Watch: Purpose-built primary school is designed to combat stress

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By Sinead Barry  with Reuters
First-grade student explains the affect of colours on mood
First-grade student explains the affect of colours on mood   -   Copyright  Reuters

Päivölänlaakso, a primary school designed to combat stress, is opening its doors to 320 students in Finland this year.

The concept of the school is based on scientific research about how our brains operate and aims to cultivate a space that takes into account all of the students' senses to facilitate focus, communication and in some cases rest.

In order to influence these senses more positively, shapes, colours, materials, and acoustics are all used to affect how the children feel in the space.

While most primary schools are usually decorated with bright primary colours, Päivölänlaakso opts for a softer pastel colour scheme. Research shows that when children are asked, they often prefer these shades.

"Well, if there are many different kinds of colours that sometimes makes me feel very confused or disoriented. But other kinds of colours don’t affect me so much,” said Mio Veikkonen, a first-grade student.

Transparency is another key concept that the school strives for, explained principal Pi Yli-Penttilä.

"I like transparency in schools, and it works on two levels. Transparency in the way we govern, and transparency in our learning spaces. We have glass walls here between many rooms, so you can see what is going on," she said.

The school is publicly funded and was created with the help of designer Margit Sjöroos.

Additional sources • VIDEO EDITOR: Olivier Vigouroux