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.

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Project Watch: Pretty in Pink – Modular Seating @ Blessed Hugh Faringdon School, Reading

The Sixth Form students at Blessed Hugh Faringdon School in Reading will have had a surprise this week when they turned up for the new academic year. We’ve given their hangout room a bit of a makeover with our Concept2 Modular Seating.

blessed-hugh-school
Amongst a seemingly infinite choice of colours, the teachers at Blessed Hugh Faringdon opted for Magenta and Purple pairings along with Blue and Teal to create a really bright and fun-feeling room for the students to enjoy.

With a combination of larger modular sofas running along the perimeters of the room and smaller cubes, drums and benches in the middle, we’re sure the Sixth Formers will love being able to arrange their own seating layouts for different tasks whether it be study, chat or playing games.

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You can see our full range of Modular Seating here

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Discover the 7 Great Ways Modular Seating Can Improve Your School

Discover the amazing ways Modular Seating can improve your school in aspects you possibly hadn’t even thought of with our brand new blog post…

Cube Company's Concept2 Modular Seating
Modular seating is a modern furniture concept which allows various different-sized and different-shaped units to be configured together to form all kinds of layouts to fit all kinds of rooms and spaces. Here, we will list the 7 ways modular seating can improve your school.

1) Revitalise old, worn rooms quickly and easily
Fresh, new, brightly-coloured seating can breathe life into tiring rooms and make a stunning visual impact. What’s more, it can be done quickly and with far less hassle than, say, laying new carpets and painting walls. All you need to do is choose some seating you like, order it, wait for it to arrive and have the delivery guys drop it into place. Simple.

2) Improved communal atmospheres
Arranging seating into group configurations can transform a very segmented room into one with a thriving atmosphere where students can mingle in large groups and really get the conversation flowing (as long as the teachers allow it!)

3) More opportunities for shared learning activities
Given that modular seating can be configured in almost any way imaginable, students are able to set up an arrangement that allows them to tackle group tasks best in a matter of minutes.

4) Freedom, flexibility for new and innovative teaching plans
Similarly to the point made above, teachers will also be able to devise various new lesson plans based around teamwork activities which can be carried out thanks to modular seating.

5) Students and teachers alike take pride in new-look common rooms, classrooms and receptions
Students love it when they get new ‘stuff’. So brand-new, brightly-coloured, comfortable modular seating is likely to give them a reason to feel proud of their newly-renovated common room. We would guess that means better behaviour, but wouldnt bank on it!

6)  Durability, longevity of use
Forget replacing broken chairs every few months, or torn fabrics on cheap sofas. The modular seating we manufacture (Concept2) is made with solid wooden frames and upholstered in only the most hard-wearing contract fabrics and faux leathers. This means you are likely to get use out of your seating for the best part of a decade. That also means you can use your budget for more important things than torn cushions etc.

7) It makes a great impression on visitors
Offsted visits? Parents scouting schools for their children? Governors? Whoever it might be, modular seating in bright colours and funky layouts can help to make a truly great and lasting impression on visitors.

Tell us what you think about modular seating for schools in the comments below…

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.

Cube Company

How to Create the Perfect Student Common Room

Schools and Colleges are often faced with the difficult challenge of trying to design a common room that both looks great and functions as a place of study, relaxation and fun all in one, so we have put together a short list of ways to help you create the perfect student common room.

Student Common Room at Huntingdonshire Regional College

(1) Seating
Now, we might be a little biased here, but we believe seating is one of the most important elements of any common. After all, students primarily use common rooms to sit and either study, relax or eat. Therefore, the seating needs to be first and foremost comfortable, but also configurable. By configurable, we mean the seating should be able to be moved around into new layouts to suit different tasks and to meet different requirements.

Modular seating is freely-moveable and widely-configurable, and serves as a great platform for shared learning activities and group debates, but you can read more about that here.

(2) Interior Decor
Students respond well to bright colours, so it’s a no-brainer to opt for bright blues, yellows, greens, reds and even pinks. What’s even more impressive is if you can coordinate some of the decor in your common room with the colours featured in the school’s logo and branding.

Inspirational quotes and motivational pictures (such as shots of great sporting moments) have been proven to have a positive effect on students too, so get looking for posters and canvasses to inspire your young people.

(3) Forms of Entertainment
We know there is a fine balancing act required here. There’s a tight-rope to walk, so to speak. Offer no form of entertainment and students will feel demotivated, bored and may hold the school in an unfavourable light, but offer too many and you may see a sharp decline in work ethic.

On our travels to various different schools, we’ve found the establishments that seem to have the perfect chemistry in their common rooms are those with something audio (e.g. a CD player), something visual (a television) and something for students to play (e.g. a pool table or chess board). Three forms of school-provided entertainment seems to be about the right number. We tend to think games consoles can become a bit too addictive, so advise against them.

(4) Food, Glorious Food
This is an incredibly simple one: whether it is a toaster, microwave, fridge or even just a vending machine, offering students a way to either prepare or buy food and drink is a sure-fire way to keep them happy.

(5) Windows, Natural Light
Having plenty of natural light flooding in not only helps to make common rooms brighter and livelier, but natural light has been scientifically proven to boost productivity and alertness in people. Now, we appreciate that some schools may not be blessed with a common room boasting an abundance of windows, but if you are designing a brand-new common room, this should be right up there at the top of your list of considerations.

And there you have it, our 5 most important elements needed to create a common room that both looks great and meets the demands of your (very demanding) students.

Visit our official website to view our extensive range of modular seating if you were enticed by tip #1.

Cube Company.

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