With the school holidays well and truly upon us, many procurement teams are thinking about the new September term. In particular, schools throughout the UK must pay attention to coronavirus restrictions.
These schools are under immense pressure to prevent the dreaded ‘ping’, forcing many students into isolation. Hence, classroom design trends will be influenced by a renewed focus on safety and wellbeing. Here’s what to look out for in the coming months.
External influences such as the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals are shining the spotlight on sustainability. Likewise, schools are benefiting from being paid to recycle – such as with Recycling for Schools’ inkjet cartridges scheme.
New initiatives such as going paperless are seeing schools shift to more sustainable suppliers. For example, many schools are now choosing low-carbon carpet suppliers, which reduces emissions.
Biophilia – the outdoor-indoor trend
Another trend catalysed by the coronavirus pandemic is the emergence of outdoor learning. With better ventilation and more creative learning opportunities, the outdoors inspires.
Where outdoor learning isn’t possible, expect to see the outdoors coming inside. Our commercial carpet company’s ‘Inspiration’ range takes the best of nature’s organic patterns and brings them to life in carpet tile form.
It’s not enough now for a classroom to exist solely as a learning space. The modern classroom has to be flexible in design – a quiet reading room, a place to express ourselves, an area of solace and a space to inspire.
So, where does function cross over with design?
Once again, the pandemic has given rise to new design considerations. Classrooms must have suitable areas for wash stations and hand sanitising dispensers. They should also have ‘one-way’ systems to encourage social distancing.
Using Social Distancing carpet tiles can help to promote these one-way systems. Likewise, carpet tiles are better for hygiene. Porous surfaces provide less habitable conditions for the coronavirus to survive, unlike metals or plastics, including linoleum flooring. It’s no surprise to see more schools switching to carpet tiles for style and function.
In a world filled with so many distractions, learning environments need to work harder to hold students’ attention. A poor acoustic environment can reduce students’ capacity to learn, which is why soft surfaces are always preferable.
Carpets with acoustic backing, as well as soft furnishings, help to reduce extraneous noise and keep students focused.
We’re expecting to see a huge increase in footfall as students return to the classroom. Many schoolchildren will take up to 15,000 steps per day, so procurement managers must invest in heavy-duty flooring to stand the test of time.
With the rise of the ‘bubble’ and general social distancing concerns, classrooms may be more segmented than we have seen in the past. Teachers will actively encourage quiet areas and social spaces, helping students feel safe in turbulent times.
Our Vapour Collection provides a range of colours to cordon off these areas and encourage ‘break-outs’. This helps to engage students and encourage more creative practices.
If you’re opening your doors to new students this summer, try making these changes to improve their wellbeing:
- More sustainability initiatives to promote a healthier planet
- Outdoor learning for more creativity and socialising
- Hygienic practices and more spacing
- Quiet areas for individual learning.
All of these goals can be achieved with better carpet tiles. Contact Paragon Carpet Tiles today to get started.