Thursday, 27 February 2014

SchoolVision: Philips’ Innovative Lighting System Proven to Improve Pupils’ Concentration

The SchoolVision system is specifically designed to enhance the learning environment; studies proving its benefits have been conducted all over the world. 

It is well established that lighting has a significant effect on our mood, energy levels and concentration. Using this knowledge, SchoolVision provides an outstanding learning environment that engages and stimulates or relaxes and calms. Pupils get the very best start in school with light that enhances learning, improves results and makes everyone feel at ease. 

In a single day, one classroom hosts a variety of activities ranging from; focused tasks and quiet reading time to creative pursuits and lively group work, all requiring differing levels of energy and concentration. Using the SchoolVision touch-pad teachers can support the rhythm of activity in the classroom by switching between warm light and daylight, whatever the time of day, whatever the lesson. 

Teachers are able to chose from one of four settings; Normal, Energy, Focus and Calm. The different ambiances are produced by varying the balance between light intensity and colour temperature, making each setting suitable for specific tasks or times of the day.  

The Normal setting was designed to be used during general classroom activities; light is emitted at a standard level of intensity, in a standard colour temperature. This light level is proven to help students pay attention. The very cool colour and high intensity light emitted in the Energy setting helps invigorate pupils when energy levels are lacking, this is ideal for use first thing in the morning or after lunch. The Focus setting emits light of the highest intensity in a cool colour temperature; this mood is designed to aid concentration during tests and challenging tasks. The Calm setting’s warm light temperature provides a relaxed ambiance for individual work and quiet time; it has also been proven to calm a hyperactive class!

As with all Philips products, SchoolVision adheres to relevant lighting norms and provides comfortable light with no shadows or glare. Daylight sensors dim the lights when there is enough natural daylight to create the desired ambiance and presence detectors turn off the lights when the classroom is empty. SchoolVision is also energy efficient offering savings of up to 57%.

Epsom and Ewell High School is the first school in the UK to have SchoolVision fitted. Results from this pilot study show that the SchoolVison system positively impacts pupils’ concentration levels. City University London has carried out a series of standard D2 Test Trials, in two of the High School’s Science Laboratories. These are standard psychometric tests which measure concentration. Focus group research with teachers and pupils was also carried out. 

The study has delivered the following results; one classroom saw D2 test scores increase by 17 points since the implementation of SchoolVision and the other by 40. A control group demonstrated no improvement in concentration levels over the same time frame. 

Head 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.

“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 inidicate that the SchoolVision can be the beginning to a new way of teaching and learning for future student generations”.

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%.