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How intelligent classroom design boosts science learning

Education interior specialists, Innova, expand on the key design elements needed in science laboratories

Posted by Hannah Oakman | April 24, 2015 | Interiors

Despite high-profile criticism, academy schools are becoming increasingly popular, with direct government funded schools now present in towns and cities across the country. As more and more academies are built, we asks: can the way in which our science classrooms are designed have an impact on learning? 

Practical vs. theory based learning

In this article, education interior specialists, Innova, expand on the key design elements needed for in science laboratories. From environmental factors to student positioning, the way in which these rooms are built has an impact on student progress.

For academy schools specialising in science-based subjects, classroom design is particularly important. Desk materials, storage sites, seating arrangements – these are but a few of the factors academies must consider when planning a new classroom design for purpose-built science labs, to ensure they create the perfect environment for pupils to progress.

To create a successful, versatile science lab, it’s imperative that academies consider just how many different uses the room may have. Learning spaces must be built with more than one purpose in mind to ensure they meet the day-to-day needs of staff and students. For science labs, there must be adequate space for practical work; functional table top areas for theory-based learning; fixed furniture setups for collaborative group work; as well as surplus, functional space for one-on-one tuition.


Given the increased accessibility and affordability of modern technologies, academies that implement appropriate technology effectively into their classroom design are likely to see an improvement in student progress.

In a recent article, the BBC explored the benefits of introducing iPads and tablets into the classroom. With the ability to access dozens of programs, learning aids and classroom-appropriate games, the iPad – among other tablets – introduces a new, innovative learning tool that is sure to appeal to young, tech-savvy students.

Incorporating technology into the classroom is particularly important in the sciences, given the nature of the subjects being taught. Allowing students access to modern technologies in a specific field of study will give them a deeper understanding of a topic, as well as help them adapt to life after education.

Layouts and teaching

Whilst it’s essential for academy schools to consider what design, furniture and materials will be used in the classroom to promote a better environment for learning, space management is also vitally important. Modern school science labs must allow for ease of access and communication – without hindering the learning environment. Finding the balance between what’s best for staff and what’s best for students is key to implementing a successful classroom layout in academy schools that will improve student progress.

When implementing functional classroom design, the needs of the teachers and staff must be considered, too. The key to helping students progress lays in supporting an effective teaching strategy and this can only be achieved in a functional, fit-for-purpose classroom. Teachers require ample space for demonstrations and lectures, as well as a clear line of sight to effectively engage with each pupil. Access to each pupil is also vitally important, so classrooms should have ample space for teachers to move around and communicate directly with their students.

For academies to succeed in improving student progress, intelligent classroom design is a vital first step in ensuring the environmental and educational needs of students is, met whatever the field of study. A great way for academies to meet the needs of students and teachers is to involve both parties in the classroom design progress.  By considering the requirements or concerns of the end-user, academies can tailor their classroom design to ensure it works on a practical level whilst promoting and inspiring progress.


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