How school grounds can enhance kids’ educational experiences
Date published 16 October 2019
Making your school grounds a safe and inviting place for students to learn, play and socialise can and enhance students’ educational experience and social development.
It is a simple, effective way to demonstrate you care about your students and encourage them to look after their school, themselves and each other. It can also do wonders for school spirit!
A strong sense of school spirit makes staff and students feel more invested in their school and motivates them to work harder and help each other out.
It’s all about building pride, identity and community, and a sense of belonging – qualities that the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment found were missing for many children – in particular, teens – at school.
Academics believe that in the face of a changing social landscape, with rising rates of loneliness and mental illness in adolescence, a whole of school approach to fostering belonging may provide a critical solution to a complex social problem.
Our outdoor design tips for schools
Thoughtfully designed outdoor spaces with well-constructed and configured outdoor furniture and equipment enhance a school’s learning and social environment.
The goal is to create spaces that make staff and students’ time at school better! And the key to a successful design is thinking about how the area will be used. Is it a place to hang out? A place to play? Learn? Or all of the above?
There’s a few must haves. The space and the furniture should be:
- Aesthetically appealing
At Urban Effects, we’re also big advocates for consultation. Engaging staff and students in the design of an outdoor space sends a strong and positive message that this space is for them, and you want it to be something they will want to use.
Solutions for outdoor spaces
Urban Effects offers a range of products that can help you create collaborative and inclusive outdoor spaces.
Spaces to gather
Set the scene for students to connect with seating and benches that are inviting and comfortable. There’s a host of options in different sizes and styles, including smart solutions that allow you to arrange seating to create conversation zones.
Hot Tip: Seating needs to be the right dimensions for those who are using them.
Spaces to learn
We’ve got outdoor learning covered with shelters and tables that can be used to create outdoor classrooms and then double as spaces for students to eat their lunch or just catch up before, during and after school.
Sit down and stand up to bullying
The rainbow-coloured Buddy Bench is a fantastic example of how schools can create safe outdoor spaces for children. The Buddy Bench provides a place to sit for kids who are being bullied or feeling lonely or isolated. Simply sitting there sends a signal to teachers and other kids that they need someone to talk to or play with.
Spaces to play
Our table tennis tables have been popular additions to high schools wanting to give students a fun, energetic outlet during their lunch breaks.
The beauty of many of these products is that they can be customised to suit any space, including painting or powdercoating to provide pops of colour or match the school colours or environment. Many products can also be tailored to include decals featuring educational or inspirational messages or to display the school motto.
Get in touch with the Urban Effects team to find out how we can help you foster school spirit and a sense of belonging with awesome outdoor spaces.