Every space, whether commercial or domestic, is used differently through the month of December. Decorations adorn every conceivable surface, windows are fogged with sparkle or snow, and comings and goings are at a height. Perhaps the most extreme example of this is in the school. Activity during this time ramps up to a peak and it is important that the building is prepared to undertake this pressure.
It’s never too early to make a space festive when you’re in a school. For this reason, the walls of a classroom, school hall, reception area and offices begin to be decorated with craft and projects from some time in November. This means that walls and ceilings around the building take a great deal of pressure and more than a few knocks. In this way, when January comes around and the glitter and shine has gone, it can be beneficial to schedule some decorative TLC for your school.
Some may feel that the world is going mad, but every year schools are warned over the dangers of Christmas. With the abundance of paper, electric lights and tinsel littering the place it makes sense to proceed with caution. However, this year the warnings have gone still further. The publication Schoolsweek has reported that the Department of Education has issued guidance for schools to avoid using staples and pins in walls due to the risk of disturbing asbestos. It may seem extreme, but bearing in mind the statistic that nearly one in five schools is not managing asbestos correctly, this is indicative of a deeper issue. It all comes down, once again, to employing a comprehensive maintenance programme for an educational building.
Amongst all the fun, there is still learning that must happen. This is not a problem for those schools who have ensured that they started the year with a well-prepared building. Preparation and maintenance are the secrets here as both students and teachers limp wearily towards the Christmas holidays. The last thing that anyone wants at this time is broken storage, worn carpets or defective ceiling tiles. Both people and fixings are of course getting tired, but there is still a goal that must be fulfilled. Those schools who have prepared their spaces prior to the start of the academic year will be reaping the benefits at this time.
Ah, the traditional nativity… or perhaps not. With numbers on the up, schools have had to think outside the box in order to include all children. This has had a knock-on effect on the facilities that many schools require for their Christmas performance. Indeed, when school facilities form the boundaries of what teachers can aim for in the Christmas play, using funds to install interactive whiteboards, lights or flexible staging can open up the possibilities for a more ambitious performance which includes everyone – even if that means casting dancing sheep…
Fun and Fairs
Schools see a massive increase in weekend and evening activity at this time of year, from Christmas grottos or carol concerts to fundraisers and discos. So, the footfall around the building is considerable and will have consequences that are unlikely to be noticed until January. So why not think ahead and schedule a decorative patch up for the academic break? For both staff and students to return in January to an environment which is fresh and clean and ready for learning, what can sometimes be a hard month will feel entirely more optimistic.
To manage the Christmas period successfully in an educational building, it is key to employ a mixture of building preparation and decorative forward planning. Activities should be undertaken with a fair amount of common sense and with an understanding of the pressures of the building. More importantly, everyone should have more than a sprinkle of festive joy!