Sanquhar Academy is a secondary school in the small Dumfries and Galloway town from which it derives its name. With 259 students enrolled, the school requires a variety of different spaces to stimulate learning and create a welcoming, fresh and vibrant environment.
Prior to EME’s work, the school had two rooms which, by the school’s own admission were tired, uninspiring and in need of a serious overhaul. A large room on the ground floor was vastly underutilised as a learning centre, while the first floor library doubled up as a classroom leading to it feeling somewhat overcrowded.
The school asked us to utilise the larger room downstairs as a combined library/learning centre, with a vision to create an aspirational multi-purpose space with flexible furniture. EME embarked on a series of consultations with the school in which products, layouts and colour schemes were discussed to establish the type of environment they sought to create.
After a direction was agreed, EME then designed and installed a complete furniture solution. A natural starting point for the main theme of the new space was the blue used in the school’s brand, with purple, pink and white added to create variety and interest.
In terms of the furniture itself, a Vista touchdown bench was used as the focal point of the room, creating an area for pupils to use laptops. In addition, book shelving was maximised around the walls, while mobile shelf units were used for both additional storage and to create bespoke learning zones, dividing the space with their sleek, in-built whiteboard backs. This effectively saw storage spaces double up as great areas for group work. Finally, Tessellate and Wedge tables were chosen for their flexibility and a selection of upholstered seating was installed to create a comfortable area for reading.
The effect has been to create a far more vibrant and appealing environment, and it’s been fantastic to see the universally positive response from staff, pupils and parents alike.
Following this success, the school plans to refurbish more rooms and is currently working with EME on the next phase – a showcase classroom separated into zones for IT, tables and chairs for standard classroom teaching, and a combination of shaped tables and soft seating for group work.
“There is now a lot of space and it is not all cramped into one room. I like the colour scheme because it is very bright and colourful with the blues, purples, pinks and white” – Danni
“I think the library is nice and the resources and layout is very nice. I also like the new stools because it adds a bit of comfort to our school library.” – Hallé
“The new library is a lot more colourful and up to date. I like the colour scheme, it goes well and is nice and bright. It looks a lot cleaner in the library. It is a better facility for everyone.” – Nicole