Friday, 4 December 2009

Big people - silly chairs

I attended an amateur concert in a local secondary school this week. It was good, the orchestra has grown in numbers and whilst the range of players are truly comprehensive in ability, they are all being challenged, learning lots and having fun!!. They perform each term and steadily improve.

Unfortunately, the chairs the audience all sit on do not - they are truly dreadful. They are still found in the vast majority of schools, they are cheap mouded plastic - but not appropriate and certainly not cheerful. We expect students to sit in them for hours each day and then complain when they start fidgeting. They ARE uncomfortable - everyone was twitching. We all know there is growing research and evidence demonstrating that FF&E has a major impact on student performance and ultimately attainment.

We all know there is a big drive for putting schools in the heart of the community, especially in the UK BSF programme and getting adults in to schools during the day and in the evenings. If they have to sit in such appalling chairs as this, why would they want to come?

Many new schools are now taking furniture selection incredibly seriously and creating quality learning environments - but many still don't take it seriously enough! Come on - this is important !!!

(but the concert was good never the less!)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know, let's sit on rock hard steps in an atrium, with no back support. Oh, and how are those Centres for Learning, in Knowsley, doing?

Gareth Long said...

Thank you for posting.

Many schools are now going for performance steps / seating.... all round the UK.

The previous comment refers to performance seating in Knowsley Centres for Learning... interstingly at the recent World Learning Environments Conference at the Halewood CfL, many adults chose to sit on the tiered seating even there was soft individual chairs for all - as my photo indicates.

This type of seating provides schools with a range of opportunities... but they are not the answer for every event... not that they are designed to be!