Is noise in your school affecting student learning and teacher stress levels?

Schools come in all shapes and sizes, from schools with traditional classroom layouts to others with more complex learning areas, including large open-plan spaces designed to accommodate the teaching of several pupil groups at the same time. Managing noise across different environments is a huge challenge for schools and we know that excessive noise in learning environments effects both young people’s learning and teacher stress levels.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that to be able to hear and understand spoken messages in classrooms, the background noise level should not exceed 35dB during teaching sessions (1). The reality is very different from this, with several studies finding that “in many classrooms, average background noise levels exceed current guidelines and are likely to compromise pupil’s ability to hear the teacher and their peers" (2).

Hearing is critical to children’s speech and language development.

"At any one time up to 40% of children in a primary school class in the UK have some form of hearing impediment - due either to permanent damage or as a result of colds/ear infections" (3) , couple this with any other learning needs, or if English is not the first language and excessive classroom noise can have a detrimental effect on learning.

But it’s not just the pupils who suffer due to excessive classroom noise, it can influence teacher’s stress levels and teaching ability, especially if they are constantly struggling to hear pupils as well as trying to make themselves heard.

Using soft surfaces to absorb sound within school environments is one of the easiest ways to control noise levels. Acoustic felt panels offer an affordable solution to managing excessive noise AND can add a little creativity to classrooms, libraries, dining halls and other school environments.

Our acoustic felt panels are available in three options to suit your budget, from coloured panels, printed murals and bespoke printed panels allowing complete personalisation and creativity for all your learning environments.

If excessive noise is a problem in your school, please call us on 01923 774242 for a free acoustic site survey and we’ll have one of our experienced friendly team come along and advise you on how you can reduce classroom noise using our innovative wall and ceiling mounted felt acoustic boards.

  • (1) Berglund B Lindvall T, editors. Guidelines for community noise. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1999
  • (2) Shield B. M Dockrell J. E. Acoustical barriers in classrooms: the impact of noise on performance in the classroom. British Educational Research Journel. Volume 32, issue 3, 2006
  • (3) Shield B. M. Dockrell J. E. External and internal noise surveys of London primary schools, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 2004, 115(2), 730-738