What makes a good school building?

A good school is driven by it’s educational vision and ethos. The role of school buildings, whether new or partly refurbished, can facilitate this vision. In school design there are many common parts, teaching spaces, staff spaces, and large spaces. However one size does not fit all. The school building needs to function, eliminating challenges such as cramped spaces, lack of natural light, and bad acoustics. What’s more, school buildings should relate to their surrounding community, each offering its unique set of challenges and opportunities.
What impact does a good school building have on pupils and staff?

Having space and natural light should be an absolute given in a school building. It should be welcoming and uplifting, providing a sense of ownership and pride for pupils and staff. Research has been carried out over the years on the impact of well designed buildings and it’s proved hard to measure, in terms of its impact on educational attainment, low pupil truancy, better staff retention and productivity, or perhaps a combination of all these factors. The research carried out by the RIBA, Better spaces for Learning, helps define and quantify the value of good school design. It is common sense; the environment you are in does have a massive impact on how you feel.