Learning environments have a number of effects on learning outcomes. Over the past few weeks we’ve been looking at how different aspects of learning in a natural environment (LINE) can impact student learning and behaviour. Having studied lighting, aesthetic and structural quality and, most recently, colour, this week we’re focusing on something that may not jump out as an obvious learning influencer - storage.
Storage may not be the aspect of your learning environment to specifically improve learning but it can have an effect on the overall outcomes. According to research, ‘thoughtfully designed storage increases time on task during lessons’. A study carried out by the University of Newcastle for the Design Council, suggests that storage is an underestimated aspect of a learning environment. According to their research, storage can be used to improve accessibility, in that it gives staff and pupils more learning time which, in turn, can have a positive effect on learning outcomes.
Well-designed storage means that the routine of preparing and tidying up needn’t interfere with learning time, in fact it can become a part of it. A simple storage plan means that children can be involved in the organising process, teaching them to respect their environment, learn the logic of packing away and give them a sense of ownership of their surroundings and equipment.
In a natural environment, storage can be a link between the classroom and the outdoors. Free flow play equipment can be moved between the two for an easy unpacking process that means children can benefit from being outdoors quickly and effectively. Outdoor storage can be multi-functional, a Playforce Play Store decorated with chalkboards can become the front of a shop, a base for den making or an artist’s easel. Using it as an every day piece of equipment in the children’s routine allows them to know the way it works and avoid wasting time when it comes to tidy-up time.
Storage is often overlooked as an important part of the learning environment. To ensure you can benefit the most from your outdoor space, speak to one of our local advisors about creating storage that is practical, efficient and gives your children a learning boost.