Acoustics In Education: Do The Acoustics Of A Classroom Affect Learning Outcomes?
Enjoying school is important. Being able to get the most out of your education and reach your full potential is a right that any child should have; no matter where they are learning.
Research conducted into the impact of acoustics in education has found that improper acoustic design can be damaging to the overall learning outcomes for students. It impacts on emotional well-being, ability to concentrate and grades.
In 2014, with a revision in 2015, BB93 Design guide for schools was produced to ensure that the acoustic integrity of a school building was optimised for ideal learning conditions to not impede children’s learning.
School is the most important part of your life when it comes to demonstrating your potential. If classroom acoustics are not optimised with learning outcomes in mind, then student well-being and grades are likely to be affected.
Read on to find out more about acoustics and learning outcomes…
What Is The Research Saying?
In 2016, Teacher Boards carried out research on two classrooms. One located in a quiet area and one that was directly under a flight path of a major airport.
They found that student’s reading scores in the nosier class were “on average one year behind the rest of [their cohort]”.
Reading scores weren’t the only places where learning outcomes were seen to be affected; language acquisition and memory were also negatively impacted by the levels of noise that the children were exposed to in their learning.
Similarly, the UK’s Institute of Acoustics, as quoted in The Independent, found that when testing the relationship between noise levels and learning outcomes, student’s “working memory, reading and numeracy skills showed that, in noisy conditions, 14-16-year-olds performed at levels no better than 11- to 13-year-olds did in the quiet.”
The implications of this research are serious: a poorly designed building can have very serious consequences for the overall outcome of a student’s performance.
Studying in inadequately designed classrooms, where external noise from traffic and internal noise transferring from surrounding classes will inevitably have implications for the grades that students receive and, as we all know, grades are the foundation of what options students have when leaving school.
How Can We Protect Students Learning?
BB93 Design guide for schools is a government document designed with the intention of providing architects and designers of new-build school buildings with guidance on how to acoustically optimise their spaces for the purpose of aiding children’s learning.
The point of these regulations is to ensure that noise in school buildings are within the recommended guidelines for the protection of children’s health, well-being in school and learning outcomes.
How Can We Help You?
Prism Acoustics are acoustic consultants with extensive expertise in the BB93 Design regulation. We recognise the importance of acoustics in schools and their implications for all-inclusivity and learning outcomes.
We work on projects across the education sector to bring better acoustics to schools through expert acoustic consultancy in Birmingham, the West Midlands and across the United Kingdom.
Our acoustic consultants work collaboratively with architects and designers on the planning and development stages of a project all the way through to the completion to ensure that compliance with BB93 Design Guides for schools and The Advice On Standards For School Premises document at all times.
About Prism Acoustics
Prism Acoustics are leading acoustic consultants based in Birmingham in the West Midlands.
Prism work alongside architects, designers and developers, offering acoustic consultancy on a range of projects in the following sectors:
- Sound monitoring and acoustic modelling for live events.
Prism is currently developing the next generation of acoustic prediction software, using virtual reality to demonstrate how the sound will carry before development work has even started! We can carry out environmental noise surveys and will work alongside you to ensure that your acoustic needs are met to the highest standard.