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Learning Space to Grow

21 June 2017

Adequate learning space is a key requirement for both primary and secondary school environments, for concentration and health. Children and teenagers need an average of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day. But an influx of new students can often place pressure on school space, reducing open areas. 

Especially in public schools, there is often little opportunity and no budget to redevelop existing infrastructure as the student body expands. Installing cheap, portable modular classrooms increases teaching areas at the expense of open space. In these circumstances, schools can leverage the insight of an expert to reuse existing space more efficiently.

Repurposing existing space can lead to positive education outcomes. Macquarie University research uncovered that open plan learning spaces improved maths and English results among year 9 and 10 students by as much as 17 per cent. Primary schools in Melbourne’s northwest have recently adopted flexible learning spaces to create a positive learning environment. Reorganising existing spaces can also increase natural lighting and air flow, improving student concentration and reducing tiredness.

However, redesigning existing spaces to accommodate different styles of learning requires expert guidance. Expansive buildings does not necessarily translate to efficient spatial use. An external expert can redevelop teaching spaces to encourage collaborative learning without sacrificing quiet areas.

Consider whether classes may be using learning spaces that are too large for their small size, and may be able to be rearranged to more closely match their requirements. Classroom furniture may also be able to be rearranged within existing spaces to increase class sizes. Analyse storage areas such as student lockers and areas for storing books and school supplies and determine if there is capacity for a more efficient use of space. School cafeterias may be able to be rearranged to fit more students and staff.

Redesigned staff areas such as common rooms may both improve efficiency of use and lift staff morale, leading to improved teaching outcomes. Often school staff may be housed by default in separate room according to subject, when it may be more efficient to sit them together. School departments may also be located some distance from equipment they require for lessons. Proper examination of existing spatial use by an expert will assist in uncovering and rectifying these issues.

Teaching methods are not static, and are often altered in pursuit of different educational outcomes. In order to ensure that your school spaces facilitate and strengthen the adoption of new educational strategies, seek the guidance of experts.

If you want to redesign your school areas to encourage better learning whilst still securing open space, then why not see what you can achieve with Programmed Property Services today.

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