Work smart with a dedicated study space

With GCSE and A levels results in the bag and decisions made about next steps, thoughts turn to the next year and a study plan for 2024 exams. Now is a good time to plan for your child's study space, as well as for those starting out at university who will no doubt be back and forth and still require a study space at home.

A learning environment can have a huge impact on the success of study, and those who work in a calm environment have better outcomes than those in a chaotic space. Students who learn in a positive environment have been shown to be more motivated, more engaged and develop an overall higher learning ability.

When planning a study space, you should consider several factors: comfortable seating, light levels, noise levels, room colour and general layout. Being comfortable means your child will stay focussed for longer, helping them to absorb more information.

Good lighting is crucual for the brain's ability to focus and those studying in well-lit areas consistently achieve higher grades, and so a study space should be close to a natural source of light if possible. If you're lucky enough to have a study, place the desk close to a window for maximum impact. Natural light works best to improve behaviour, create less anxiety and stress, and improve overall health - something that can be mimicked with a cost effective but specialist light bulb.

A study space should be away from rest area, as psychologically this improves learning. If you are short on space and a desk has to be in a bedroom, try to split the space into rest and work - a room divider or tall bookcase could do the trick. A separate study space even in a small bedroom can improve revision success and give your child a more defined areas for work and rest – an important psychological factor in being able to switch off from study and move into down time.

Choosing a colour for a study space can have a huge impact on learning, with neutral colours promoting calmness. The rules of biophilic design – surrounding oneself with natural materials, textures and light – allows us to connect with nature and improves wellbeing. A study space with lush greenery, great lighting and calm colours will work wonders.

Keeping their space quiet will improve concentration – working from the kitchen table means noise but working in a dedicated area means they have a space for them for learning and sets them up for a more productive homework or revision session.

Most importantly, your child needs to love their study space, so involving them now at the design stage will ensure they love the space and want to revise.