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Best Classroom Layouts for Learning in Schools

Updated: May 11, 2023

It may be surprising, but the arrangement of a classroom can be a major influence on how students absorb information. You may not have realised this when you were in school, but the setup of the room, especially the desk configuration, can be a key component in the education process.



The University of Salford conducted a study to investigate the impact of room layout and design on student learning. 34 classrooms in seven schools were studied and it was discovered that environmental elements play a major role in the learning process.


There are many methods for enhancing the learning experience in a classroom through thoughtful design.


Use the U-Shape


The U-shape classroom design is a traditional classroom seating arrangement that has been used by many teachers over the years. This design consists of the students sitting in a semi-circle around the teacher. This type of classroom design encourages more participation and collaboration between the students. It is an ideal seating arrangement when discussion is the primary focus of the class, as it allows for more engagement and encourages students to interact with each other.


This classroom set up enables enhanced classroom management as the teacher is able to easily view all the students, so they can more easily monitor the discussion and ensure that all students are participating. This type of classroom design can also make it easier for the teacher to give individual attention to the students, as they are in close proximity to each other.


Groups of six students have the advantage of being able to be divided into two or three smaller groups without having to reorganise the seating arrangements. According to Ofsted, boys and girls should sit together in the classroom to help them focus better.Sitting students in groups can be a great way to encourage both speaking and listening activities in the classroom. It allows students to engage with each other and exchange ideas, while being in a comfortable and supportive learning environment. Group work also encourages students to be more active in the learning process, as they are able to discuss topics, ask questions, and work together to solve problems.


Additionally, it provides an opportunity for students to learn from each other, as they may be able to share knowledge or experiences that can help the entire group. Group work can also help improve collaboration skills, as the students will have to work together to complete the task.


Overall, sitting students in groups can be a beneficial teaching style in a variety of ways and can help create a more engaging and productive learning environment. Small groups of six are especially good because you can split them into groups of either two or three without moving anyone around.


Mix the Sexes


In its report, Ofsted has stated that boys and girls should be encouraged to sit next to each other in the classroom as part of efforts to improve their concentration levels. Sitting side-by-side has been proven to be beneficial to both genders in terms of improving their focus and attention on their work.


This approach has been found to reduce the risk of distraction among students, allowing them to focus better on the tasks at hand. In addition, it has been suggested that sitting together can help improve communication and collaboration between genders, which can be beneficial for group projects or tasks. By allowing boys and girls to sit together, it is hoped that it can help create a more productive and engaging learning environment.


Provide Space to Move


Inadequate space in a classroom can be detrimental to the learning process. Classroom setup is very important in terms of design and layout to ensure adequate personal space for students.Creating enough space for students to move around the classroom can help to keep them focused and on task.


It can also help to reduce distractions and allow students to better engage with the material they are learning. Additionally, a well-organised classroom can also make it easier for teachers to monitor the activities of their students. Lastly, adequate space can allow students to interact with each other in a more meaningful way, which can help to improve their overall learning experience.


Giving students the ability to move freely around the room can benefit both the teacher and the students by providing better access to each student, aiding in concentration, and helping to reduce restlessness.


Other Factors to Consider


When considering the layout of the classroom, it is important to consider other elements such as the comfort of the furniture. Classroom desks and chairs should be comfortable enough to support the students while they are engaged in learning activities. Uncomfortable furniture can result in students being distracted or unable to concentrate, which can have a negative impact on their learning.


The desks and chairs should be arranged for maximum interaction between students, the teacher, and for movement around the classroom. Finally, it is important to ensure that the classroom is well-lit, has adequate storage for materials, and provides a comfortable environment for learning.


It is essential to ensure that the learning environment is properly lit by natural light. According to research conducted at the University of Salford, students have better focus when there is more natural light in the classroom. This is understandable because a dimly-lit room can have a negative impact on focus.


Be Flexible with Your Classroom Layout

To help students make the most of their learning experience, teachers should be open to different ideas and layouts for activities. Utilising flexible furniture, such as collapsible tables, can be beneficial in allowing students to take full advantage of their learning opportunities.Call us on 0843 122 9545 or drop us an email info@spacestaylored.com to find out how we can help transform your current school environment into an inspirational place that you and the young people will love to spend time in. For any educational furniture queries please get in touch and we would be happy to help.






Call - 0843 122 9545.



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