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Exciting design creates unique learning opportunities.

Not all learners are created equal. So where do you start when you want to create an environment that supports each unique student?

Informal seating areas are popular with students, teachers and parents.

Sonia van Hout, the Director of Early and Junior years at Eltham College followed a broad and careful consultation process with the school community and architects in search of answers. Students attended a workshop where Sonia says they considered, “the type of activity, what type of space best accommodated the proposed activity, the size of the area and what colour, light and furnishings were required in the space.”

A range of tables paired with Bodyfurn seating options can be found in many of the learning spaces.

The timing of a visit to the school from leading education expert Professor Stephen Heppell couldn’t have been better. Professor Heppell provided invaluable thought and insights which influenced space design and furniture selection. Sonia also took inspiration from the Italian Reggio Emilia philosophy for advice around colour in learning spaces.

"i want the students' work on the walls to speak, so, i want the furniture to be complementary, not the most dominating aspect."

Sonia van Hout – Director of ELC & Junior School - Eltham College VIC.

Different seated height options and whiteboard surfaces are popular with students.

The outcomes are remarkable. Learning spaces are dynamic and include tables of varying heights, whiteboard surfaces, and plenty of hard and soft furnishings allow students to choose how and where they would like to learn.

The central community area has been designed for collaboration and interaction. Sonia notes this space encourages “social engagement as well as deep, focused learning and discussions".

Sonia van Hout, the Director of Early and Junior years at Eltham College explains the design and furniture in her school's exciting modern learning spaces.


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