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  • Writer's pictureBenny Kuriakose

Teaching Spaces and Other Elements of a School

The school has specific needs and components that are crucial in influencing how a child learns. These components of a school serve as supportive spaces for skills that are not presented in traditional classroom settings. The school's administrative office, sports grounds, library, auditorium, and other facilities all aid in students' academic progress. Laboratories and demonstration rooms help students witness the practical application of the concepts learned theoretically in classrooms.

The classrooms at Sankalp The Learning Centre & Special Needs School

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Subject Labs


School Veranda

Subject laboratories are specialised areas that may be utilised for demonstrations, experiments, and other activities that are unique to each subject. To review the theoretically taught topics, some laboratories, such as science labs, language labs, maths labs, geography labs, etc., can be provided.


Science Labs


Science Laboratories

Laboratories may need to perform practical experiment demonstrations for chemistry, physics, and biology. For students in standard VIII and higher, the lab rooms are often available. Standard VIII–X could have a room where only the instructor conducts the experiments so that the students can see and learn. It is possible to offer labs for Standards XI-XII where teachers and students can conduct experiments.


Science Laboratories

The following is often provided for in a well-planned scientific lab:

  • A group of students can share at least one sink with running hot and cold water.

  • Sufficient counter space is needed for laboratory preparatory tasks.

  • Appropriate material and equipment.

  • Storage space for classes XI and XII.


Science Laboratory Layout

Since they simply attend demonstrations, the lower classes might not require separate storage areas. Each lab can include a presentation table with a 125 mm raised platform so that students can watch the demonstrations.


Chemistry Lab


Chemistry Laboratory

A chemistry lab offers a safe environment for carrying out experiments and analysing reactions. Following things may be found in a chemical lab:


  • Work surfaces that can withstand heat and chemicals.

  • Gas nozzles for compressed air and natural gas.

  • The safekeeping of the chemicals used in the laboratory requires chemical storage cabinets.

  • Storage space for classes XI and XII.

To make plumbing connections available, it would be best to position this lab on the ground floor.


The layout shows a chemistry lab, with an area of 112 sq.m, accommodating 24 students

Space requirements of a chemistry lab:

  • Laboratory

  • Preparation room

  • Storage room where apparatus and chemicals can be kept safe.

  • Balance room to avoid any disturbance during weighing and balancing.

  • A space for the lab assistant can also be provided.

Physics Lab


Physics Laboratory

A physics lab offers a location for employing equipment to perform experiments and comprehend the rules of physics. The following can be found in a physics lab:

  • A good source of consistent electrical supply with earthing and AC-DC voltage provision for each workstation.

  • The availability of areas with lots of natural light and spaces where experiments may be carried out without the use of artificial illumination.

  • The availability of areas with lots of natural light and spaces where experiments may be carried out without the use of artificial illumination.

  • As the equipment used in physics labs are bigger, additional storage space is typically needed.


Physics Laboratory Layout

Space requirements of a physics lab

  • Laboratory Space

  • Preparation space

  • Storage Space

  • Lab Assistant Room

  • Dark room where experiments requiring no light can be executed.

The physics lab can be placed on higher floors in case it cannot be accommodated on the ground floor.


Zoology/ Botany Lab


Biology Laboratory

In a biology lab, you may examine living organisms, record biological processes, and learn about evolution. Zoology and botany are the two study areas that make up a biology lab. The study of animals is the focus of zoology, a subfield of biology commonly referred to as "animal sciences." There are charts, diagrams, animal specimens, slides, beakers, and other learning aids for this lab. A zoology lab may need microscopes, dissection tools, and other supplies.



Botany Laboratory

Labs for Zoology and Botany may contain:

  • Demonstration table with a sink to view dissection procedures.

  • Plant and animal specimens, storage beakers, and display cabinets through which the specimens are visible.

  • Provision of microscopes with ample natural light in the room for viewing.

The rooms allotted to the zoology and botany labs can be separate or one single lab.


Biology Laboratory Layout

Geography Labs



Geography Laboratory

For a better knowledge of geographical concepts like location, area, density, size, etc., geography laboratories are offered. These labs use maps, globes, books, and specialised measuring equipment. This lab may be given a space of around 60 square metres, together with a storage room of 12 square metres, to accommodate 40 students. For the students to refer books and texts on a particular subject, a small subject library room might also be built.


This lab may have:

  • Display of maps on the walls—a world map, a country map, and local state and district maps—for children to learn about their location and country.

  • Globes of various sizes and scales.

