Teachers have been adapting their classroom environment to meet the needs of different learning activities. Reading, for example, can benefit from a different set up to the traditional desk and chair. Bean bags offered comfort and relaxation for pupils that no other structured furniture could provide; increasing comfort, improving concentration and elongating time spent reading.
With a national focus on encouraging reading and improving literacy amongst primary school children, Eden Learning Spaces learnt that teachers would use bean bag furniture as a motivational tool to encourage engagement with books and e-readers or reward positive pupil behaviour. Learning environments equipped with ergonomic high-backed bean bags improved comfort levels and increased time spent reading.
Multifunctional themed classroom displays were also popular. Teachers used the animal or cross-curricular themed soft seating from Eden Learning Spaces as part of an engaging, memorable or visual lesson reminder and learning aid.
Since the ‘Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto’ in 2006 there has been an increased focus on outdoor learning resources and activities. Waterproof bean bags offered a safe, practical, and portable soft seating solution to aid teaching and group work outside of a traditional, indoor classroom set up.
In response to growing classroom sizes and ‘bulge classrooms’, bean bags were considered useful in facilitating ‘pop up’ learning spaces – as portable, versatile and comfortable seating anywhere, any time.
The new draft SEN Code of Practice highlights the responsibility of ‘every teacher’ to provide inclusive learning for all children including those with special educational needs. Teachers found that bean bags were a useful tool for providing a calming, safe and sensory learning environment that all learners could benefit from. Specifically bean bags provided proprioceptive input for learners on the autistic spectrum or with sensory processing disorders.