In a modern learning environment, classroom layout and the use of space is an increasingly important factor. Believe it or not it, the way classroom furniture is laid out can affect children’s behaviour and academic success, so it is important to get it right.
The size of the room, type of furniture, colour of the walls, amount of light and room layout all influence how children learn. If the classroom is too chaotic, busy and over stimulating this can easily distract them from learning.
However, if the room is too plain and uninviting this can also discourage their enthusiasm for learning. It’s all about getting the balance right for your classroom and students. Your classroom layout might change each year depending on your children’s needs – each class is different. Layout will also depend on age group but there are some standard things that you should consider.
Children spend a large part of their day in the classroom so it is important that it is a safe, caring and supportive environment where children feel they belong. It should be inviting, well laid out and practical.
Every classroom is different in terms of size, shape, natural light and furniture available so you need to be creative in terms of how to make the best of your classroom.
So what should you consider when designing your classroom layout?
With growing class sizes and the amount of space at a teacher’s disposal constantly diminishing, you will need to be creative about maximizing space. Ensure there is free-flow around the classroom for children and teachers without invading other people’s space.
The entrance to your classroom needs to be accessible and welcoming – keep it free from clutter and poorly placed furniture so it is easy for children and parents to enter the room.
Consider designating areas for certain uses, for example, a carpeted area with bean bags for a quiet area, a reading corner with books, a messy play/craft area with storage for supplies.
Clarifying space and its function means children can read the space and understand its function which provides a good and easy environment in which to learn.
Try to make the most of natural light and consider the heating in the room – do not block windows or radiators so that air quality, light and temperature are at their optimum levels.
Classroom Furniture and Storage
Set up is important in how a classroom is managed and table layout will depend on your teaching style. Very popular in early years’ teaching is group work so tables and chairs are set into groups. This is a good use of space and allows children to learn from each other; they can work in pairs, threes or the whole group.
The height adjustable flower classroom table and the height adjustable rainbow classroom tableis perfect for group work. Up to 6 children can work on these tables at once which encourages team work and interaction.
When planning your table layout, make sure all children can see and hear clearly from where they are sitting. Also be aware of children with special needs and what kind of space is best for them to achieve their potential.
Tables and chairs should be the right size for the age group. At Early Learning Furniture all of our classroom tables and classroom chairs come in various heights for different age groups.
Try to have as much storage as possible. Even with limited space there are some very clever storage solutions out there. Make storage within easy reach for the children and in relevant places, e.g. books near the soft seating corner.
Give each child their own personal storage space. This will help with a sense of belonging and will give them somewhere to keep their things tidy. We offer a large range of classroom storage for all classroom layouts.
When designing a classroom you should consider visual stimulation as well as the layout of your furniture.
It is important to find the right balance with visual stimulation – if there is too much to take in it affects our thinking; children are distracted, confused and over-stimulated which is detrimental to learning. However, too little visual stimulation with plain walls and no displays can result in under-stimulating the class.
Colour is important. Different colours can affect feelings and emotions so think about the best colours to use in your room. Bright colours can be exciting and fun, more muted tones are calmer. A lot of our classroom furniture is available in various colours so you can mix and match to find what works best for you.
Classroom displays should be fun, simple, clear and appropriate to the age group. Don’t make a display too cluttered or busy and leave some display space for children’s work – they love to see their achievements and show parents. We provide a wide range of notice boards and display boards for schools which are perfect for classroom displays.
Perhaps most importantly you must think about safety in your classroom:
- Arrange tables, chairs and other furniture so that everyone can move around safely.
- Ensure all exit routes are clear and doorways and windows are free from obstructions.
- Make sure all areas are visible and no-one can hide away.
Classroom layout is about getting the balance right. You should experiment and have fun with your classroom to find what works for you and your class.
Early Learning Furniture offers a wide range of classroom furniture and storage solutions – take a look at our website for some ideas for your classroom. For more information contact us or call 01733 511121.