  • Survey equipment like glass tables for tracing with a size of about 915x60x1000 mm, display boards, topographic sheets, a magnetic compass, etc.

  • Equipment like a hygrometer, anemometer, thermometer, barometer, and rain gauges for measuring moisture content, wind speed, etc.

  • Display of physiographic models and different types of rocks like metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous rocks.

  • Store room with cupboards, map stands, documents, stock registers, etc.


Geography Laboratory

Mathematics Labs


In a mathematics laboratory, students can learn and explore mathematical concepts by verifying facts and theorems through physical activities like building models and paper-folding techniques.



A Maths lab can provide:

  • Model-making spaces.

  • Storage of craft and stationary items.

  • Large table for cutting, drafting and conducting group activities.

  • Measuring tapes, instrument boxes, tangram puzzles, stencils, graphs etc.

  • Geo boards, fraction boards, volumetric cups, probability kit, time indicators etc.


Mathematics Laboratory

Following ideas can be used while planning a maths lab:

  • A practical explanation of important formulae can be demonstrated. For example, the Pythagoras theorem can be represented through the diagonals of the room to calculate angles, distances, etc.

  • Angles, scales, and proportions can be marked on the horizontal and vertical walls.

  • Different units of measurement can be displayed around the lab, like metres and feet.


Mathematics Laboratory

Computer Labs


Computer Lab at Harishree Vidyalaya

Children can stay up with the increasingly digital world with the help of a computer lab. Computers, an internet connection, and a projector for watching demonstrations are all amenities the lab can offer. Each student can have a workstation with a depth of 450–600 mm and a width of 750–1000 mm in these labs. A computer lab's arrangement can be thought out such that the workstations are positioned along the walls, giving the teacher a better view of the students' assignments. The installation of air conditioners in a computer lab may lessen the heat generated by the system while also reducing the amount of dust present.



Computer Laboratory Layout

Language Labs


Students can develop their language abilities at the language laboratory by reading, performing, interacting, and engaging in plenty of other activities. The phonetic sounds, words, punctuation, and pronunciations are acquired by children. If it's feasible, language laboratories should feature headphone sets so that every child can hear well and a projector for images, as well as good audio systems. With 20–30 students, a typical lab may be 40–60 square metres in size. Sound-absorbing materials can be used to treat the space.


Language Laboratory

Demonstration Classroom


For grades VII through X, the typical size and design of a science lab at a school is comparable to that of a classroom. This is so that there is adequate provision for merely observing the demonstration. It is possible to add a sink, electrical outlets, gas lines, etc. to the teacher's table.


School of Engineering Classroom

Library


Students and faculty can use a range of materials in a library, including books, research papers, reports, the internet, archives, etc. As technology develops, a library's function is radically altering. The importance of e-books, digital archives, and audio-visual rooms in library settings is rising.


Library at Harishree Vidyalaya

Library at Harishree Vidyalaya

Library

Library

For the efficient functioning of a library, the following components can be included:

  • Stack room

  • General reading room

  • Reference room

  • Journal, newspaper, periodicals space

  • Librarian’s space

  • Exhibition space

  • Digital archive section

  • Audio Visual room



Wrong and Right Library Layout Respectively

The shelves in the stack chamber may be positioned 1800 mm apart from one another to allow for movement between them. So that light falls on the books stacked on the racks, these shelves in the stack room can be positioned perpendicular to the location of the windows.


Primary and pre-primary pupils might have their own area in the library filled with books that are appropriate for their ages.


Primary and Higher Secondary Library Sections

Around 70 to 90 square metres will be needed in the reading area to accommodate 30 to 40 children.


Library

To store the books and keep them organised, adequate storage facilities might be made available. It is possible to design for bulletin boards, stationery, book display racks, student bag racks, and catalogue cabinets. The library's magazine rack can be used to make current books, magazines, journals, newspapers, and other publications available.


Magazine Section Library

Digital Library Layout

The library has a place where you may access digitised documents. This area may also make e-books and e-journals accessible for research. With the addition of tables, seats, and shelving, this space is capable of hosting computers and providing network connectivity.


It is possible to promote areas where kids may view lectures and films alongside their teachers. Smart boards may not be available in every classroom, making it simpler to access a piece of the online library. The areas may be used for reading, storytelling, watching videos, and other activities.


Audio-visual Space in the Library


The library is often located on the ground floor since books are heavy. The floor slabs must be properly strengthened by structural engineers if the library is to be located on an upper floor.


Library

Auditorium


School activities typically take place in the school auditorium. It can be built and furnished in such a way that students, staff, and the community can use it well. Consequently, it is possible to place the auditorium in the school's public area so that everyone can use it. It may be accessible to them throughout the holidays, generating some cash to support the running of the school.


