A question thousands of schools across the UK are asking, how can we create more space? As working with modular buildings offers the opportunity to incorporate plenty of space, ventilation and easy access points to and from the modular builds, the team behind Modular Classrooms have looked into how such builds can have a positive impact in the learning environment and touch natural light as a benefit people should be talking about.
From sports halls turned into classrooms, and playgrounds now containing marquee set ups, schools have been creatively addressing the need for more space in a Covid-19 world where social distancing is becoming the new normal. These are just some of the creative way’s schools are creating more space.
However, whilst outdoor learning is not a new idea, for some, it is now a necessary requirement to undertake and this can have a clear benefit for the health of children when it comes to soaking up natural light. Consulting with an expert optometrist to gather further insight into the topic, Modular Classrooms discovered that natural light regulates our sleep-wake cycle, puts different hormonal functions in place, and increases serotonin levels, which are responsible for our sense of appetite, memory, energy and sleepiness, which shows how natural light itself can have an important impact on learning.
A spokesperson for Modular Classrooms added: “Over recent years, we have seen an increase in the amount of schools looking to improve the educational environment, including incorporating natural light into the spaces. This applies to all outdoor learning set ups too of course.
“In particular, parents and teachers are witnessing first-hand how natural light can benefit and improve learning, which can lead to students having better focus, attention and memory, which ultimately can help to better exam results.”
For a previous build for Kymbrook Primary, based in Bedfordshire, Modular Classrooms specifically had natural light in mind throughout the design process. They, like many other schools are doing now, turned their old school hall into a larger classroom space. In the end, they realised this was only a short term solution so decided to build a replacement hall.
The project, which was priced at £146k, was based on a brief that the children required a new space to learn and play, with plenty of light to stimulate their learning.
The design of the new building enabled the children to feel more excited, as the natural lighting provides that outdoor feeling which can boost morale. During the project, the school’s previous hall was replaced with a structure consisting of a raised roof, which now allows room for multi-sports activities, such as racquet sports.
A spokesperson for Kymbrook Primary commented: “The big windows let so much sunshine into the building and the natural light gives them an extra energy boost.”
As children have returned to schools, the government is currently looking into viable options for creating additional space for the future of schooling. Whilst Kymbrook Primary is just one of ten schools built across Bedfordshire, modular classrooms are quicker to build compared to traditional school builds, therefore they can create permanent extra space in as little as 6 weeks. Something many schools are now requiring across the country.
This creates the extra space for school children, important for social distancing measures.
Schools can also take up the option to keep classes inside the ‘out of school’ buildings whilst other classes stay in traditional classroom environments. Modular classrooms are an optimal learning environment and are also well ventilated which will be reassuring for parents to hear.
Adapting to New Measures
Schools across the UK have looked for creative approaches to incorporating more space for school children to learn. The mixing of different school groups needs monitoring and controlling now children are back at school, so making use of outdoor space and capturing further natural light is welcomed by many.
Another consideration for schools across the UK when consulting the build of modular classrooms is the fact that these stand-alone buildings can be designed in such a way that children and teachers can access them from multiple points, which in turn can help control the flow of children going in and out.
They can also be built with minimal disruption to the rest of the school if it’s in term time, meaning less close contact with the construction team – a more covid proof way of working. Interiors can include hand sanitiser stations and rooms can be well ventilated, fitted with hygienic filters where necessary.
Further information can be found by visiting www.modularclassrooms.co.uk/benefits-of-modular-classrooms/natural-light/ or www.modularclassrooms.co.uk
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