Back in May last year we introduced you to the AlphaBetter® Desk standing desks for children.  This product is produced in America, but we were lucky enough to become sole distributors of the desk in the UK. Why were we so keen to get onboard?   Because we believe that children need to combine standing with sitting in their classrooms, just like adults in their offices. A fidget bar makes this desk all the more special.

The Benefits

Whether this is to be used by an individual child, a resource for the whole class or for a whole class to have one each, every child can benefit regardless of ability. Just the simple change from sitting to standing increases concentration and productivity. Research also shows that pupils using standing desks burn 350 calories more than sitting in the day; that’s the equivalent of running 10 marathons a year! Children that find it hard to focus, tend to engage or stay alert in lessons and benefit from the fidget bar, which gives the user the capability to move in a controlled way, because as we know, most children jiggle about, it’s in their nature.Click here for our original blog on the AlphaBetter® Desk.

The Research

So far, all the research and News coverage on this product had come mainly from the US and overseas, but case studies have been sadly lacking from the UK. So, in November last year we decided that we needed to get some feedback for ourselves and therefore rolled out a trial to our local schools.  2 desks per school for a period of 4 weeks with an agreement that a short Evaluation Form was completed.

The Feedback

To date 12 schools have taken the opportunity to trial, with 11 of them going on to buy the desks and additional units if needed at the end of the trial. We have another 3 currently trialling, with another 9 lined up & ready to go.

 

Aside from those schools who’ve already made the move and snapped up their own desks, what has feedback been like in the real – life world of the classroom?  As you can

see from the examples below, it’s been a resounding thumbs up for standing desks:

The Wells Free School

The requirement – The need for greater focus and engagement for selected students.

Frequency of use – All the time

How helpful was it for focus and attention – 4/5

Did it help Child/children remain alert and engaged – 4/5

Comments – The selected children have been more engaged in learning and have progressed in their ability to produce work. Their behaviour for learning has also dramatically improved.

 

St Anne’s Heath Junior School

The requirement – For one child who has difficulty concentrating, listening and remaining settled in his work space.

Frequency of use – Every day

How helpful was it for focus and attention – 5/5

Did it help Child/children remain alert and engaged – 5/5

Comments – Previous behaviours of chair rocking, table pushing and general fidgeting are not exhibited as pupil now moves to the standing desk when feels this is needed. Greater quantity of completed tasked are fulfilled.

 

Bethany School

The requirement – We wanted to offer more of a variety of seating choice for our puplis.

Frequency of use – Every day

How helpful was it for focus and attention – 4/5

Did it help Child/children remain alert and engaged – 4/5

Comments – Pupils like the opportunity to change the height at which they work. Some pupils work is considerably better standing.

 

Salesian School

The requirement – For a number of students who have ADHD and need movement breaks due to this or other disabilities.

Frequency of use – Every day

How helpful was it for focus and attention – 4/5

Did it help Child/children remain alert and engaged – 4/5

Comments – Increasing student’s willingness and motivation to engage in written work. Health benefits to staff who are working with a child at a desk – they are not stooping and bending down to speak to them to assist them.

Rosendale Primary School is London’s only Research School. In October last year they purchased 30 standing desks and 15 stools to trial in one of their 3 Year 5 classrooms (a control class, a class that took regular breaks and one with standing desks). They approached the trial mainly from a physical aspect and they used some of their PE and Sports Premium grant to obtain the desks.  The focus was to encourage the children to not only be more active within the classroom, but to also see if it influenced their ability to learn.  In February they produced a podcast discussing the ongoing trial and what they had seen so far. It is well worth listening to, as it not only discusses the children’s reactions, but also the schools & parents, alongside some unexpected benefits, such as transition times being cut, as the desks have shelves underneath where the children can leave their books etc.

Rosendale Podcast

Simple moves to challenge traditions can make a real difference. Embracing change in this area of education, just as schools have absorbed digital change in so many other aspects of learning, enables them to equip pupils both physically and mentally for the future.

So whether you are interested in learning more for a particular child who has problems with focus and attention, looking to use one as an additional resource for any child or to change the whole class to a new way of leaning, then please give us a call. Please note that we are currently only able to offer the trial to schools in Surrey and the Lancashire.