Back to School: Classrooms Undergoing Change
As teachers keep up with the latest trends in classroom design, how are modern classrooms changing?
More children in classrooms – The number of children in classrooms has increased in many schools. This means teachers are looking for more flexible school desks, which they can adapt to different activities. Instead of large, difficult-to-move tables, forward-thinking schools are changing over to using individual student desks.
These individual desks are easier for pupils to move and reconfigure into a u-shape, single file or push together for group work. Stackable children’s desks also mean they are quick and easy to move to one side so the centre of the classroom can be used for practical activities, such as roleplays.
New technology means ‘maker-spaces’ are becoming popular in many primary, secondary science and computing classrooms as 3D printers, robotics, and computing chips are becoming cheaper and more accessible. An easy way to make room for this is to use tables which can be pulled out during a ‘making’ session but that have a flip top that can be pushed onto its side and wheeled against a wall once finished.
Increased use of digital technologies – Digital technologies, such as online textbooks or interactive software, are also increasing the need for students to access their own computer in each lesson. This can be done with PCs, or laptops, or tablets – but teachers need to redo their classrooms to keep up with the change.
Desks with an integrated lid or smart desks are an easy way to ensure pupils can read their digital screens whilst still looking at the teacher. That’s better for behaviour management and good for posture. When the digital technology is not in use, the lids flip down so the pupil is able to write on top of their desk as normal. Lockable drawers, either in the desk or in a cabinet, ensure equipment is safe and protected.
Making classrooms more personalised – Schools are also increasingly aware of the need to personalise classrooms to meet every child’s needs. In many classrooms there is at least one height-adjustable children’s desk so that, with a few cranks of a handle, a child in a wheelchair, or one who finds it easier to stand for a period of time, will also have a comfortable work surface that suits them.