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As the evenings draw in and the seas get a bit rough (it’s still warm though!) I’ve put together some papers about managing that shift back to school after the summer break …


Setting them up for success

Going back to class is daunting enough – especially if it’s a new school.

But walking back into a building that looks and feels run-down is grim and undermines student engagement and academic performance in subtle yet significant ways – this study points to the impact of ‘environmental difficulty – a confusing or stressful space on student’s ability to settle and learn – The relationship between student’s perceptions of their school environment and academic achievement

It’s not surprising that teachers feel the same way.  This American review identifies that ‘facility quality is an important predictor of the decision of teachers to leave their current position, even after controlling for other contributing factors.Fix it and They Might Stay: School Facility Quality and Teacher Retention

In the UK, the standards that regulate lighting for education (LG05) dates back over a decade to 2011. So I’m looking forward to the Education Estates® Exhibition | Conference | Awards in October, and the opportunity to share a recent research project on how simple retrofit solutions can actively support teachers and SEND students in with Zane Putne, Clare Barton and Cosmin Ticleanu.


Rude awakening…

One of the biggest problems with the return to school is the return of the dreaded alarm clock. Perhaps we need to design the school day to support their body clock. An adolescent’s body clock runs around two hours later than an adult: 7am for us is like 5am for them- no wonder they’re reluctant to get out of bed….


Implementing a 10 a.m. start time in a UK secondary school led to over 50% drop in student illness over two years and 12% increase in the number of students making good academic progress equivalent to 20% of the national benchmark. Is 8:30 a.m. Still Too Early to Start School? A 10:00 a.m. School Start Time Improves Health and Performance of Students Aged 13–16


You’re probably working through a list of books and supplies – it’s easy to forget the most important thing – making sure you’re settled into a routine so you can all cope with the inevitable stress of starting a new term

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