A riot of colour in class makes for rowdy pupils

The Times is reporting that bright colours are  being replaced in some primary schools in favour of a more muted palette to calm children down and improve their behaviour and attainment…

The paper is reporting that several councils have commissioned a consultant – Elizabeth Jarman – to help declutter schools and nurseries in order to make them calmer environments.

The paper quotes one pre-school head as saying: “Not all staff like the look of a beige, natural classroom and are comparing it with a Swedish store showroom, however primary colours are on the way out. The pre-school environment, which has undergone the most changes, is by far the most appreciated space by parents, staff and children. It . . . has the longest waiting list for entry.”

In addition, Norfolk county council commissioned Ms Jarman to create spaces specifically to help lower-achieving boys and pupils speaking English as another language. For example, one school Norwich emptied overflowing book boxes, so children could access books more easily and were not overwhelmed by choice.

The paper reveals that Elizabeth Jarman has admitted not everyone agrees with her ideas but claims brain science is on her side with too much clutter potentially hindering the way information is processed…

More at: A riot of colour in class makes for rowdy pupils (subscription may be required)


What do you think? Are some primary schools and nurseries too distracting and over-stimulating because of bright colours and clutter? Have you cut back and noticed a calmer class as a result? Please share your feedback and insights in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Pre-school and Primary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Have I just stepped out of a Delorean having gone back 15 years? I remember reading about this when I started teaching!

  2. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove I wonder if this extends to the pupils clothing? Does the array of colour on non uniform days have an impact I wonder?

  3. spsmith45

    FionaTipper SchoolsImprove Unlikely, I would have thought. In any case varied clothing v. uniform makes no difference to achievement.

  4. FionaTipper

    spsmith45 SchoolsImprove maybe, but all the teachers I know say it makes a short term difference to behaviour if not long term achievement

  5. nancygedge

    bentleykarl SchoolsImprove what kind of colour? Purple? Pink? Rainbow? (Haven’t read the article, couldn’t resist etc)

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