Layout of the Auditorium in the School

An auditorium may consist of the following spaces:


Main Auditorium

  • Stage/ performance area

  • Seating area (number of seats can be specified)

  • Projection/ control room

  • Equipment storage

  • Green rooms and backstage

  • Public toilet- male and female


Support spaces:

  • Projection/ control room

  • Equipment storage

  • Green rooms and backstage

  • Public toilet- male and female

For seating reasons, each spectator may have an area of between 0.5 and 0.7 square metres. Row spacing and seat width are included. With a row width of between 850 and 1000 millimetres, there is enough room for both walking and sitting. A maximum of 16 seats may be offered in an auditorium with fixed seating. A space between the chairs is necessary if there are more than 16 seats needed in a row.



Seating Dimension

The auditorium can hold more people if it does not include fixed seats. This is because the required standard dimensions for non-fixed chairs may be much less.


Auditorium Seating

To ensure that spectators' vision is not obstructed, the first row of seating is situated 3600 mm from the stage. The average viewing angle that a spectator can tolerate is 30 degrees. The height of the stage from the floor might be 750 millimetres. For enhanced stage visibility, the auditorium's floor is divided into tiers. Levels may increase by at least 100 to 150 millimetres.


An auditorium layout with 300 seats. Area occupied by the auditorium is 625 sq.m.

The auditorium layout shows the viewing angles for the position of seats

For improved visual and auditory characteristics, a height of about 5 to 6 metres is given or above stage. The stage must have a clear opening that is at least 7.8 metres wide. For auditoriums with a capacity of more than 300 seats, lighting and acoustics experts can be consulted.


The viewing angle of a spectator, height of each level, and the position of the front row in an auditorium

Stage Height

The area needed for the auditorium is reduced by using a flat-surfaced, non-tiered movable seating configuration. The hall space in an auditorium with tiers does not permit usage as an exhibit area. These places can be used to hold art exhibits and painting contests, etc. These areas are also available for usage after school hours for working.



Administrative Spaces


These spaces include:

  • Principal’s room

  • Vice-principal’s room

  • General office with staff and clerks,

  • Visitors waiting room

  • Store room etc


Administrative Space at Harishree Vidyalaya

Administrative Space

A principal's room includes a waiting area, an attached bathroom, space for parent or teacher meetings, and space for the principal of the school. The size and quantity of rooms may differ depending on the size of the institution.


School Veranda

The office building offers room for fee collecting, student and parent engagement, as well as general office staff workspace. For the keeping of outdated documents and records, a store room might be offered. Parents and other visitors can view displays of school accomplishments, seminars, admissions, and other information in a common area while visitors wait. This waiting space may also be offered on the admin building's verandah with built-in benches. To have meetings with teachers, parents, and others, a conference room might be made available near to the office.


Conference Room


Conference Room at Harishree Vidyalaya

Conference Room

Conference rooms are spaces where generally meetings take place with a group of people like staff, parents or the management. It can be used for:

  • Principal to hold meetings with the teachers or other staff.

  • For different groups of teachers to meet for presentations or discussions.

  • Where the school can organise workshops for teachers from other schools.

Seminar rooms can also be provided close to the conference room or as a part of it.


Conference Room Layout

Requirements of a conference room:


There can be a central table and seats for 10 to 20 persons in the conference room. More seating will make it possible to fit more participants in the space. You may put the conference room adjacent to the principal's office.


For seminars and presentations, resources like a projector and a screen can be made available. Typically, the projector is positioned 4.5 metres away from the screen. A conference room may also have equipment for video conferencing.


Conference Room Layout

The components of a video conferencing facilities include:

  • Video input and output

  • Audio input and output

  • Computer

  • Network or Data

Staff Room


Staff Room

A staff room is a common room for the teachers. Rather than providing a central staff room block, it can be provided on each floor of a building for better communication between teachers and students. Each teacher or staff member can be provided with a table, chair, and locker facilities to keep books, stationery, and other personal belongings in a workspace.


Staff Room

The arrangement can be such that it can be shared by one or more teachers, using the space efficiently.

  • A common table can be provided for discussions and lunch activities within the staff room.

  • A common cupboard for stationery, registers, books, etc. can be considered.

  • A computer and printer may be provided. In the future, the teachers may bring their own laptops.

  • Toilets can be provided within the staffroom, if possible. If this is not the case, common toilets can be provided for teachers and students, thus making sure the toilets are well maintained.

