This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol6", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
Here, as elsewhere, classrooms, their size, aspect, shape, lighting, and ventilation, are the most important feature of the school plan, and as scholars naturally spend most of their school time in them, too much attention cannot be paid to their arrangement and details.
Classrooms accommodating at the most fifty scholars and down to thirty have proved to be the most satisfactory both from the teaching and hygienic point of view, the mean of forty being perhaps the most useful. At least 17 square feet of floor space per pupil and about 220 cubic feet of air space is necessary, and, where finances permit, it is advisable to allow an even larger amount.
All classrooms should face either east or north-east for preference, as the admission of the morning sun only is desirable. Classrooms facing north, however, can be rendered almost as effective by the careful use of hoods over the windows. The western sun should invariably be excluded, and if classrooms facing west or north-west are unavoidable, louvred shutters must in all cases be fixed to the windows. Science and other rooms in occasional use are best arranged facing south.
The light must, of course, invariably come from the left side of the scholars, and it is better, even where architectural appearances seem to demand it, that no back lighting be allowed. Window sills should be about 4 feet from floor, the lower panes being glazed with obscured glass. To avoid shadows, piers between windows should be as small as possible consistent with strength. Owing to the clear atmosphere and powerful light, an allowance of about 15 per cent. of floor space in glass is sufficient, as more light than this causes a glare and is injurious to the eyesight of the scholars.
Where classrooms are arranged round the quad-
Village School: Hopefield: Capecolony rangle the cross currents between doors and windows are a great aid to natural ventilation. In corridor planned schools pierced gratings are usually inserted in the walls between classrooms and corridors, to gain as far as possible the same result. The usual inlet flues and ventilators are generally provided, together with ceiling outlets and ducts finishing in turrets with Boyle's or other patent extract cowls.
Classrooms are usually from 13 to 14 feet in height, the windows mostly of the double-hung sash type, with pivot-hung fanlight over, the window heads being kept as near to ceiling level as possible.
Blackboards are desired on two sides of classrooms at least, at the usual height, and each classroom is fitted with book cupboards besides the usual desks (mostly on the dual system).