Project Watch: All Hallows Catholic College, Macclesfield

Desperate to rid themselves of their tatty old furniture, All Hallows Catholic College in Macclesfield called and asked us to design them a completely new Sixth Form Centre.

All-Hallows-Project

We surveyed the room before designing the layout and found out that not only would it be a place to relax, but also somewhere to host assemblies. Therefore, we decided that the majority of the furniture should face the screen on the back wall of the room.

The seating configurations were designed carefully so that students could both sit inwards to form groups around tables for study, chat and playing games but also be able to turn around to face the screen for presentations and assemblies with ease.

The teachers were all thrilled with the seating and couldn’t believe what a transformation the room had undergone, and are now even pushing for a revamp of their staffroom.

The Psychology of Colours…in Education

While there is no single best colour for clasrooms or common rooms in schools, some are definitely better than others. The right shade can transform a busy, loud environment into a tranquil place of focus and deep thought. So, we thought we’d apply the psychology of colour to decor and furniture in schools in a simple quick-fire list format in order to help you create your desired atmospheres.

colour-psychology-text

Even though you may not have control over what colours the walls or ceilings are painted in your school, you may be able to add desired colours to rooms with furniture like tables, bookcases, shelves and, our speciality, seating.

It’s good to distinguish different parts of a room which are to be used for different activities, and furnishings can do exactly that to great effect. Bright and bold colours encourage activity, whilst pale and pastel colours often have the effect of calming.

Now we’ll take you through a colour-by-colour guide explaining the supposed effects each colour has on students and where each should or should not be used.

Colours, Their Effects and Appropriate Places:

Red – Bright and bold which evokes strong emotions. Shown to increase the heart rate. Considered the colour of passion, intensity and excitement. Tends to be too loud and distracting for class rooms. Useful for changing rooms and corridors to stop loitering and boost the flow of students.

Blue – Induces feelings of calmness and serenity. Has been shown to lower the pulse rate and body temperature. Studies argue Blue boosts productivity in schools and workplaces. Supposedly the least appetising colour, so should be kept out of canteens.

Green – Symbolises nature and the natural world. Represents tranquility, prosperity, and health. Some studies even found that green can improve reading ability. Green is thought to have calming qualities and relieve stress. Pale or light green is ideal for libraries and quiet reading areas.

library

Orange – Brings about excitement and enthusiasm. Is said to stimulate creativity and innovation. Also stimulates appetite and is strongly recommended for canteens and dining areas.

Yellow – Strangely yellow has more negative connotations than positive (i.e. brings out frustration and anger), but is also said to speed up metabolism and is therefore recommended for canteens and dining areas.


Colours to Avoid:

White – Can be stark and overly institutional. White also reflects the most light, therefore places more strain on the eyes than any other colour.

Brown & Black – These two colours have been shown to induce feelings of fear and anxiety in young people, so it is especially wise to keep these colours to a minimum in Primary/ Lower schools. Of course, little pieces of furniture are fine, but big walls or a room full of black seating should be avoided.


Highly-regarded Pastel Colours:

Peach – Similar to Orange in many ways, but deemed much softer and warmer. Often advised for classrooms.

Taupe – Like peach, considered very relaxing. Ideal for classrooms.

Pale Blue – Has calming and soothing qualities. Many schools use pale pastel blues for special classes or rooms which will look after students with emotional or behavioral problems.

Just remember, it’s good to distinguish between different areas of rooms for different activities. Common rooms can benefit from being predominately green in quiet areas whilst featuring lots of red and orange in social zones. In classrooms  it’s a good idea to have warm pastel colours on three walls and then an appropriate bright-coloured main wall (e.g. where the whiteboard is) to stimulate students.

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