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News from City, University of London

School pupils' concentration levels improve with new classroom lighting system

Philips releases positive results of pilot study conducted by City University London into SchoolVision lighting
by Hollie Jenkins

Epsom and Ewell High School is the first school in the UK to have a tailor-made classroom lighting system fitted to improve the learning environment for pupils. Results from a recently released pilot study conducted by Centre for Performance at Work from City University London show that the Philips SchoolVision lighting system positively impacts pupils' concentration levels.

The system, which features different lighting settings that help create different classroom ambiances, was installed in two of the school's science laboratories before the start of term last September.

Since then, City University London has carried out a series of standard D2 Test Trials (a standard psychometric test to measure concentration) as well as focus group research with teachers and pupils. The study has delivered the following results:

  • Year 7 pupils in one of the SchoolVision classrooms saw their scores on the D2 tests increase by 17 points (D2 test mean percentile score)
  • Year 7 pupils in the other SchoolVision classroom improved their scores by 40 points (D2 test mean percentile score)
  • A control group demonstrated no improvement in concentration levels over the same time frame

The findings echo those from other research into the effects of the SchoolVision lighting system. A year long study in a primary school in Hamburg, Germany found that, with the SchoolVision lighting system, pupil reading speeds increased by 35%, frequency of errors fell by almost 45% and restlessness was reduced by 75%.

A similar study in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, shows equally positive results, reporting that pupils score on average 18% higher in concentration tests with the Philips SchoolVision lighting system. Pupils were also shown to be more motivated by this lighting system and rated their learning environment higher.

Alex Russell, Epsom and Ewell High School's Head, says: "Our aim is to offer our pupils and parents the best teachers, the best content and the best environment. SchoolVision has changed the environment in two of our classrooms, quickly and dramatically. The results from the study speak for themselves and the feedback from pupils and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive. This is the kind of lighting solution that is needed in all schools across the country."

Peter Maskell, chairman, Philips UK, explains the system: "SchoolVision has been specifically designed to enhance the learning environment in schools. Lighting has been shown to have a significant effect on our mood, our energy levels and our ability to concentrate. Offering four different light settings, SchoolVision is based on the idea that different tasks require different levels of energy and concentration. SchoolVision's four settings - Normal, Energy, Focus and Calm - produce lights of different colour and intensity to create the best atmosphere for a particular task. "The results of the study further demonstrate how lighting can play an important role in creating an optimum environment and in turn enhance people's well-being, especially when it comes to learning."

Commenting on how SchoolVision benefits both teachers and pupils, lead researcher Dr Efrosyni Konstantinou from City University London's Centre for Performance at Work, highlights that, more than anything, different students have different learning needs.

"An adjustable, flexible lighting system that can be modified to facilitate the diverse preferences of the students is ideal for improved learning in the class room. On the whole, in qualitative interviews, both students and teachers noted how the lighting changes positively impacted the mood in the classroom. The benefits associated with the different SchoolVision lighting settings included better concentration, increased alertness, enhanced efficiency and a calmer mood which indicate that the SchoolVision can be the beginning to a new way of teaching and learning for future student generations," concludes Dr Konstantinou.

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