– Furniture for the modern classroom
The key considerations for a classroom design include functional and flexible furniture, classroom layout and choice of colours. Education furniture also needs to reflect the requirements of the modern classroom and incorporate electronic equipment. Today a classroom is usually divided into different spaces for various activities and furniture may frequently be moved around to adapt to different learning techniques. As technology and learning methods are constantly changing the modern classroom requires furniture that can adapt to these changes and it is important that your education furniture supplier understands such requirements.
Designing the classroom
A useful exercise could be to involve the children in the design of the classroom. Children are more likely to think outside the box and if they feel part of the decision-making process they should also show a positive response to the finished result.
Let the children consider the size of the room and the best use of various parts of the classroom. How could you make the most of available furniture and what is missing? Let them consider location of objects and furniture and draw up their own floor plans. Older children could also consider disability access, health and safety, OFSTED and building regulations.
Furniture in the classroom
The modern classroom is usually arranged to incorporate different learning techniques throughout the day; group work, individual learning, discussions, listening and relaxation. Square, rectangular and semi-circular tables can be used to create various arrangements suitable for the day’s activities.
Apart from the more traditional styled tables, tables specifically designed for small workgroup activities can improve creativity and facilitate group work. Such tables are available in horseshoe, circular and clover shapes. They are available in bright colours and are height adjustable for flexible use.
Although children in a modern classroom are more likely to move around and take part in different activities they still spend a lot of their day sitting on a chair. To minimise fatigue and strain, a chair with an upholstered seat is more comfortable for the child. Stackable chairs are recommended in the classroom so that they can easily be stored away to make room as required. As computers are introduced into the classroom the importance of ergonomics for pupils also need to be addressed.
Kinderboxes, tray units and other storage solutions are usually available on castors so that they can be moved to a specific activity and facilitate changes to classroom arrangements.
Consider glare from windows and room lights before positioning electronic devices like a TV, monitors and whiteboards. As mentioned earlier, flexibility is key when selecting storage furniture for electronics as the equipment may be moved around and shared between several classrooms.
Colours and Moods in the classroom
Use colours in the classroom to create an atmosphere that is exciting and stimulating to be in. Perhaps it is not too important what colours are used but that a variety of colours is introduced in the classroom as white can be hard on the eye and look a bit sterile. Be aware that different age groups will respond differently to the same colour and too much colour could create over stimulation.
In the choice of furniture and walls, stay away from trendy colours in the classroom as you want to achieve a lasting look. For a classroom with a homey and comfortable atmosphere you could introduce accessories like plants, baskets, curtains and perhaps a fish tank.
The Modern classroom imposes both possibilities and restrictions and with a limited budget it is important to find furniture that can grow with the children and adapt to changes. Should you require planning and product advice BT Office has extensive experience and expertise in supplying furniture for the education sector.