Resource Room for Teachers


A resource room for a teacher provides the following facilities to help the teacher create learning experiences for a child.


Resource Room

It can be provided with:


  • Reference books for teachers

  • Access to online resources by providing internet

  • Computer systems and provisions for laptops to be used

  • Laser printers and photocopying machines


Sick Room


Sick Room

Sick Room Layout A sick room is a place that schools provide for kids who are ill.

A sick room is a place that schools provide for kids who are ill. One or two beds, linens, a table, and chairs can be found in a sick room. Students with diarrhoea, vomiting, or other similar illnesses will find it easier if there is an adjacent toilet in the sick room. To enable parents and employees to care for the children, this space might be situated near the administrative building or the staff housing building.



A medical inspection room is a space designed to conduct medical examinations or offer students access to medical services. The sick room may be next to this room. The staff can arrange regular health examinations to ensure the students' wellbeing. This space may be equipped with a height scale, weighing scale, exam table, and file storage. Around 20 to 30 square metres have been set aside for the medical inspection room.


Counselling Rooms


In order to address the developmental requirements of every child, counsellors in schools offer advice for personal, academic, or career development, as well as individual or group counselling of students and interaction with families of students. This room could be located next to the office so that parents can easily reach it and so that school employees can keep an eye on the youngsters. A counselling room may feature three to four student chairs, a chair and table for the counsellor, and a shelf for student documents.


Counselling Room

Sports Facilities


The school includes physical education as a fundamental component. It promotes healthy living and physical fitness. A crucial aspect of the educational programme is to provide areas for such activities. The table below shows the approximate space determined for each age group to play activities like football, cricket, hockey, kabaddi, and other games suggested by the Bureau of Indian Standards. Each student might have a space of roughly 8 square metres. It can be challenging to provide such wide areas for sporting events, such as a football field.


Badminton Court


A physical education instructor may have a room that is 25 to 50 square metres in size. Together with the sporting facilities, a common room may be included. The kids might have access to lockers, changing areas, and other storage areas in the room. Each locker can have a maximum length of 1830 mm and a typical dimension of 300 x 100 x 450 mm. Given how big and heavy sports equipment is, the storage area for these athletic facilities may have plenty of capacity. This room may be located near the athletic fields.


Basketball Court


Volleyball Court


Football Court


Storage Space

Kitchen and Dining


A kitchen for noon-meals preparation can be provided in schools. The planning of such a kitchen may have:



1. Pre-preparation area

  • The pre preparation space involves assembling tools and ingredients, washing, cutting and preparing the raw materials.


2. Pre-preparation

  • Preparation tables of 600 mm width and 1200 mm length

  • Sink of 1200 mm length

  • Grinder- 5/10 litres- for preparing idlis

  • Oven/ Microwave for heating food

3. Storage for equipments and vessels

  • Water bottles and storage

  • Cooking utensils and storage

  • Storage of serving vessels

4. Storage for provisions

  • Refrigerator

  • Shelves for storage of provision

5. Cooking area

  • Large bulk cooker

  • Steam equipment - steam boiler

  • Coffee/ Tea maker

  • Cooking stoves.


Kitchen Storage

The number of students in the school will decide how much equipment is needed for preparation. At schools, a kitchen must be at least 40 square metres in size, including the preparation and cooking areas. Depending on the size of the equipment, the cleaning and washing area may be outside the kitchen. For mass washing, a huge platform with a sink might be provided. While it is simpler to offer access to the sewer and waste disposal unit, it is advised to keep the kitchen on the ground floor.


Kitchen

To minimise noise from the cooking process, kitchens can be placed away from the administration, library, classroom blocks, etc. while yet being within easy reach of the students, instructors, and guests. The kitchen may be located adjacent to the school's service door, allowing for the easy flow of raw materials into and out of the kitchen. Kitchens require access to ventilation and natural light.


Kitchen/ Dining Layout Block

Dining Room


If there is enough capacity, the meals may be served in dining rooms. The various age groups present in the school can utilise this dining area in turns. At midday meals, students may also be sitting on the ground. For this, a partially open, shaded area may be adequate. On verandahs, built-in seats can be provided between the columns for use during quick pauses.


Dining Space Layout

Conclusion


The most important aspect of classroom design is knowing and understanding each room as per its requirements. Ticking off the list of requirements is not the sole purpose of designing a classroom. Functionality and light play a key role. While the teachers monitor the class, the students must be able to study properly, and adequate space must be provided for doing so. There must be harmony between the teacher, student, and architecture, and the latter must assist in creating an environment suitable for learning.


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