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How to prevent noise from causing anxiety for students

Classroom solutions to create better learning environments for all

Anxiety and poor mental health are becoming increasingly concerning problems for our children. According to the Mental Health Foundation, approximately 1 in 8 children aged 5-19 years suffer from at least one mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression or ADHD.

Triggers for children’s anxiety may include:

  • Worrying about a specific incident or situation – for example, a visit to the dentist, changes at home, moving house, exam time at school, stories in the news, and so on.
  • Experiencing trauma – such as the death of a family member, bullying at school, family breakdowns, physical abuse, emotional abuse or even hurtful comments.
  • A stressful environment – “studies show that visual clutter negatively impacts mood in a variety of ways, including increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Maintaining a clutter-free space is, therefore, crucial to creating a positive and tranquil atmosphere”.
  • Their overall health and wellbeing – factors such as lack of sleep, a poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of fresh air and sunlight, or a lack of emotional support can affect children’s mood, attitude, and happiness.

The effects of the global pandemic of 2020 and beyond have been characterised by change and uncertainty. In many cases, the focus has largely been on how businesses and adults have coped with these changes. Yet an increasing number of children have experienced heightened anxiety levels during the pandemic and post-pandemic period.

Just like the rest of us, children’s routines went into turmoil during lockdown:

  • They were not able to see their friends
  • Many students transitioned to online study
  • Many kids’ extra-curricular activities were closed down.

At first, many kids may have found this change more enjoyable. There was more family time, more free time, more time for sleep, and more time to get outside and play. But as time draws on and the world remains in a post-COVID 19 state, uncertainty is taking its toll on children – especially as they have returned to face-to-face learning in the classroom.

How can teachers improve classrooms for students’ wellbeing?

Image of the Noise Awareness Checklist for Education. The checklist provides guidelines and recommendations for assessing and addressing noise-related issues in educational settings.
Click the image to download your exclusive copy of our comprehensive checklist. Take the first step towards transforming your teaching experience.

Teachers can try implementing many different solutions in the classroom to try and create a calm and safe place for students, such as mindfulness, positivity, communication, and more.

One particular focus area should be to take control of noise in the classroom. Studies are ongoing in determining the effects of noise on anxiety. Initial reports from studies indicate that students suffering from anxiety also suffer from noise annoyance. To these kids, any unwanted sounds – i.e. noise – affects them like nails on a chalkboard.

Noise is a distraction to everyone – but children’s brains have not yet developed enough to let them focus and tune out noise. For a child suffering from anxiety, noise will become the focal point. Unwanted sound will cause the child to be even more agitated and distracted from learning.

Noise control solutions to help children with anxiety

Providing a safe and calming classroom is the first big step to helping a child with anxiety. This includes reducing noise and noise annoyance by installing sound control solutions to the school.

Calando Panels can be installed on ceiling or walls of a classroom will absorb unwanted noise in the room. The raw panel is white to blend into standard ceilings or walls, or it can be wrapped in coloured fabric to become a feature in your classroom.

Calando Desk is a portable divider system that slides onto a desk to separate students, creating quieter spaces and reducing anxiety about social distancing.

Calando Booth is another portable option, consisting of three individual panels that slide together to create a “booth” around a computer and its user. While its primary design is to improve the audio quality of digital calls and reduce distractions, Calando Booth is also a great way to create a safe and secure breakout space for students suffering from noise annoyance.

ECO wall tiles are a functional and decorative wall or ceiling tile. The tiles are available in a variety of colour schemes, and depending on the noise control needs of the space have the option to be installed in patterns. The panels are pin receptive, so they offer noise control while still allowing you to display classwork and important notes.

Talk to Avenue about education soundproofing solutions

The number of children developing mental illness is increasing year on year. That’s why setting up classrooms to reduce noise annoyance is becoming a necessity.

Avenue Interior Systems has a team of professionals who can work with you to reduce noise in your classroom.

Contact the team today on 1300 827 177 or contact us online.

We can Design Your Silence and provide you with a custom acoustic solution.