The Learning Effect of Colours: Free Guide

Is there a perfect colour scheme for a classroom? One that will create a calm yet stimulating environment that positively enhances teaching and learning? It’s something we’re often asked and, with research proving that learning space design (including colour) has an impact on attainment, it’s not a frivolous question.

There’s no one right answer but, as with most things, it’s about balance: neutral tones offset by strong accent colours in an environment that’s not too cluttered but also isn’t boring. Tatty posters are not permitted under any circumstances.

As a rule of thumb, primary-aged children tend to prefer bright colours whereas senior schoolers prefer a more sophisticated palette. You also need to consider your uniform and school colours. If your students wear bright red sweatshirts or navy trousers and jumpers, you might want to avoid the same shades in your décor to avoid overload.

Helping you make sense of colour

There’s a substantial amount of research about colour and its role in learning environments, its impact on attainment and what different colours mean, which we summarise in our article, The Colour of Learning.


Yellow – Cheerfulness, Optimism – Practical tasks – Science Labs and Transit Areas



Purple – Spirituality, Opulence – Contemplation – Staff Rooms and Offices



Red – Energy, Passion – Interactive participation – English, Drama and Music


To help you make the right decisions about colour in your learning spaces, we’ve also produced a free guide, The Learning Effect of Colours, which explains what the different colours mean, their effect and where they are best suited in a school.


If you’d like some help creating amazing learning spaces, contact us on 01952 210197 or email, we’d be delighted to hear from you.