Taking it to the next level, many schools are exploring the use of colour, light and space. Breaking away from the traditional classroom layout, many have considered what impact the placement of furniture or the décor can have on the learning experience.
One design challenging convention is a multifunctional, collaborative shared learning space created by Dutch designer Rosan Bosch. Her vision for the International School of Nice was “informed by ambitious pedagogical visions to motivate and empower the individual learner through holistic learning experiences.” It sets out to create a school like no other. With space to connect and share learning experiences, students are encouraged to work together and make connections between disciplines – applying combined skills as they would in the real world.
This progressive development offers five different spheres linked to their own space typologies. They aim to both physically and aesthetically meet the needs of individual learners allowing them to move from the concept to implementation. The large open plan learning space encourages movement and steps away from the typical chair and table set up. It embraces eco-design with many plants lining the interiors. Makes use of new technology and shows well-considered use of space. The International School of Nice undergoes transformation later this year and is sure to inspire many future schools in their design.
Another of Rosan’s designs, Go! Campus Zottegem in Belgium portrays the country’s culture and the importance of nature and play. Students are offered a vast 4,400 sqm of learning space. Here they freely move between the outside and inside space with learning opportunities found everywhere. Various landscapes can be seen as you move through the school, with forests, flower gardens and seasides all being represented. These buildings facilitate creativity. They encourage pupils to think for themselves, ask questions and make connections. All seem like great preparation for the real world.
When looking deeper into this thought process, we came across many studies exploring the impact of education spaces and how they can greatly impact the way students learn. One particular study by The University of Salford, Manchester stood out. It monitored 153 classrooms over three years, examining how three core elements affected the pupil’s learning. They looked specifically at physical characteristics like ‘Naturalness’ (noise, light and air quality), ‘Stimulation’ (colours, textures, open space and clutter) and ‘Individualisation’ (flexibility and personalisation).
The study concluded that “there is clear evidence that the physical characteristics of primary schools do impact pupils’ learning progress in reading, writing and mathematics.” It showed a significant impact on the 3788 pupils in the study showing a 16% variation in the student’s overall yearly progress. These results make a sound argument for education providers to transform their facilities. It shows that a well-designed classroom and school can offer real value and lead to a marked improvement in the student’s performance.
For more information on how we can transform your educational space, please get in touch! To read more of our articles head over to our magazine.
 Rosen Bosch ‘Empowering Learners’ (24.05.2022) https://rosanbosch.com/en/journal/empowering-learners
 University of Salford Manchester Clever Classrooms http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/35221/1/120515%20Clever%20Classrooms.pdf