LINE: Achieving academic success with aesthetic and structural quality

23 November 2016

As part of our LINE series we’ve been looking at learning environments and how they can affect the learning outcomes of your school and children.

Last week we covered the benefits of working in the right lighting and how learning in a natural environment can help children, and adults, reap the benefits of daylight. This week we’re focusing on aesthetic and structural quality and how the appearance of your learning environment can affect learning outcomes. 




An article published by New Zealand’s Ministry of Education shows evidence that suggests cosmetic quality is more important to outcomes than structural quality. In the majority of studies carried out, aesthetic quality in school environments was considered to be spaces that were aesthetically pleasing in terms of colour and finishes.

A lot of studies have been carried out to link quality of facilities to outcomes, and while some of these study the affects on academic achievement, others tie quality to student behaviour. Earthman found that school environments that are newer or adequately maintained to look ‘better’ reflected higher learning achievements among students. 

The age old saying that looks aren’t everything still applies here. The structural quality of the facilities can affect learning outcomes as well but a combination of the two is how you get the best from your environment. A study carried out by Earthman et al. showed that schools high up the overall quality index had fewer disciplinary incidents. Those that only rated highly for structural quality had more disciplinary incidents. 

Further studies by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers have linked capital investment to academic achievements, suggesting that investing in a school’s aesthetic and structural quality can have benefits for learning outcomes, teacher motivation and school leadership. Keeping a learning environment new, fresh and aesthetically pleasing can keep the children, and staff, motivated and inspired. 

In order for children to gain the best learning outcomes from their learning environment, in terms of quality, they need an outdoor space that is both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound. In the playground this means good quality equipment that looks the part. 

If you want to develop an outstanding outdoor space that ensures your students benefit from the aesthetic and structural quality of a Playforce playground, book a consultation with one of our local advisors. 

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