Our ‘calm classrooms’ create a positive learning environment for all our children
We are proud to be one of the first schools in the Southeast of England and one of only a handful of schools in the UK to unveil a radical new whole school re-design of our classroom layout which puts children’s needs firmly at the heart of the learning experience.
Our new ‘calm classrooms’ are a complete change from traditional school classrooms and have been designed and created by a team of professional child therapists, based on research which shows that children learn best in a calm, comfortable environment where our children are not surrounded by noise, bright colours and harsh lighting. The emphasis of the new design is on neutral colours, comfortable seating, ambient lighting and a feeling of space. Mrs Rachael Cox, Headmistress said:
“Since I joined the school back in September, I have been conducting a listening exercise involving children, parents and staff, looking at how we can improve the school environment and helping me to understand what they liked and what frustrated them about the school. When I spoke to the children about their learning environment, the thing they wanted to change most of all was the chairs. It sounds like small thing, but it was obviously a big thing for them. It made me go back and completely re-think how we organise our classrooms and learning spaces. I wanted to create an environment where our children were comfortable and could concentrate on learning.
“Children will always achieve their best when they have a sense of emotional and psychological safety as well as being physically comfortable. Our school classroom design and furnishings have not really changed much for centuries, and it is time to stop, think about the world beyond the school gates and create environments which inspire and support pupils to develop the skills they need in the twenty-first century.”
The classrooms were put designed and put together with the help of a team of specialist child psychologists from TPC therapy based in Cheshire.
Vihan aged 10, a pupil at the school commented on the changes and said:
“When you're in a relaxed environment, it doesn't feel like there is pressure. When it’s all there and so crowded it feels really stressful, but now with all these small tables and colours that mix in with the rest, it just feels like there's so much space and you feel more relaxed and less stressed.”
Rupal Patel, a teacher at Eton End was also impressed with the new look classrooms and commented:
“The calm classrooms are proving to be excellent environments to teach in. The children are more focused, and I like the way that the new layout has been designed so that the children are able to take control of how they learn. The space is flexible so they can work on the large tables which encourage collaboration, on the small round tables for group work, or on the low tables or floor cushions for independent work and quiet reading. This empowers the children to take ownership of their learning and choose the place that suits them the best for that particular lesson. The flexible seating means that the room feels much more spacious, and the neutral colour palette is calming. No displays mean no distractions. It feels like a home from home and is a calm environment for them.”