Five Classroom Layout for Student Engagement


Classroom Layouts That Promote Student Engagement

Numerous studies have shown that the learning environment has a significant impact on student outcomes. Some of the most important factors include the size of the class, the emotional connectedness of the students, skill level, teaching style, and the input level of the teacher. The classroom layout is another important element, and one over which the teacher can exercise a high degree of control. Teaching preferences, class size, and other factors have resulted in various configurations. In this guide, you will find five configurations and the benefits of each.


Grouped Seating

Popular with teachers whose students do a lot of group work, this style of classroom layout breaks your students into groups or “pods” of six. To form a pod, place two rows of three single desks (like the Eduflex Single Desk T Leg with Tray beside each other (six altogether) to create an oblong surface shape with chairs arranged along the longer sides, so the six students face each other. Space the pods about a metre apart so students are not easily distracted by the groups around them. To apply the same learning style to smaller groups of three, the Eduflex Collaborative Zone is perfectly designed to maximise space and facilitate collaborative learning.

Benefits of Grouped Seating

  • Promotes collaboration and teamwork
  • Encourages peer-to-peer learning
  • Creates a more inclusive learning environment



Grouped U Seating

This option gives the students a little more personal space and allows the educator to stand or sit at the centre of the U shapes to give each group close attention. For this arrangement, you could use six single- or three double-desks, such as the Eduflex Double Desk, with one double desk acting as the end piece and the other two placed perpendicular to it on either side, leaving one end open and a space at the centre.

Benefits of Grouped U Seating

  • Allow teachers to create groups and promote critical discussions. 
  • Facilitate personalised feedback for students
  • Perfect for teachers that want to be close to the students


Concentric U Seating

This method is less suited to small group work but is highly conducive to group discussions, allowing all students to have a good view of the board and teacher at the front of the class as well as being able to easily see and communicate with all of their classmates. Here you could use any combination of single- or double-desks or a specialised set, such as the Spectator Collection Bench Setting, a modular easting and desk system that can be arranged to form any number of shapes.

Benefits of Concentric U Seating

  • Keep most of the students engaged in the class
  • Allow teachers to keep an eye on all students easily
  • Promote class discussion between classmates and teachers


Simple Rows

This style of seating hardly needs elaboration; rows of desks arranged lengthways across the classroom, parallel to one another, with chairs positioned behind each row to face the front of the class (i.e., the whiteboard). This layout can be good for tests or board work, but it makes it difficult for students to see or interact with one another (although for teachers who are having a hard time controlling their class, this setup might at times be desirable).

Benefits of Simple Rows Seating

  • Good for tests and board work
  • Easy to manage
  • Provides a clear view of the board for all students


Flexible Seating

While not a new concept in education, flexible seating is still a divisive one. It allows students to move between seats as they feel, from being seated at a pod configuration to a beanbag on the floor to a lounge arrangement and back. Some educators argue that this style of seating is more in line with the way our world works now and encourages students to be flexible and adaptable. For others, it lacks structure and quickly becomes unmanageable. As always, it will depend on the teaching ideology of the school, the individual teacher, and the student body.

Benefits of Flexible Seating

  • Promotes student engagement
  • Encourages creativity and innovation
  • Allows students to learn in a way that best suits their individual needs
  • Creates a more relaxed and comfortable learning environment



Ultimately, the best classroom layout for your students will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your class, the subject matter you are teaching, and the learning styles of your students. By experimenting with different layouts and observing the results, you can find the one that works best for your classroom.


Get In Touch Today

OfficeLine has been supplying schools, kindergartens, and colleges with quality school furniture and fittings since 1988. To discuss what kinds of furniture are right for your learning space, speak to one of our experts today by calling 1800 333 116 or email us at

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