Stop fidgeting! You don’t have time for a shuffle there! – I was 7 years old, and I still remember my piano teacher’s words as she tried to teach me a new piece of music. However, like many children, I was unable to sit still. My body always had to be moving and a task like sitting at the piano meant that my body involuntarily followed this pattern. It was not that I was bored or itching to leave, it was quite the opposite, I loved learning to play piano. However, my ability to learn required my body to move.

Looking back, and using what I know now about agile spaces, it all makes sense – movement aids learning.  

In April 2024, I joined the Edushift team, having worked in the education sector, specifically EdTech, for over 6 years. I understood the need for interactivity in lessons to engage with students, but agile furniture was a new concept for me.  Now, the importance of providing a flexible and adaptable environment to support learning in all children seems such an obvious step.

Let’s start by looking at a classroom chair – it’s a simple piece of furniture made to sit and listen; but is that all?

A chair needs to support multiple seating positions: forward, sideward and backward facing. A small child may want to lie across the seat to be comfortable. Additionally, the height – one side does not fit all, as we grow, the chair needs to be at the right height and size to support our posture and growing bodies.

What about comfort? During the school day, students have lessons up to 6 hours a day. It is important that the chair offers a comfortable seating option to allow the student to remain focused. 

The world has changed so much in the last 100 years and technology has brought many advances. I remember a teacher chastising my class and saying, “You need to be able to calculate equations in your head because you won’t always have a calculator in your pocket!” – Today, we have a calculator, phone, camera and wallet in our pockets – who’s laughing now! 

But in all seriousness, the way we learn and the tools available have revolutionised teaching and learning. We now acknowledge the different learning needs of pupils, but it seems the learning environment itself hasn’t evolved to support this. Educational studies show that when our bodies have greater freedom of movement it enables improved brain activity, allowing us to concentrate for longer periods. Agile classrooms are relatively new concept in the UK, but one that can bring about positive pedagogic and learning benefits. Furniture that can move and adapt doesn’t need to be challenging or time consuming. Edushift can work with you to design a classroom which can maximise your space, whilst supporting teaching and learning using quality and durable furniture ergonomically designed to support learners growing bodies and allow freedom of movement. 

Today, as a mother of an active and movement seeking 7 year old, I understand his struggles in the classroom more than ever before. His need to move doesn’t mean he’s not concentrating but rather, his need to move is his body’s way of focusing his mind. Agile classrooms offer him and other students the best possible environment to reach their potential. 

Contact me or the team at Edushift to find out more.