A school interior design scheme can play a key role in helping students to unlock their full potential. When done right, it can help to make learning an enjoyable and enduring experience that will give kids the best possible chance of succeeding in life.
School design can have a big impact on teachers’ lives too. With advances in modern technology, teachers can really bring education to life for students, while a few changes to the staffroom design can go a long way in reducing stress levels!
In this blog, we look at some of the trends that are helping to make school life better for students and teachers alike. From modern technology to colour psychology, you will find plenty of inspiration in our list for 2021.
Read on to find out more.
School Culture and Identity
A school’s culture and identity can be infused into its interiors to make for an eye-catching and fitting design scheme. As we’ve seen in our previous projects, there are a number of creative ways to do this, including the following:
Wall murals are a great way to establish your school culture and send out a positive message to students.
For example, in one of our recent projects for Haringey Sixth Form College, we printed a Nelson Mandela wall mural along with the inspirational line, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.
Every school has an emblem that tells people a little about its history and ethos. And just as these emblems are emblazoned on school uniforms every day, they can feature proudly on interior elements too.
In recent years, we have introduced them in the form of glass manifestation, graphic prints and aluminium wall signs like this one on Holy Trinity Lamorbey’s school classroom wall.
Reflect Your Specialism
Many schools now have a specialist subject such as sport or maths & computing or technology, and this can be reflected in the interior design scheme.
For example, a school that specialises in art should be visually arresting and include areas where students can showcase their artwork.
Such a simple idea, but one which is really effective in helping to establish a sense of identity.
By introducing these, schools can really encapsulate the school’s spirit, ethos and identity. This will serve to inspire students and make them feel part of something special.
Focus on Mental Health
Students’ mental health is something that must be taken seriously. These days, the pressures of exams are greater than ever, while more technology has meant that young people are exposed to a number of risks online, including cyberbullying.
With this in mind, here are a few things schools can do to improve mental health in young people:
It’s good to have an alternative space to a bustling playground or field. Some students may prefer an indoor area like a library, which is invariably much quieter and calmer (perfect for the Matildas of this world!) For a modern and inviting library design, consider introducing booths and soft seating.
Keeping up with new technology is an excellent way to enhance a child’s learning experience, and given that children are digital natives, it makes sense to introduce technology that will help to engage them in study.
Some schools make learning more fun for students by introducing portable devices like iPads and digital textbooks, which are often complemented by storage ports and furniture appropriate for group settings (something we will look at later).
Teachers can also benefit from technology in the form of interactive whiteboards, known as “smartboards”.
Smartboards allow teachers to project an image and interact with it by writing on it or moving it around. While the smartboard is a touch screen device, notes can be made using special pens which come in a range of colours.
In recent years, schools have started to introduce handy, easy-to-move furniture into their classroom setups. This includes versatile pieces like modular seating, lightweight tables, wheelable chairs, and even giant bean bags.
The benefit of flexible school furniture is that it can be easily reconfigured to suit different study groups and tasks.
This is particularly useful for older education groups like sixth formers, where they are likely to do more work in group settings.
Flexible furniture also complements the technology-led classroom, where portable devices used on a daily basis.
A truly efficient space will also have plenty of power sources and outlets to ensure no one runs out of battery mid-task!
One way to help mitigate the stress factor is to create a relaxing, inviting staff room.
In our recent projects, we’ve helped schools by introducing tea points and dining facilities, comfortable furniture like sofas, calming colours, relaxing wall murals, breakfast bars, and modern lighting solutions such as hanging pendants.
The concept of a relaxing staffroom is nothing new of course, but with the rise in stress among teachers, it makes our list of school interior design trends for 2021.
More often than not, a school reception area is just a place you go to for information. Visually, they look pretty straightforward, with a desk, a hidden office space and maybe a few decorations to make the space look pretty.
While many schools still overlook the aesthetic aspects of a space, others are starting to take the “first impressions are everything” stance and making a big effort with their designs.
Additionally, we added in a glass partition with the school’s emblem to establish a sense of identity and meet safety regulations.
As we’ve looked at in our previous blogs, colour psychology can have an impact on a child’s learning abilities and behaviour. With this in mind, it’s important that you take colour psychology into account when refurbishing your interiors.
Here are some guidelines from the book “Colour, Environment and Human Response”, which helps schools to choose colours based on age and academic environment:
For example, yellow is a colour of sunshine and happiness that fuels intelligence; red is a stimulating colour that helps with repetitive and detail orientated tasks, and orange is good for critical thinking and memory and can enhance performance in exams.
Cool colours like blue, green and purple aid concentration and are recommended for older children.
Blue enhances creativity and creates a relaxing environment; green helps to relax and contributes to improved wellbeing in kids, and purple is an attention-grabbing colour that also falls into the cool category.
Before you go and splash blue on every single wall, it’s worth noting that too much of one colour can have an adverse effect. For example, too much blue can invoke feelings of depression or sorrow, while too much yellow can make students feel stressed. Therefore, it’s a good idea to combine them with other complementary colours to ensure they are effective.
Schools can be noisy places, so introducing acoustic elements that reduce noise pollution are a godsend to teachers.
These days, you even can buy fun acoustic solutions that complement the interior design scheme.
For an added touch, they were designed in colours that reflect the school’s branding.
We hope our blog has given you some bright ideas for your future school interior design.
While COVID-19 may have meant students and teachers have been at home in 2020, there’s nothing to stop you planning for 2021 and beyond. In fact, while the schools are quiet, now might be a good time to re-imagine your interior design scheme. In doing so, you can make the education environment an incredible place when students and teachers return.
If this blog has inspired you to make changes to your school interior design scheme, then Rap Interiors can help.
For over 30 years Rap has helped countless schools and higher education providers to transform their interiors, ensuring that students and teachers get the best possible experience from their environment.
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