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Creating engaging learning environments for students

In 2019, a national survey was conducted by Civic with Hart Research Associates, exploring the young people’s perspectives of school and learning. The results revealed, quite alarmingly, that nearly 1 in 3 high school students were bored ‘most’ or ‘all of the time’ at school. Students with lower grades were more likely to feel this way. Interestingly, as students progressed through the education system, this boredom seemed to worsen. So, what can be done to keep students engaged at school?

Classroom furniture is a fantastic way to create energetic, engaging learning environments for students of all ages. School furniture is about more than just the aesthetic of the classroom - it should be comfortable and inspire engagement and concentration. At their most basic level, classroom chairs and desks need to be the appropriate size for the students using them. Recent research has revealed that when students are sat in chairs that are too small or dimensionally misfit, it acts as a distraction and seriously impedes both their comfort and concentration. Understandably so, poorly designed furniture can reduce productivity. When students are spending around six hours a day in a classroom, the furniture needs to be comfortable, so they can complete their work to the best of their ability.

“Sit still and concentrate” may no longer be the way forward. Further research has revealed that traditional stationary furniture may also be compounding the issue of boredom. To stay engaged, students, particularly younger children, need to learn in a transformative and changeable environment. Furniture should be used as a tool to encourage interaction and creativity - students should be able to adjust furniture to suit their learning needs rather than adjust their learning around ineffective furniture. A simple yet effective example of this is moving furniture - adding wheels to chairs and desks allows both students and teachers to change the layout of their learning environment with ease and can help to promote new learning dynamics within the classroom on a regular basis.

Space dividers are another great way to create an engaging learning environment. Using dividers to split the classroom into different areas gives students the freedom to choose where to work. From a teaching perspective, different areas of the classroom could have different purposes. Without staying behind the same desk all day, students may begin to feel more interested in their environment and motivated to learn.

For teachers who prefer a more traditional classroom, adjusting the size, colours, and shapes of student desks can be enough to create a more interesting environment for your students. Offering bench tables or circular desks, in different colours and sizes, will give students the choice to pick where they will be most comfortable. Offering alternative seating options, like benches, stools, or booths, is another quick and easy way to add a creative flair to your classroom and keep students engaged in their learning.

In short, the classroom should be a place that inspires and motivates students to learn. Using furniture to create innovative learning environments is a simple yet effective way of boosting student engagement and productivity.

At MFL, we produce high-quality laminate and Melamine faced chipboard (MFC) panels, which can be used to create a variety of educational furniture, including desks, tables, storage, and classroom dividers. Offering a variety of finishes, including anti-fingerprint and anti-bacterial grade laminates, our panels are designed to withstand a busy school environment. The size and colour of our panels can be customised to suit the needs of your classroom - meaning we can produce a variety of furniture to create the perfect learning environment for your students.

If you’re interested in learning more about our panels and educational furniture, contact us at or give us a call at 024 7662 1122.

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