Schools are engaging in new learning situations that have proven benefits for equipping the adults of tomorrow. Today’s students are tomorrow’s scientists, engineers, and technicians of the future. Thus a perfect school laboratory is important.
Many of the school buildings were built at a time when ideas about teaching and learning, and the role of schools in society, were very different from today. The legacy of this can mean that it can sometimes be difficult to adapt the space for learning and teaching in the 21st century.
Whilst teachers play a crucial role in developing the students along the way the educational environment is fundamental to maximise the learning experience.
As learning spaces evolve to support the needs of modern-day teaching, spaces becoming more fluid to support and nurture the learning environment.
When making some changes in the school environment here are some ideas to take into consideration:
- Collate evidence – research what is considered learning success to you, what projects/subjects have worked well
- Support teachers – share ideas with teachers and provide them with the opportunity to lead the change in practice
- Listen to the students – Include students in shaping and planning the changes. Providing solutions for different styles of learning
- Encourage problem solving – include flexible spaces that can be adapted to different learning situations
- Support self-development – Create spaces that allow all students to be included, recognising different learning styles and choices.
- Technology – Technology can provide solutions to the common challenges around storage, shared spaces and planning learning of learning experiences. Technology can also provide new ways to engage students in their learning.
More than ever before, schools have a dynamic role to play in supporting young people in their journey to further education or employment. Some schools are leading the way in providing vocational learning spaces for their students. They are providing from mini construction sites to fully fitted out restaurant kitchens.
A well-planned science laboratory allows students to immerse themselves in practical science and real-life experience. A science lab is first and foremost for experiments, this is what makes science such an enjoyable subject, giving students the opportunity to take part in practical tasks. Students thrive in the unique environment a laboratory brings to their school day. This space needs to be flexible to incorporate the ability to be able to study theory too. This can help in providing areas suitable for note-taking, the use of textbooks, writing and drawing.
Issues in Classrooms
A common issue in any classroom is the seating arrangements. It is essential especially in a laboratory is having an easily accessible view of the teaching station, so that not only can the students see the teacher but also the practical demonstration. One of the most important factors to consider is safety. A school science laboratory utilises hazardous chemical, fire, gas and high temperatures. Therefore safety must be a fundamental consideration. Students and staff should be able to move freely around the classroom, ensuring that fire escapes are easily accessible for all including those in a wheelchair. A well-designed lab should cater for all of these to optimise the most effective learning environment.
Modern schools are not just about academic knowledge. But they are about learning skills for life as well, equipping young people to be capable, confident individuals.
At Lab Fit we understand that in order to optimise learning, the space needs to support both the children and the adults.
In changing the physical environment, it can make a dramatic impact by providing a place where students actually want to be and break the mould of what a school should look like.
Creative learning spaces can open up the possibility of thinking differently and can stimulate radically different approaches to teaching and learning.
How We Can Help?
The expert team at Lab Fit use the latest research to create spaces that inspire and engage students. Bespoke designs and modern furnishings clearly support all of these changes from full turnkey projects to small changes to a classroom.
In order for students to get the most from their education it is essential that learning spaces are inviting, welcoming and safe, yet empowering and challenging.
When working with our education clients we work together to consider all aspects to create experiential learning spaces, including
- physical dimension (classrooms, architecture and environment)
- cultural (values, norms and history and language)
- psychological (learning style, learning skills and values)
- social (peers, teachers and community members)
- institutional (policy, organisation goals, traditions) aspects.
In creating the best science laboratory for your school it is important to work with professionals that understand your needs. Partnership and shared planning are crucial. Time spent on collaborative planning is a real investment.
Lab Fit are proud to have worked with some of the top schools throughout the UK. We can coordinate the supply & installation of your school science laboratory furniture. We also offer a full turnkey refurbishment service, if required