encouraging students to want to learn.

Two campuses at Chairo Christian School had two very unique projects, with one central theme – to encourage student engagement and a desire to learn. The results keep getting better and better.

Before embarking on the refurbishments at two of the school’s four campuses, Jane Ward, Director of Teaching and Learning did her research on the relationship between furniture and learning outcomes. She realised the design of the learning spaces and furniture choices, if done well, would directly encourage her students to want to learn.

Comfortable ottomans encourage book browsing.

The first project was the library at Drouin Campus. There was a real desire from both Jane and Janita Morison, Head of Library, to take a fresh approach with the furniture and it paid off. Visits have increased and students say they love the booth seating for quiet study or the large brightly coloured tables for collaborating. The project team has been clever with fun fabric tying in the ottomans spread amongst the bookshelves, with the booth seating.

Flexible furniture is perfect for experimenting with different configurations.

At Pakenham Campus, the new open learning space is no longer about having a seat for every person, but about offering places for students to select, depending on the activity and how they want to work. The revitalised space provides choice with a mix of high and round tables, ottomans and Bodyfurn chairs and stools -  the whiteboard surfaces are super popular. 

For Jane, developing the classroom has allowed her the opportunity to trial the furniture in an open environment, experimenting with different configurations to "see how it goes". 

It’s been a journey of research, trial and discovery, with enthusiastic involvement from the leadership team in the decision-making. Jane says the whole process has been incredibly satisfying - "at every stage we got more people along for the ride".

It really feels like a different space.

Janita Morison, Head of Library

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