In the UK, our schooling system runs from the Early Years Foundation Stage (ages 3-5), through to Key Stage 1 (Years 1-2), Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6), Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) and finally Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11).
It’s not just the curriculum that will differ depending on where the pupils are at in their educational journey, as the school building should also suit the changing needs of the pupils as they progress throughout school too.
As well as switching up the classrooms and recreational environments, all areas of your school building, including your washrooms, also need to be made age-appropriate.
Here at Inspired Washrooms, we install school washrooms for multiple age groups in schools across the UK.
Although every washroom we design and install will be based on the assessment we carry out on your premises prior to installation, there are some key differences depending on the age of the pupils the washrooms need to serve, that we’d like to share with you in today’s post.
Primary school washrooms usually need to cater for children from the Early Years Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 2, which runs up to Year 6.
The beginnings of education for children will also be the initial point at which they become familiar with washrooms outside the family home and for the youngest of children – without the supervision of their parents. Therefore, it’s essential that the washroom environment feels safe and inviting for the younger students and remains accessible – including the heights of sanitaryware especially, which will need to be lower than in an adult washroom.
There’s also plenty of scope to get creative within primary school washrooms, particularly with regards to colour use or even designs or animations that can be applied to the cubicles or walls.
All in all, there should be an undertone that the environment is not only a safe space but that aspects such as handwashing are important. Children will be learning about hand hygiene for the first time, so the washroom should facilitate everything that’s needed to instil good values from an early age.
Secondary school runs from Key Stages 3 to 4, with the age of pupils ranging from 11 to 16.
In some cases, secondary schools may also have a sixth form attached, with pupils aged between 16 and 18. If so, separate washrooms are advisable to differentiate the vastly different needs of young teenagers versus young adults.
On the whole, the main requirement for secondary school washrooms is durability. The reason is because young teenagers are much stronger, and the likes of cubicle doors, sinks, basins and doors may be prone to more wear and tear and, in some cases even vandalism. There is also a need for reinforced materials is due to secondary schools typically having more pupils than primary schools.
Also, in secondary schools, washrooms tend to feature showers so that students can freshen up after PE. Another difference is that many secondary schools now adopt gender neutral toilets instead of having toilets categorised by different genders. Either of the addition of showers or gender neutral toilets may require adaptations within the buildings to ensure all safety and regulatory guidelines are adhered to.
As for the overall theme of secondary school washrooms, it’s time to move away from childish colour palettes in favour of something a little more grown up. While there’s certainly still room for personality, aspects such as having the alphabet printed on cubicle doors may seem infantile for this particular age group, especially the older teens.
Although further educational establishments (i.e. sixth forms or colleges) aren’t typically grouped in the ‘school’ category, they do have some common overlapping themes to school washrooms, in that they will be subject to heavy use by students.
Washrooms located in further education sites may also have a need for showers in changing rooms, disabled friendly access and heavy-duty material use.
However, the general theme of the washroom will be much more similar to a professional or commercial washroom. There is always the option of using colour schemes and materials that match the branding of the college, although the finished look should always feel appropriate for young adults, rather than giving the impression it is a school building.
School Washroom Installers UK
Are you interested in installing age-appropriate toilets or washroom facilities in your school or college? Inspired Washrooms is based in Derbyshire and installs washrooms across the UK.
We can oversee every aspect of the process, from redesigning the layout of your washroom to choosing the most appropriate materials and colours, depending on the age ranges and needs of your pupils.
Interested in starting a project with us? Download our Inspired Washrooms Brochure to view our full range of products and services.
For help and advice with anything we’ve mentioned above, please get in touch on 0115 671 3850, and our friendly team will get back to you.