Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Spotted recently whilst working in Kuwait - new Italian furniture for school laboratories. It's interesting, very high specification, and very different from the furniture normally seen in UK schools.
All the base units are on wheels so they can be easily moved to provide leg space or ensure the equipment they contain is safely transported to the place where it is needed. It has the feel much more of a professional, commercial laboratory rather than the standard benches seen in schools.
In the UK many schools would be concerned about sight lines and the ability to monitor students at all times. In the school indicated above students behave well and are trusted and the teachers and support staff move around the room. For a lecture or demonstration there is room to gather stools near the teachers demonstration desk as normal.
The student stools have backs on them - a deliberate decision and again something more and more schools are moving to to help students sit properly. In a UK school I am working with senior staff 'shadowed' students and discovered that one class had spent fifty percent of their day on stools with no backs - it's not good!
So new professional standard furniture in a standard space - it looked very good! I hope to go back so will report on how well it works with all the students using it.