In many Reggio Emillia inspired centres that I have visited the value of calmness is very apparent in their environment, thus creating a calm space for children to interact with.
Decisions from the colour of furniture, to wall coverings, to what is put on the wall and display tables often reflect this value of calmness.
One school I worked at had neutral colours and wall coverings. The overall effect was calming but it also ensured that the children’s work was not competing with bright colour backgrounds and boards.
Another school I worked at encouraged teachers to think very carefully about what they were displaying, how and why they were displaying it. Creating a soothing calm learning environment was a high priority.
When I first started teaching, 11 years ago, one of my favourite tasks was creating wall displays. Layer upon layer of colour, boarders and children’s work all competed for audience attention. Looking back I cringe at the visual chaos that was going on in my classroom. I hope that now I am a lot more thoughtful about the aesthetics and visual impact my environment has.
Here are some inspiring pictures of calming environments;