Those of you who regularly read our blog, will be aware of our belief that natural daylight is not only good for us but that it also enhances the cognitive and behavioural function of a classroom’s occupants. Last month, the University of Salford published a research report, entitled “Clever Classrooms”, detailing the results of the Holistic Evidence and Design (HEAD) project. In a nutshell, the project found clear evidence that well designed primary schools boost children’s academic performance in reading, writing and maths by a considerable margin.
Instinctively we understand that the spaces in which we live, work or learn affect how we feel and how we perform. However, until this report, most research has focussed on one specific aspect or factor and has offered no holistic conclusions as to which characteristics are most important, individually and in relation to each other.
Salford’s HEAD project assessed three types of physical characteristics of learning spaces: stimulation, individualisation and naturalness. They found that the most influential factor, accounting for half the learning impact, was naturalness, by which they mean light, temperature and air quality. The remainder of the impact was shared equally between individualisation (ownership and flexibility) and stimulation (complexity and colour).
Many of these factors, such as good natural lighting, air quality and flexibility are taken very seriously by our designers, as anecdotally evidenced by the testimonials of some of our satisfied customers:
“The natural light has boosted their productivity and having the option to interact with nature has inspired them to be more creative and imaginative.” Primary school classroom customer
“We have seen a big improvement in their behaviour and they are much calmer, something that we think may be due to the natural light they have which was not available in the previous room.” Nursery classroom customer
“The space is really light and airy, quiet and peaceful. It feels a real luxury to use rooms that are spacious but not echoey, bright and light but without glaring sunlight.” Double storey modular classroom block customer