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An Amazing Classroom Transformation for Our Lady’s Bishop Eton

If you've been reading our blogs recently, you'll know that Pentagon Play has recently started to offer indoor classroom design services and indoor furniture.

After 25 years of fantastic outdoor playground transformations, we knew it was time to take Pentagon design and craftmanship indoors to make dream classroom spaces a reality. We know exactly how to make the classroom appeal to the children's interests and create a learning environment that is engaging yet educational.

Indoor Classroom Design

When your children enter a classroom space, you want to make sure that instantly feel engaged and ready to learn. Pentagon Play know this and have worked closely with schools to understand what a great learning space should look like.

Children spend over 4,000 hours in a classroom setting during their early childhood, making it more important to create a learning environment which children engage with and stay focused.

Working closely with SEN schools and children, Pentagon Play's classroom furniture catalogue has a wide range of inclusive furniture. From physical disabilities to developmental disabilities, you can be assured that we will have classroom furniture that is accessible for everyone!

Not only do our indoor classroom designs focus on the students, but we also focus on the teachers. Having a classroom space that is flexible and offers a great amount of storage space is a key requirement for a lot of teachers and we aim to make all classrooms match this requirement.

Pentagon Play have an extensive range of indoor classroom furniture, allowing us to bring ideas to life and help classrooms become more engaging and exciting.

Our classroom furniture is perfect for all types of EYFS learning spaces and Our Lady's Bishop Eton Primary School in Liverpool discovered this fact for themselves. Keep reading to find out how we transformed the learning environment within the 4 classroom walls.

The Customer

We were very excited to work with the outstanding Our Lady’s Bishop Eton Catholic Primary School (OLBE) in Liverpool to re-design their EYFS classroom space. OLBE planned to provide their youngest pupils with the best possible start to their primary education.

School staff wanted to create different learning and interest zones where students could comfortably learn alongside each other, developing skills through first-hand experience. They also wanted furniture to be versatile so that space could be made when needed for group activities.

Their Objectives

OLBE wanted to create different classroom furniture zones within their large classroom space where students could engage with their interests, play, explore, experiment and investigate. The classroom environment also needed to help embed routines and allow learners to feel secure and happy.

Not only did OLBE want different classroom furniture zones, but they wanted the furniture to be durable whilst looking aesthetically pleasing. With all the materials we use being durable, safe and eco-friendly, we knew we could achieve this object instantly.

Indoor classroom breakout spaces for early years classroom

They also wanted a more effective storage system to replace their basic shelving unit. Due to how the teachers wanted the classroom to be a versatile learning space, we knew that the storage system would have to be movable to avoid any clutter.

We were delighted to visit the school for an initial design meeting where we looked at existing equipment and room layout/space and listened carefully to the EYFS teachers’ vision for their space.

After this visit and understanding certain design elements to focus on, we tailored our products to suit the needs of the school and created a final design showing before and after images. 

With the design finalised, our bespoke early years furniture was built on-site ready to be installed during the summer holidays.

Our Approach

Due to the size of this project, we broke up the floor plan into three distinctive areas. Doing this allowed us to understand what each area was designed to achieve and focus on.

The project was especially exciting for us due to how versatile the learning environment would be. From sensory play to a dramatic play area, cosy atmospheres to visual stimulation atmospheres, an independent learning environment to a communal social environment; this project would cater to all the kids in the class.

It was important to make sure that physical space wasn't completely taken up by the furniture. As the classroom would be in use throughout the full school year, the room had to have ease of access for the children.

In addition, if we filled the zones too much, it could cause sensory overload for students with special needs.

First Classroom Furniture Zone

The first classroom furniture zone that we focussed on consisted of creating a cosy, enclosed reading zone and a large construction zone. Stack and Store Units offer plenty of space for learning resources. Items can be easily seen and accessed by students which ensures that all resources have a ‘home.’

Tidy-up times have become much easier as children respect and care for their resources. A large slatted Stack and Store Unit provides teachers a handy storage solution for items such as Ipads to slot into, saving space for other items.

A focal point of this space is the circular window with cushioned seats for students to gather with their latest read. 

Our new, fully moveable Double-Sided Angled Bookcases beautifully store and display texts face on allowing young children to inspect front covers and select reads with ease, allowing them to improve their education in a nice environment.

2 girls reading books in there breakout spaces

Not only can this area be used for independent reading, but the teacher could lead the class in a guided reading activity. 

