For many years now, school activities have been affected by the weather. Whether it’s rain around Sports’ Day or a planned field trip affected by snow, there’s not really all that much we can do about it. We can, however, ensure that activities inside schools aren’t affected much by the weather, and provide a comfortable, safe and productive environment for the children and adults working within.
After all, surely the learning environment is as equally important as learning. Just like technology and other projects have taken priority in schools – especially in terms of funding – physical comfort during the warmer weeks of the school year should be high on the list when schools look at their yearly budget – and with good reason. The fact is, it could have a marked effect on pupil performance and behaviour too – something that may affect where schools rank in their local authority. It has always been the case that better schools attract better funding opportunities, and schools that look at the bigger picture when it comes to creating the optimal learning environment are sure to reap the benefits.
Why temperature matters
Higher temperatures in the classroom have been associated with aggressive behaviour displayed by students. According to research, students who are exposed to temperatures above 28 degrees perform poorly in their examinations too, in comparison to those who are learning in a cooler environment. With the most important school examinations taking place in the summer term, it is of vital importance that schools do all they can to make examination rooms comfortable whilst examinations are in progress to give pupils every opportunity to be able to concentrate well.
The Benefits of Air Conditioning in Schools
Air conditioning offers a better way to keep both teaching staff and students comfortable in their learning environment. Here, we look at some of the benefits of installing air conditioning systems within a school setting.
Comfort in the learning environment
There are many schools that are limited with regards to teaching space – especially as pupil numbers soar, and fuller classrooms can become intolerable with excessively high temperatures. As such, air conditioning brings about a level of comfort in overcrowded classrooms.
Tip: While schools look to benefit from the use of portable air conditioning systems that are convenient in a variety of spaces, portable units may only serve a portion of the school. Instead, an air conditioning system for the entire school should be considered to keep pupils’ temperatures stable throughout the day.
High level of concentration
When exposed to very hot temperature, a person’s brain automatically switches from concentrating on the learning process to urging the body to act to cool down. Students can concentrate far better in a comfortable environment. With the goal of teaching being learning, in a comfortable atmosphere, teachers can be sure that they are putting their time to good use. Air conditioning systems in schools are an investment that will ensure the learning process is no longer hampered by warmer weather.
With a high level of concentration, teachers can be able to schedule more mentally demanding lessons even during the hottest parts of the day. As such, teachers will do their jobs more effectively and students will equally look forward to returning to the classroom on the hottest days.
Decreased cases of heat stroke
As our summers have started to change, with warmer months in recent years falling not in the 6-week summer break, but in the summer term instead, cases of heat stroke are on the rise. This can lead to problems with attendance, as heatstroke can cause pupils to be absent from school until such time as their health improves, which may be a number of days.
Keeping the heat and costs down
Many schools fear that they cannot keep up with the expenses that come with air conditioning units. However, this is not necessarily the case. The use of deducted air conditioners not only cuts down the cost but also cool rooms at different intervals from a single point. By switching off these air conditioners in places that have already cooled, or are not in use, schools can cut down costs and maintain a comfortable learning environment concurrently.
Air conditioning in schools comes with several welcome benefits. Although a few schools in the UK have adopted and are enjoying the benefits of a more comfortable learning environment, others have yet to reap the benefits.