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Published Tue, Nov 26th 2019

How struggling students can benefit from modular buildings

Our article looks at how modular school buildings can have a positive impact on the learning of students.

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MTX Education is committed to the best educational experience for all students.  Not every young person can go to school each day and work through lessons with ease.  There can be multiple barriers to learning, from mental wellbeing needs to allergies, from the need to work in smaller groups to the need for an environment designed to keep children safer. 

Flexibility

First and foremost, when children are struggling to learn, the teachers and school leaders need flexibility. When there are a small number of students struggling to learn, they are better off in smaller class sizes.  If a class of thirty students, a young person with learning needs will struggle to be noticed, and there is a significant barrier for the teacher wishing to meet the individual’s needs.
Modular construction can be sited within the school, in smaller spaces, allowing a school leader to use the whole of the school footprint and deliver the flexibility required.  The classrooms can be provided quicker than traditional builds, making leadership much more responsive.

Access to the classroom

The first benefit of modular construction is the capacity to work in confined areas to offer new accommodation.  It may be that much of the old school is difficult to traverse in a wheelchair or with other mobility issues.  Therefore, providing a space for students where they can be included in the life of the school is essential.  Additional buildings can be delivered promptly, designed to be entirely accessible for all students.  Working with a designer, you could include hoists, tracks, specially designed toilets and washrooms – all the small details that will make the life of this student more enjoyable in the school environment.

Reinforced and impact-resistant walls

Anyone who has worked with children with additional needs will know that the level of frustration they experience can be off the scale.  Young people are not immune to expectation.  They will believe that there are certain things people of their age should be able to do.  They will try valiantly for a while, but excessive failure can result in explosions of pent up stress.  Therefore, a school where the walls can withstand the objects that might be thrown and the fists that might make contact with them is all the better.

Soundproofing

Much conflict occurs in schools when a struggling student expresses the frustration they feel loudly.  Equally, noisy activities are often the best mode for allowing struggling students some freedom to learn through movement and play.  However, classrooms border each other intimately – and often the work in one room is restricted by the work in the next-door classroom.  As modular buildings are soundproofed, the quality of learning in the school does not need to be compromised for the need for quiet for other students.

Bright and open spaces

Learning theory develops rapidly.  Not every child learns the same, and some need tactile learning spaces to deal with sensory needs.  Autistic children, for instance, often require access to different textures and external stimuli to reduce the stress they feel.  Better still, modular construction would allow you to design a specific space called a soft room, where there are shapes, textures and colours of every kind that can help calm some struggling. 
Modular construction provides outstanding learning spaces, which can include canopied outdoor areas.  Many students who struggle in a traditional classroom can excel when learning outdoor skills.  Therefore, the chance to create a weather-proof outdoor space for forest-school-like activities can make all the difference in the life of young people.
Bright and open is also essential for the mental wellbeing of your people.  Mental health has become an increasing concern in our schools.  Although there are lots of contributory factors for this, the constant exposure to artificial light in cramped rooms does not help.  Modular buildings are designed to make use of the most significant amount of natural light possible.  The connection between the outdoors and indoors also helps, as access to nature is seen as an effective solution to mental health concerns.

Helping our struggling students

All teachers want to do is provide the best environment for all students to learn.  Children are not baked beans, and some lack the resilience to deal with the cut and thrust of a large school environment.  Some students need stronger walls, softer areas, brighter colours, reduced allergens, easier access, small class sizes, and more.  Modular construction offers the school the flexibility to design a space that works for whoever walks through the classroom door.
 

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