With the circular window being a focal point, the teacher can simply sit beneath it and start reading to the class. This gives you a great chance to introduce new materials in a engaging and exciting way!

On the other side of the reading zone, there is plenty of floor space for children to construct their latest builds and improve their fine motor skills.

We created a much-needed storage unit with shelves for the classroom's large collection of wooden blocks. Now the different sized and shaped blocks all have a set space ready to be used by an eager group of builders! Knowing the benefits of construction play, we were over the moon to see a construction play area set up.

An image showing two children looking at the storage unit with shelves we provided. This storage unit is holding wooden blocks.

These learning areas not only look great, but are engaging. We wanted to make sure that when children enter these areas, they feel engrossed and ready to achieve their learning goals.

This furniture zone provides a great space for a group of students to experience a wide range of learning opportunities and allows the children to improve their reading ability as well as their motor skills. 

The design elements we implemented support students by helping them easily identify a book and have ease of access to the building blocks.

Second Classroom Furniture Zone

The second Breakout Space formed a large home corner and role-play area. Pupils enter through an inviting archway and from there, imagination begins to take over.

By focusing on the classroom design, we were able to create an environment where children's thinking and imagination skills would be pushed. We wanted to create an environment where the benefits of pretend play could be nutured.

classroom breakout spaces

Inside the role play space, there is a mixture of open shelves which students can engage with their interests and readily select from and cabinets with doors where teacher resources can be stored to save space. Open shelves provide interesting spaces and levels to aid children’s play.

Furniture Throughout The Classroom

Throughout the classroom, Storage Units on Wheels help teachers to create different areas. Shelves are decluttered, organised and labelled allowing children to easily select the items they need. 

The Creative Area contains tubs of different craft materials, The Fine Motor Area is home to peg boards and games and the Maths shelf holds puzzles and various manipulatives to save space.

Storage Units have been used to create a ‘self-serve’ snack area. Pupils can independently store and select their chosen snack and drink before carrying it over to their new Square Activity Table. This storage system stops valuable space being taken up by random snacks and drinks.

Conversation is encouraged as children form peer relationships. The Activity Table comfortably seats a group of 8 children and students can easily transport Stack and Sit Stools into their preferred location.

stackable seating for early years

Once finished, the students can easily store away the stools to save space and keep the classroom clean. 

A key priority for OLBE was to have large tables for group work as they had previously struggled with the size and shape of their old furniture. A further 2 Square Activity Tables are the perfect height and size for teacher-led group activities. 

A large number of our Stack and Sit stools were purchased by the school which offer young children flexible seating options.

The stools can be easily moved, and stacked when not in use to save space or when seats need to be made bigger/smaller and cushions can even be used for children to lean on during floor play.

An image showing our square activity table and 4 stack and sit stools within Our Lady's Bishop Eton Primary School

One of the best features of the Stack and Sit is that they can be used to store essential resources with a clear window making items visible. 

It's no surprise why this storage solution is so popular with schools, as you can easily save space whilst keeping track of where certain materials and resources are located.

A much-loved feature in the classroom is the Stack and Sit with Art Easel Package 3. The Art Easel is a fantastic resource for essential teacher modelling which can be altered using Stack and Sits to change the height.

The school have also made a table from this package using the chalkboard on top of the stools to create a small table, perfect for fine motor activities.

The Results

The EYFS department at OLBE has certainly become the envy of other teachers, as well as the school. New parents and old parents have commented positively on the classroom and surrounding space, which is now a bright, airy and calming space.

Neutral tones and matching wood effect pieces create inviting spaces which pupils feel proud of.

The new September cohort has settled very quickly into school life and absolutely loves their new classroom. Teaching has been revolutionised for early years staff who now can give their class a great education. 

In addition, the teacher can now have the option to simply change the layout of the room themselves and easily clean underneath surfaces after messy play!

The learning areas are now more impactful with the children and we have been told that engagement from the pupils is a lot higher than it has previously been! With the children ready to achieve their learning goals, teachers have found it easier to get through the curriculum and record pace.

With the new storage solution, classroom space can be guaranteed as the teachers can easily organise their materials and resources for future lessons.

The classroom environment now plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development, helping to shape enquiring minds whilst keeping the environment versatile and easy to manage for the teacher.

indoor classroom furniture for early years settings

Right now, we are offering a 15% discount on all classroom installations for this year! If you're intrigued by this opportunity, kindly fill out our Contact Form. As newcomers to the indoor market, we aim to expand our portfolio in the coming months.