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School acoustics workshop

Creating an inclusive environment in which children can learn effectively and feel comfortable throughout the day is a priority for all schools.

Seatable recently held a free workshop for schools and local authorities in the North West where professionals involved with improving health and education outcomes were invited to learn more about the impact of noise on children and how to improve the acoustics of the dining and learning environment.

The impact of poor acoustics in schools

The workshop explored the impact that noise has on learning outcomes across all age groups, including children with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

The attendees had the opportunity to hear, from a Headteacher’s experience, about the acoustic refurbishment that has recently been completed at Booker Avenue Infants School, who kindly agreed to host the workshop.

The in-depth case studies provided an insight into how noise can be reduced in a multi-purpose school learning and dining setting and how a fully inclusive learning environment can be created through acoustic modelling. The workshop took place in Booker’s dining hall to demonstrate good acoustics.

Health and Acoustic experts also presented the science and evidence base, setting out how acoustic refurbishment can help to improve the quality of learning and dining environment by reducing noise reverberation. The content of the workshop highlighted key issues including:

  • How poor acoustics have a negative effect on children, making them more prone to disruptive behaviour.

  • Implication of Ofsted’s role in assessing the impact of disruptive behaviour and pupil’s readiness to learn, considering learning and dining environment.

  • Biological and scientific factors – how noise can impact on speech, listening, memory, reading and attention across all age groups.

  • How noise affects SEN children, in particular, and those with impaired hearing or linguistic challenges.

  • The implications of 75% of children with impaired hearing being in mainstream education, whilst many school environments fail to meet Government guidelines (BB93).

  • Highlighting how pupils say ‘noise’ in school halls makes them feel uncomfortable and not want to eat in school dining hall.

  • Staff complaints about how noise in the dining hall makes them feel stressed and agitated.

Delegates were given the opportunity to network and discuss costs and funding opportunities. The workshop concluded with an opportunity to learn about Seatable UK’s free offer for acoustic surveys for all schools and workplace settings as part of its core service offer.

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