Students at one of the first Building Schools for the Future schools to open in England say they feel safer and enjoy going to school more now because of their new surroundings, according to an NFER study into the effects of the school environment on young people’s attitudes to education and learning.
Vandalism, graffiti, littering, and bullying were all thought to be much less of a problem in the new school which students described as ‘inspirational’, ‘colourful’, ‘motivational’, ‘stimulating’ and ‘comfortable’. The numbers of students who said they now planned to stay on in the sixth form or go to college rose from 64 per cent to 77 per cent after the new buildings opened.
The ‘before’ and ‘after’ survey of around 200 students at the brand-new Bristol Brunel Academy, which opened in September 2007, suggests a strong association between the move to new surroundings and students’ outlooks regarding their experience of school and their expectations for the future.
In both surveys, PE came out on top as the favourite subject - but with a 14 per cent increase stimulated by the improved sports facilities. ICT also saw a major increase in popularity, along with mathematics and geography.
Amongst the most significant findings from the study, funded by Partnerships for Schools, the proportions of students:
- who said that they felt safe at school most or all of the time increased from 57 to 87 per cent
- who said that they felt proud of their school increased from 43 to 77 per cent
- who said that they enjoyed going to school increased from 50 to 61 per cent
- who perceived that vandalism was at least ‘a bit of a problem’ in their school decreased from 84 per cent of respondents to 33 per cent
- who perceived that bullying was a big problem decreased from 39 per cent of students in the ‘before’ survey, to 16 per cent in the ‘after’ survey
Sponsor(s): Partnerships for Schools
How to cite this publication:
Rudd, P., Reed, F. and Smith, P. (2008). The Effects of the School Environment on Young People's Attitudes to Education and Learning. Slough: NFER.