Sports Day has been and gone, end-of-term celebrations are done, and your classrooms are deserted for the holidays. But before you know it, a new academic year will be on its way – so now’s the time to get prepared. It’s important to make a good first impression, so if you’re expecting new students in September, follow these tips on creating a welcoming classroom environment.
Let the light in
Natural light always improves our sense of wellbeing. Opening up your classroom to the outside world, rather than stifling your students in a dark and dingy schoolroom, can create a positive learning environment and make a big difference to how they feel about being at school.
MAKE IT SMELL GOOD
Supermarkets bake fresh bread. Homeowners burn scented candles. And there’s a good reason why: the scent of a building affects how we feel about it. A welcoming school environment might give off the aroma of tasty school dinners, or an exciting smell of paint, paper and glue. Your students don’t need to walk into a perfumed room, but it is worth considering what they’ll detect as they enter for the first time.
KEEP IT IN PROPORTION
Small children find it difficult to clamber on to adult-sized chairs, and it’s frustrating when you have to stand on a stool to reach the taps. One of the best ways to signal that children are welcome in your space is to ensure that everything is in proportion, from the height of your door handles to the size of your toilets.
MIX UP THE LAYOUT
Sitting in a row of desks in front of a teacher can feel intimidating to a school-aged child. Think about the best layout for the topic you’ll be teaching; it could be better to ditch the desks in favour of a horseshoe-shaped formation, or sit your students in a circle on the floor. The best classroom environments have a flexible layout that can be reconfigured depending on your teaching needs.
Add comfort and colour
Colour can make a big difference to the look and feel of a classroom, and there are all sorts of small touches you can add, to make your space feel more welcoming. Brightly coloured rugs in the book corner teamed with cheerful cushions or beanbags are a great way to create a comfortable and inviting space.
LET THEM MAKE IT THEIR OWN
Although it’s good to have your own ideas about classroom décor, a great way to welcome pupils into your space is to encourage them to put their own stamp on the place. You could create a class mural at the beginning of the year, or invite each of your students to paint a self-portrait for display, to make them feel truly part of the class.
PRIORITISE PUPIL WELLBEING
A welcoming classroom environment is just one of the many ways that you can promote good mental health in your school. Make sure your efforts at the start of the year are followed through, so pupils feel supported and secure all year round.
MAKE A CHANGE
Are your school buildings fit for purpose? Perhaps you have a problem with overcrowding, or need to update your facilities. Modern modular classrooms are temperature-controlled, flexible and full of natural light, offering the ultimate in comfort for students and teachers alike. Check out these modular classrooms from Vertis.