School says colour of furniture affects behaviour of pupils

As reported by the BBC, a primary school has replaced bright plastic furniture with plain wooden tables and chairs in a bid to help pupils focus

Overdale Infant School in Knighton, Leicestershire, decided to make the change to plain furniture because pupils felt “overloaded” by brighter colours.

The school believes the new furniture – which it describes as looking like it could be from “grandma’s living room” – will improve behaviour.

A colour expert said the furniture enables the pupils to work with a “blank canvas”.

Headteacher, Hayley Holmes, said the school had trialled duller colours like brown and beige last year; thechange resulted in a positive impact on pupils’ behaviour.

She said: “Children and adults have none of that sensory overload and can feel really calm here.

“Some of the children felt overloaded and found the classroom to be a really difficult place to be in.

“So we’re reducing that sensory overload and we’re encouraging the children and giving them time to develop.”

Karen Haller, an expert of applied colour psychology, added: “When we take in colour we have an emotional reaction. Colour that’s stimulating – like red – turns the emotional dial up.

“When you put in colours that are low in saturation, you’re turning the emotional dial down. You can then have a more calming, more restful environment.”

Conventional toys have also been ditched for objects like colanders, which the school hopes will help pupils develop role play.

One pupil said: “It just looks nice, and the things in it, all the stuff makes it look wonderful.”

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