Physical exercise is beneficial for the learning ability of children, and research proves that high-intensity physical exercise just after class is beneficial for long-term memory. Still learning environments in many schools foster inactivity or uninspiring in- and outdoor spaces, making it difficult to engage everyone in the short breaks between classes. Also capacity of space can be limited, making it important to activate the potential of ‘in between spaces’ and to design with an eye for multifunctional use and diverse learning situations.
Møller og Grønborg
City of Aarhus
Frederiksbjerg School is a public primary and lower secondary school inAarhus, Denmark, which is designed to promote physical activity. It is oneof the first schools designed to meet a Danish law requiring that childrenshould get more exercise during the school day.
The team has incorporated physical challenges in the journey from A to B by rethinking the walking areas, the roofs, the classrooms, the halls andthe outdoor spaces. In this way the school allows children to get throughthe day in more than 100 different ways. Also class rooms have beenredesigned, and a staircase for teaching has been introduced instead oftraditional tables and chairs, ensuring that the pupils do not sit for toolong. Niches and group rooms facilitate space for immersion and collaboration. In order to optimize every sqm of the school for movement, theroof has been designed as a fenced playing field, the terraces function as playgrounds, the teaching areas and roofed outdoor areas are used as workshop space. Customized zones for presentations, group work, andindividual studies support the educational and didactic principles makingphysical activity inevitable. The results are better learning and higher testscores.
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