

Introduce a Storage Wall

With your school classroom undergoing new space planning and a refurbishment, you will need to make every inch count.

This will mean storing away any unnecessary equipment to reduce clutter.

If you haven’t got the appropriate school storage solutions, consider introducing a storage wall.

This won’t take up too much space on the classroom floor and can be fitted around an electric whiteboard.

This set up also creates a natural focal point for forward-facing lessons. If you find that the pupils are responding well to this setup, then you may even keep it in place for the long term.

a modern school classroom design with a whiteboard and a reading area for children a modern school classroom design with a whiteboard and a reading area for children

Rethink Your School Furniture

When you bought your educational furniture, it’s unlikely you took into account if it was suitable for a global pandemic.

Now, it may be the case that you’re in the market for something more appropriate.

By bringing in some adaptable school furniture, you’ll be able to set when the students return.

You can also use this as an opportunity to get rid of any old desks that are covered in gum and graffiti!

If so, here are a few ideas:

The Haringey Sixth Form Learning Facility in Tottenham, London The Haringey Sixth Form Learning Facility in Tottenham, London

Make the School Reception Safe

When your school re-opens, the reception area is likely to be extremely busy.

With lots of parents, children and guests passing through, it’s essential that the area is fit for purpose.

Remember, a school reception area is often a place where first impressions are made.

Therefore, making it safe will show that you are taking the necessary steps in reducing the spread of infection.

Here are some things you can introduce take to make it safer:

A Newly Refurbished St Mary Magdalene Academy in London – Rap Interiors A Newly Refurbished St Mary Magdalene Academy in London – Rap Interiors

Working With a Specialist School Refurbishment Contractor

Working with a specialist education fit out contractor will ensure the process of making your school safe and COVID-secure is smooth, stress-free and will deliver an outstanding interior design result.

We not only have vast experience in conducting education fit outs and refurbishments across the UK, but have been working with a number of schools during the pandemic to create safe and practical learning environments.

From school washroom transformations to reception revamps, canteen refurbishments and sixth form areas designed, we’ve been transforming the interior design in schools for over 30 years.

Let us get the ball rolling with your project by showing you a bespoke Pinterest board tailored to your school refurb.

To learn more and book a free consultation, call 0333 600 1234 or email refurb@rapinteriors.co.uk

A modern school interior design for a sixth form canteen area with a dark colour scheme and contrasting flooring. A modern school interior design for a sixth form canteen area with a dark colour scheme and contrasting flooring.

By making well-informed design decisions now, you can create a space that’s safe and practical for present and future students. Indeed, you should look at this as an opportunity to make changes for the long term, as this will make the money you spend seem more like an investment rather than a temporary fix.

Whatever changes you decide to make, we wish you the best of luck with your school return. By reading this blog, you’re already on the right track to making it a success!

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