Some schools are blessed with fantastic modern buildings that are designed to maximise learning potential. For the most part, though, schools have to make do with disjointed, often substandard premises that can be detrimental to education.
Bringing these old constructions back to life is generally seen as an impossible task - there simply isn't enough cash for the crucial work. However, in reality, there are plenty of ways for schools to enhance their environments cheaply. Here are just four of the many areas you can address.
Acoustic design may seem like a dark art, but there are simple ways to check your classroom's performance. Download a decibel app to your smartphone and measure the noise levels during class. If the readings frequently peak at 65dB or above, consider the following ideas to optimise the acoustics and create a more productive environment.
- Line the walls with large display panels. These can be made from MDF with a cork face, finished in felt. Cork has very good acoustic properties and the panels can double as pinboards for displays.
- Cover hard flooring with carpet and underlay.
- Place acoustic panels on the ceiling to allow lofty classrooms to retain their sense of space.
- Consider installing acoustic wall panels where display space is not required. These should be applied to the front or back walls of the classroom, not the sides.